The Many Legalities of Early America

Author: Christopher L. Tomlins
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807839086
Format: PDF
Download Now
This collection of seventeen original essays reshapes the field of early American legal history not by focusing simply on law, or even on the relationship between law and society, but by using the concept of "legality" to explore the myriad ways in which the people of early America ordered their relationships with one another, whether as individuals, groups, classes, communities, or states. Addressing issues of gender, ethnicity, family, patriarchy, culture, and dependence, contributors explore the transatlantic context of early American law, the negotiation between European and indigenous legal cultures, the multiple social contexts of the rule of law, and the transformation of many legalities into an increasingly uniform legal culture. Taken together, these essays reveal the extraordinary diversity and complexity of the roots of early America's legal culture. Contributors are Mary Sarah Bilder, Holly Brewer, James F. Brooks, Richard Lyman Bushman, Christine Daniels, Cornelia Hughes Dayton, David Barry Gaspar, Katherine Hermes, John G. Kolp, David Thomas Konig, James Muldoon, William M. Offutt Jr., Ann Marie Plane, A. G. Roeber, Terri L. Snyder, and Linda L. Sturtz.

Petty Justice

Author: Paul Craven
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442649917
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Until the late nineteenth-century, the most common form of local government in rural England and the British Empire was administration by amateur justices of the peace: the sessions system. Petty Justice uses an unusually well-documented example of the colonial sessions system in Loyalist New Brunswick to examine the role of justices of the peace and other front-line low law officials like customs officers and deputy land surveyors in colonial local government. Using the rich archival resources of Charlotte County, Paul Craven discusses issues such as the impact of commercial rivalries on local administration, the role of low law officials in resolving civil and criminal disputes and keeping the peace, their management of public works, social welfare, and liquor regulation, and the efforts of grand juries, high court judges, colonial governors, and elected governments to supervise them. A concluding chapter explains the demise of the sessions system in Charlotte County in the decade of Confederation.

Creating the British Atlantic

Author: Jack P. Greene
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813933919
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
"In these essays Greene explores the efforts to impose Old World institutions, identities, and values upon the New World societies being created during the colonization process. He shows how transplanted Old World components -- political, legal, and social -- were adapted to meet the demands of new, economically viable, expansive cultural hearths. Green argues that these transplantations and adaptations were of fundamental importance to the formation and evolution of the new American republic and the society it represented."--Page [4] de la couverture.

Freedom Without Violence

Author: Dustin Ells Howes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199337012
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
There is a long tradition in Western political thought suggesting that violence is necessary to defend freedom. But nonviolence and civil disobedience have played an equally long and critical role in establishing democratic institutions. Freedom Without Violence explores the long history of political practice and thought that connects freedom to violence in the West, from Athenian democracy and the Roman republic to the Age of Revolutions and the rise of totalitarianism. It is the first comprehensive examination of the idea that violence is necessary to obtain, defend, and exercise freedom. The book also brings to the fore the opposing theme of nonviolent freedom, which can be found both within the Western tradition and among critics of that tradition. Since the plebs first vacated Rome to refuse military service and win concessions from the patricians in 494 B.C., nonviolence and civil disobedience have played a critical role in republics and democracies. Abolitionists, feminists and anti-colonial activists all adopted and innovated the methods of nonviolence. With the advent of the Velvet Revolutions, the end of apartheid in South Africa and, most recently, the Arab Spring, nonviolence has garnered renewed interest in both scholarly publications and the popular imagination. In this book, Dustin Ells Howes traces the intellectual history of freedom as it relates to the concepts and practices of violence and nonviolence. Through a critique and reappraisal of the Western political tradition, Freedom Without Violence constructs a conception of nonviolent freedom. The book argues that cultivating and practicing this brand of freedom is the sine qua non of a vibrant democracy that resists authoritarianism, imperialism and oligarchy.

Writing Indian Nations

Author: Maureen Konkle
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807875902
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
In the early years of the republic, the United States government negotiated with Indian nations because it could not afford protracted wars politically, militarily, or economically. Maureen Konkle argues that by depending on treaties, which rest on the equal standing of all signatories, Europeans in North America institutionalized a paradox: the very documents through which they sought to dispossess Native peoples in fact conceded Native autonomy. As the United States used coerced treaties to remove Native peoples from their lands, a group of Cherokee, Pequot, Ojibwe, Tuscarora, and Seneca writers spoke out. With history, polemic, and personal narrative these writers countered widespread misrepresentations about Native peoples' supposedly primitive nature, their inherent inability to form governments, and their impending disappearance. Furthermore, they contended that arguments about racial difference merely justified oppression and dispossession; deriding these arguments as willful attempts to evade the true meanings and implications of the treaties, the writers insisted on recognition of Native peoples' political autonomy and human equality. Konkle demonstrates that these struggles over the meaning of U.S.-Native treaties in the early nineteenth century led to the emergence of the first substantial body of Native writing in English and, as she shows, the effects of the struggle over the political status of Native peoples remain embedded in contemporary scholarship.

Rape and Sexual Power in Early America

Author: Sharon Block
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807830453
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Proposing a new way to map intersections of photography and American literature, Katherine Henninger demonstrates the importance of pinpointing specific cultural and subcultural history. Ordering the Facade traces the visual and literary cultures of southern womanhood that have ordered the image of "the South" from its plantation past to its "postsouthern" present. Assessed in light of these visual legacies, contemporary writing by southern women emerges vividly in Henninger's analysis as both shaped by and shaping these continuously powerful representations. Typically celebrated for their oral traditions, Henninger argues, the South and its literature have in fact primarily relied on visual characteristics such as skin color, gender, or dress to mark social "place" and identity. From postmodern art gallery to family album, photography in southern culture has both reinforced these cultural prejudices and provided potent counterimages. Henninger analyzes photography's literary functions in memoir, fiction, screenwriting, and poetry by a wide range of contemporary authors including Dorothy Allison, Ann Beattie, Rosemary Daniell, Julie Dash, Ronlyn Domingue, Josephine Humphreys, Jill McCorkle, Lee Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Anne Tyler, and Alice Walker. As each of these writers distinctively re-envisions traditional constructions of southern womanhood, Henninger shows, she joins the others in challenging the constrictions of "southern woman" and so changing the meaning of southernness itself.