In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Surveying the Fields
  • Carolyn Eastman

"Surveying the Fields" provides JER readers with an opportunity to get a big-picture view of the innovations taking place in one of the many subfields that makes up the study of the early republic. In this essay, Laura F. Edwards guides us through new literature from legal history, scholarship that will surprise those of us who have not paid close attention.

Starting with the most quotidian of events—a fight between women in New York City over a sheet—Edwards delves into why legal matters infused all aspects of life in the early republic. Why were married women, ostensibly "covered" by their husbands' patriarchal legal rights under coverture, able to advance their causes in court? How does this bear on the legal wranglings of so many African Americans, both free and enslaved, who likewise took their causes to court? Edwards' assessment of the state of the field demonstrates that legal history has come a long way from simply being preoccupied with the history of the state. Instead, as she shows, historians of the early republic will do well to readjust our assumptions about the place of the law and its relative accessibility by all kinds of people, for this new literature will surely have an effect on our research. [End Page 119]

...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1553-0620
Print ISSN
0275-1275
Pages
p. 119
Launched on MUSE
2018-03-03
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.