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Slavery & the Law - Paul Finkelman

Hardcover Published: 28th January 1997
ISBN: 9780945612360
Number Of Pages: 476

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Central to the development of the American legal system, writes Professor Finkelman in Slavery & the Law, is the institution of slavery. It informs us not only about early concepts of race and property, but about the nature of American democracy itself. Prominent historians of slavery and legal scholars analyze the intricate relationship between slavery, race, and the law from the earliest Black Codes in colonial America to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott decision prior to the Civil War. Slavery & the Law's wide-ranging essays focus on comparative slave law, auctioneering practices, rules of evidence, and property rights, as well as issues of criminality, punishment, and constitutional law. What emerges from this multi-faceted portrait is a complex legal system designed to ensure the property rights of slave-holders and to institutionalize racism. The ultimate result was to strengthen the institution of slavery in the midst of a growing trend toward democracy in the mid-nineteenth-century Atlantic community.

Industry Reviews

This fresh and effective approach permits not only a deeper understanding of American legal history but also a more fundamental examination of the antebellum moral and intellectual justification of slavery... Highly recommended. Library Journal These essays present some of the most exciting works being done today on the history of slavery and the law. Drawing on archives to illuminate the law-in-action, and on doctrine and legal theory to illuminate the ideology of slave law, they provide both an introductory overview and exemplary studies that show what historians of law can do to illuminate the social system that was slavery. -- Mark V. Tushnet, author of The American Law of Slavery The eminent contributors here provide sophisticated analyses of slavery-related issues in America from the seventeenth century through abolition. Experts in the field will find this a hearty intellectual banquet; students new to the topic will discover the fascinating and fatal conjunction of race, status, and law in the American experience. -- William C. Wiecek, author of The Sources of Antislavery Constitutionalism in America This superb collection should be read by all who have an interest in the history of slavery in America. Some of our nation's finest scholars explain how the institution helped to shape our past, and continues to affect us today. -- Annette Gordon-Reed, author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family This work will be integral to all period history studies. Highly recommended. Library Journal

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The Centrality of Slavery in American Legal Developmentp. 3
Theories of Democracy and the Law of Slaveryp. 27
Learning the Three "I"s of America's Slave Heritagep. 29
Ideology and Imagery in the Law of Slaveryp. 43
Constitutional Law and Slaveryp. 87
Slavery in the Canon of Constitutional Lawp. 89
Chief Justice Hornblower of New Jersey and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793p. 113
A Federal Assault: African-Americans and the Impact of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850p. 143
The Crisis Over The Impending Crisis: Free Speech, Slavery, and the Fourteenth Amendmentp. 161
Criminal and Civil Law of Slaveryp. 207
Slaves and the Rules of Evidence in Criminal Trialsp. 209
"Details are of a Most Revolting Character": Cruelty to Slaves as Seen in Appeals to the Supreme Court of Louisianap. 241
The Unreported Case of Humphreys v. Utzp. 269
Pandora's Box: Slave Character on Trial in the Antebellum Deep Southp. 291
Slave Auctions on the Courthouse Steps: Court Sales of Slaves in Antebellum South Carolinap. 329
Comparative Law and Slaveryp. 365
Seventeenth-Century Jurists, Roman Law, and Slaveryp. 367
The British Constitution and the Creation of American Slaveryp. 379
Thinking Property at Romep. 419
Thinking Property at Memphis: An Application of Watsonp. 437
Notes on Contributorsp. 453
Indexp. 455
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780945612360
ISBN-10: 0945612362
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 476
Published: 28th January 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 16.51  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.93