Esteemed Bookes of Lawe and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia

Author: Warren M. Billings
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813939402
Format: PDF
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Virginia men of law constituted one of the first learned professions in colonial America, and Virginia legal culture had an important and lasting impact on American political institutions and jurisprudence. Exploring the book collections of these Virginians therefore offers insight into the history of the book and the intellectual history of early America. It also addresses essential questions of how English culture migrated to the American colonies and was transformed into a distinctive American culture. Focusing on the law books that colonial Virginians acquired, how they used them, and how they eventually produced a native-grown legal literature, this collection explores the law and intellectual culture of the Commonwealth and reveals the origins of a distinctively Virginian legal literature. The contributors argue that understanding the development of early Virginia legal history—as shown through these book collections—not only illuminates important aspects of Virginia’s history and culture; it also underlies a thorough understanding of colonial and revolutionary American history and culture.

Citizens of Convenience

Author: Lawrence B. A. Hatter
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813939550
Format: PDF, ePub
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Like merchant ships flying flags of convenience to navigate foreign waters, traders in the northern borderlands of the early American republic exploited loopholes in the Jay Treaty that allowed them to avoid border regulations by constantly shifting between British and American nationality. In Citizens of Convenience, Lawrence Hatter shows how this practice undermined the United States’ claim to nationhood and threatened the transcontinental imperial aspirations of U.S. policymakers. The U.S.-Canadian border was a critical site of United States nation- and empire-building during the first forty years of the republic. Hatter explains how the difficulty of distinguishing U.S. citizens from British subjects on the border posed a significant challenge to the United States’ founding claim that it formed a separate and unique nation. To establish authority over both its own nationals and an array of non-nationals within its borders, U.S. customs and territorial officials had to tailor policies to local needs while delineating and validating membership in the national community. This type of diplomacy—balancing the local with the transnational—helped to define the American people as a distinct nation within the Revolutionary Atlantic world and stake out the United States’ imperial domain in North America.

Experiencing Empire

Author: Patrick Griffin
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813939895
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Born of clashing visions of empire in England and the colonies, the American Revolution saw men and women grappling with power— and its absence—in dynamic ways. On both sides of the revolutionary divide, Americans viewed themselves as an imperial people. This perspective conditioned how they understood the exercise of power, how they believed governments had to function, and how they situated themselves in a world dominated by other imperial players. Eighteenth-century Americans experienced what can be called an "imperial-revolutionary moment." Over the course of the eighteenth century, the colonies were integrated into a broader Atlantic world, a process that forced common men and women to reexamine the meanings and influences of empire in their own lives. The tensions inherent in this process led to revolution. After the Revolution, the idea of empire provided order—albeit at a cost to many—during a chaotic period. Viewing the early republic from an imperial-revolutionary perspective, the essays in this collection consider subjects as far-ranging as merchants, winemaking, slavery, sex, and chronology to nostalgia, fort construction, and urban unrest. They move from the very center of the empire in London to the far western frontier near St. Louis, offering a new way to consider America’s most formative period.

Blackstone in America

Author: Mary Bilder
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107666627
Format: PDF
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Blackstone in America explores the creative process of transplantation - the way in which American legislators and judges refashioned the English common law inheritance to fit the republican political culture of the new nation. With current scholarship returning to focus on the transformation of Anglo-American law to "American" law, Professor Kathryn Preyer's lifelong study of the constitutional and legal culture of the early American republic has acquired new relevance and a wider audience. The collection includes Professor Preyer's work on criminal law, the early national judiciary, and the history of the book. All nine of Professor Preyer's important and award-winning essays are easily accessible in this volume, with new introductions by three leading scholars of early American law.

Early Modern Virginia

Author: Douglas Bradburn
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813931703
Format: PDF, ePub
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This collection of essays on seventeenth-century Virginia, the first such collection on the Chesapeake in nearly twenty-five years, highlights emerging directions in scholarship and helps set a new agenda for research in the next decade and beyond. The contributors represent some of the best of a younger generation of scholars who are building on, but also criticizing and moving beyond, the work of the so-called Chesapeake School of social history that dominated the historiography of the region in the 1970s and 1980s. Employing a variety of methodologies, analytical strategies, and types of evidence, these essays explore a wide range of topics and offer a fresh look at the early religious, political, economic, social, and intellectual life of the colony. Contributors Douglas Bradburn, Binghamton University, State University of New York * John C. Coombs, Hampden-Sydney College * Victor Enthoven, Netherlands Defense Academy * Alexander B. Haskell, University of California Riverside * Wim Klooster, Clark University * Philip Levy, University of South Florida * Philip D. Morgan, Johns Hopkins University * William A. Pettigrew, University of Kent * Edward DuBois Ragan, Valentine Richmond History Center * Terri L. Snyder, California State University, Fullerton * Camilla Townsend, Rutgers University * Lorena S. Walsh, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century

