The roots of American jurisprudence in English common law are generally recognized. This provocative volume examines how English legal forms and principles have been transformed and shaped by a people who cherished the Anglo-American legal connection but were determined to alter the law to suit particular political, social, and economic circumstances. The authors, writing from a variety of perspectives, explore the nexus between social forces and the nexus between social forces and the relatively autonomous legal system. They describe how the details of society and social organization (such as collective values, political culture, and ideology) interact with the ideas and structures of law to shape legal forms, habits, practices, and outcomes.
Through their studies of the notion of sanctuary, the development of fencing law on the Great Plains, the shaping of the American law of treason, the British origins of the Texas workers' compensation system, the Americanization of Blackstone, and the meaning of common law in the United States, these scholars not only show the ongoing historical influence of English law and legal history after the American Revolution but also demonstrate the current vitality of comparative legal history as a discipline.