In this Book

summary
One of the academy’s leading legal historians, William E. Nelson is the Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. For more than four decades, Nelson has produced some of the most original and creative work on American constitutional and legal history. His prize-winning books have blazed new trails for historians with their substantive arguments and the scope and depth of Nelson’s exploration of primary sources. Nelson was the first legal scholar to use early American county court records as sources of legal and social history, and his work (on legal history in England, colonial America, and New York) has been a model for generations of legal historians. 
 
This book collects ten essays exemplifying and explaining the process of identifying and interpreting archival sources—the foundation of an array of methods of writing American legal history. The essays presented here span the full range of American history from the colonial era to the 1980s.Each historian has either identified a body of sources not previously explored or devised a new method of interrogating sources already known.The result is a kaleidoscopic examination of the historian’s task and of the research methods and interpretative strategies that characterize the rich, complex field of American constitutional and legal history.
 
Daniel J. Hulsebosch is Charles Seligson Professor of Law and Professor of History at New York University. He is the author of Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World, 1664-1830.
  
R. B. Bernstein is Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School and Adjunct Professor of Political Science in the Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies at the City College of New York.He has written, edited, or co-edited over 20 books in the fields of American constitutional and legal history, including the prize-winning The Founding Fathers Reconsidered and Thomas Jefferson.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. p. 1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Foreword: Making Legal History
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Introduction: Making Legal Historians
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. I. Civil Wars and Legal Rights
  2. pp. 11-12
  1. 1. The Landscape of Faith: Religious Property and Confiscation in the Early Republic
  2. pp. 13-48
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  1. 2. “It cant be cald stealin’”: Customary Law among Civil War Soldiers
  2. pp. 49-74
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  1. 3. Debating the Fourteenth Amendment: The Promise and Perils of Using Congressional Sources
  2. pp. 75-88
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  1. II. Law and Social Regulation
  2. pp. 89-90
  1. 4. Was the Warning of Strangers Unique to Colonial New England?
  2. pp. 91-115
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  1. 5. Ambiguities of Free Labor Revisited: The Convict Labor Question in Progressive-Era New York
  2. pp. 116-139
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  1. 6. The Long, Broad, and Deep Civil Rights Movement: The Lessons of a Master Scholar and Teacher
  2. pp. 140-161
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  1. 7. Counting as a Tool of Legal History
  2. pp. 162-178
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  1. III. Courts, Judges, and Litigators
  2. pp. 179-180
  1. 8. A Mania for Accumulation: The Plea of Moral Insanity in Gilded Age Will Contests
  2. pp. 181-234
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  1. 9. The Political Economy of Pain
  2. pp. 235-263
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  1. 10. An Unexpected Antagonist: Courts, Deregulation, and Conservative Judicial Ideology, 1980–94
  2. pp. 264-292
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  1. Bibliography of the Scholarship of William E. Nelson, 1963–2012
  2. pp. 293-298
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 299-300
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  1. About the Contributors
  2. pp. 301-302
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 303-316
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814708286
Related ISBN
9780814725269
MARC Record
OCLC
857769562
Pages
336
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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