Author: Warren M. Billings
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 144296118X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Since its original publication in 1975, The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century has become an important teaching tool and research volume. Warren Billings brings together more than zoo period documents, organized topically, with each chapter introduced by an interpretive essay. Topics include the settlement of Jamestown, the evolution of government and the structure of society, forced labor, the economy, Indian-Anglo relations, and Bacon's Rebellion. This revised, expanded, and updated edition adds approximately 30 additional documents, extending the chronological reach to 1700. Freshly rethought chapter introductions and suggested readings incorporate the vast scholarship of the past 30 years. New illustrations of seventeenth-century artifacts and buildings enrich the texts with recent archaeological findings. With these enhancements, and a full index, students, scholars, and those interested in early Virginia will find these documents even more enlightening.

The Grandees of Government

Author: Brent Tarter
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 081393432X
Format: PDF, Docs
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From the formation of the first institutions of representative government and the use of slavery in the seventeenth century through the American Revolution, the Civil War, the civil rights movement, and into the twenty-first century, Virginia’s history has been marked by obstacles to democratic change. In The Grandees of Government, Brent Tarter offers an extended commentary based in primary sources on how these undemocratic institutions and ideas arose, and how they were both perpetuated and challenged. Although much literature on American republicanism focuses on the writings of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among others, Tarter reveals how their writings were in reality an expression of federalism, not of republican government. Within Virginia, Jefferson, Madison, and others such as John Taylor of Caroline and their contemporaries governed in ways that directly contradicted their statements about representative—and limited— government. Even the democratic rhetoric of the American Revolution worked surprisingly little immediate change in the political practices, institutions, and culture of Virginia. The counterrevolution of the 1880s culminated in the Constitution of 1902 that disfranchised the remainder of African Americans. Virginians who could vote reversed the democratic reforms embodied in the constitutions of 1851, 1864, and 1869, so that the antidemocratic Byrd organization could dominate Virginia’s public life for the first two-thirds of the twentieth century. Offering a thorough reevaluation of the interrelationship between the words and actions of Virginia’s political leaders, The Grandees of Government provides an entirely new interpretation of Virginia’s political history.

A Saga of the New South

Author: Brent Tarter
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813938767
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In the lead-up to the Civil War, Virginia, like other southern states, amassed a large public debt while striving to improve transportation infrastructure and stimulate economic development. A Saga of the New South delves into the largely untold story of the decades-long postwar controversies over the repayment of that debt. The result is a major reinterpretation of late-nineteenth-century Virginia political history. The post–Civil War public debt controversy in Virginia reshaped the state’s political landscape twice. First it created the conditions under which the Readjuster Party, a biracial coalition of radical reformers, seized control of the state government in 1879 and successfully refinanced the debt; then it gave rise to a counterrevolution that led the elitist Democratic Party to eighty years of dominance in the state's politics. Despite the Readjusters’ victory in refinancing the debt and their increased spending for the popular new system of free public schools, the debt controversy generated a long train of legal disputes—at least eighty-five cases reached the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, and twenty-nine reached the Supreme Court of the United States. Through an in-depth look at these political and legal contests, A Saga of the New South sheds new light on the many obstacles that reformers faced in Virginia and the South after the Civil War.

The Evil Necessity

Author: Denver Brunsman
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813933528
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A fundamental component of Britain’s early success, naval impressment not only kept the Royal Navy afloat—it helped to make an empire. In total numbers, impressed seamen were second only to enslaved Africans as the largest group of forced laborers in the eighteenth century. In The Evil Necessity, Denver Brunsman describes in vivid detail the experience of impressment for Atlantic seafarers and their families. Brunsman reveals how forced service robbed approximately 250,000 mariners of their livelihoods, and, not infrequently, their lives, while also devastating Atlantic seaport communities and the loved ones who were left behind. Press gangs, consisting of a navy officer backed by sailors and occasionally local toughs, often used violence or the threat of violence to supply the skilled manpower necessary to establish and maintain British naval supremacy. Moreover, impressments helped to unite Britain and its Atlantic coastal territories in a common system of maritime defense unmatched by any other European empire. Drawing on ships’ logs, merchants’ papers, personal letters and diaries, as well as engravings, political texts, and sea ballads, Brunsman shows how ultimately the controversy over impressment contributed to the American Revolution and served as a leading cause of the War of 1812. Early American HistoriesWinner of the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for an Outstanding Work of Scholarship in Eighteenth-Century Studies