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Main currents in American legal thought

Author: Bernard Schwartz
Publisher: Durham, N.C. : Carolina Academic Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This work is the legal counterpart to Parrington's classic, Main Currents in American Thought. It is a history of the development of American legal thought both as a reflection of the nation's history and as a major contributor to that history.
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Schwartz, Bernard, 1923-1997.
Main currents in American legal thought.
Durham, N.C. : Carolina Academic Press, ©1993
(OCoLC)621998616
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Bernard Schwartz
ISBN: 0890895325 9780890895320
OCLC Number: 28288574
Description: xv, 660 pages ; 27 cm
Contents: The new nation --
Colonial heritage --
John Adams: lawyer for the revolution --
Alexander Hamilton: the first instrumentalist --
John Dickinson: experience versus reason --
James Wilson: federalist democrat --
George Wythe: blackstone manque --
Thomas Jefferson: democratic instrumentalist --
James Madison: father of public law --
Early legal thought in action: Jefferson versus Wythe --
"All republicans, all federalists" --
The golden age --
Juristic chemistry --
John Marshall: instrumentalism triumphant --
Common law confirmed --
Joseph Story: "from the twelve tables down" --
James Kent: conservative instrumentalist --
William Wirt: the "spy" at the bar --
St. George Tucker: Jeffersonian instrumentalist --
Slavery and juristic schizophrenia --
Black-letter legal education --
Legal thought in action: Marshall versus Roane --
Instrumentalism and positivism --
Through the crucible --
Lemuel Shaw: private-law instrumentalist --
John Bannister Gibson: law in the grand style --
David Dudley Field: Justinian manque --
Benjamin Robbins Curtis: law as balance --
Billy Budd on the bench --
John C. Calhoun: the south strikes back --
Thomas Ruffin: "Obedience to the laws of legal truth" --
Benjamin F. Butler: "A law school arranged upon a different plan" --
Abraham Lincoln: law in emergency --
Legal though in action: Taney versus Curtis --
Second American revolution? --
The gilded age --
John A. Bingham: Madison of fourteenth amendment --
Thomas M. Cooley: furnishing the legal text --
Laissez faire theorists --
Laissez faire and legal thought --
Stephen J. Field: laissez faire constitutionalized --
John Appleton: law as truth --
Charles Doe: "Progress and improvement" and "the mistakes of former ages" --
James C. Carter: written law, "victorious upon paper and powerless elsewhere" --
Christopher Columbus Langdell: a new legal world --
Legal thought in action: Carter versus Field --
Status, contract, and Bartleby --
The new century --
The dominant jurisprudence --
Oliver Wendell Holmes: law as experience --
Rufus W. Peckham: "his major premise was god damn it!" --
John Chipman Gray: the law laid down by judges --
Louis D. Brandeis: law as fact --
Ernst Freund: the scholar's revenge --
Clarence Darrow: rock of ages or age of rocks? --
Brooks Adams: pessimism and progress --
Legal thought in action: Holmes versus Peckham --
Looking backward: "nearer than a dream" --
Pragmatic instrumentalism --
Roscoe Pound: schoolmaster of the bar --
Benjamin Nathan Cardozo: our lady of the common law --
Jerome N. Frank: law on trial --
Arthur T. Vanderbilt: the challenge of law reform --
Felix Frankfurter: his master's voice --
Hugo Lafayette Black: blackletter instrumentalist --
Earl Warren: "but were you fair?" --
Roger J. Traynor: laying law's ghosts --
Legal thought in action: Warren versus Frankfurter --
Dragon-ridden instrumentalism --
Fragmented jurisiprudence --
William J. Brennan: "dialogue between heart and head" --
Richard A. Posner: judex economicus --
Richard A. Epstein: legal Copernicus or Ptolemy? --
John Rawls: a new theory of justice --
Ronald Dworkin: labors of Hercules --
Critical legal studies: academic nihilism --
Feminist and minority jurisprudence: a zero-sum game --
Contract to status? --
Legal thought in action: Brennan versus Rehnquist and Scalia --
Is jurisprudence dead?
Responsibility: Bernard Schwartz.

Abstract:

This work is the legal counterpart to Parrington's classic, Main Currents in American Thought. It is a history of the development of American legal thought both as a reflection of the nation's history and as a major contributor to that history.

Schwartz shows how an American conception of law developed after Independence - one that stressed the consensual rather than the imperative element and which used the law as an instrument to meet the needs of the new nation. The great early jurists refashioned the common law as an agent for change and progress. As time went on, however, a more negative conception began to develop.

It is the author's thesis that the emergence of formal legal education and the impact of slavery upon the law played significant parts in this development. His treatment of the last century concludes with an analysis of post-Civil War jurisprudence, when the negative conception of law became dominant.

The last three chapters trace American legal thought since the 1881 publication of Holmes's Common Law, which foreshadowed the development of twentieth-century law, with its renewed emphasis on law as an instrument of social change. The life of the law in relation to that of the nation during a period of unprecedented change is stressed throughout. As with Parrington, the story is presented through the work of significant individuals.

The result is a procession of the jurists who contributed to the development of American legal thought and how that development played a crucial part in the growth of the nation.

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