American Legal History

American Legal History: Cases and Materials

Now in its 4th ed., this casebook's rich mix of narrative, original source excerpts and discussion notes continues to focus on how legal, political, economic and social changes have interacted over the last four centuries to create a uniquely American culture of law.
Kermit Hall, Paul Finkelman, and James W. Ely, Jr. eds.

Historical Introduction to Anglo-American Law in a Nutshell.

This book is an introduction to Anglo-American legal history. It has chapters on: courts, the jury, the bench and bar, customs and cases, legislation and codification, doctrinal writings (e.g., Littleton, Kent and Story), real property, torts, contracts, law and commerce, negotiable instruments, and business organizations.
Frederick G. Kempin, Jr.

History of the Common Law : the development of Anglo-American legal institutions

This treatise explores the origins and historical development of the legal systems and cultures of England and America. Beginning with the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and ending with early 21st century America this wide-ranging text covers the histories of trial by jury, civil and criminal procedure, bench and bar, law and equity, legal education and legal literature, and the rise of the modern profession of law. Combining narrative discussions, excerpts from historical sources and modern scholarship, and discussion notes and questions, as well as over 250 illustrations, this book is an excellent and comprehensive introduction to Anglo-American legal history.
John H. Langbein, Renee Lettow Lerner, Bruce P. Smith

Law and Jurisprudence in American History : Cases and Materials

In 1980 this was the first casebook devoted to American legal and constitutional history. Now in its 8th ed., it continues to cover how law and legal theory have influenced politics and society in American history.
Stephen B. Presser & Jamil S. Zainaldin eds

Liberty and Union : A Constitutional History of the United States

This narrative two-volume treatise covers American constitutional history from its English and colonial origins up to the early 21st century, concluding with the 2013 Supreme Court Term. It includes a glossary of legal terms, further reading recommendations, illustrations, and tables of cases, as well as appendices containing the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution of the United States of America, and a chronological list of Supreme Court justices. A companion website provides extensive documentary sources to supplement those included in the volumes themselves.
Edgar J. McManus and Tara Helfman

March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States

This two volume treatise provides a narrative overview of the development of American law and constitutionalism as they relate to politics, economics and social history. It is often paired with the authors' two volume compilation of original sources - Documents of American Legal and Constitutional History. Volume 1 of both sets covers the founding of the country to 1890 with volume 2 of each covering 1877 to the present.
Melvin I. Urofsky & Paul Finkelman.

The Anglo-American Legal Heritage: Introductory Materials

This book covers the historical development of modern Anglo-American law. It explores medieval English feudalism, the early development of the modern nation state in the Early Modern period, the development of English and American law through the end of the nineteenth century. It concludes with discussions of twentieth century developments in Anglo-American jurisprudential theories. This texts's mix of narrative discussions, excerpts from original sources and secondary scholarship, illustrations, and facsimiles of original materials provides an edifying and entertaining introduction to Anglo-American legal history.
Daniel R. Coquillette

The Cambridge History of Law in America.

This 3-volume set is a collection of essays on American Legal History topics written by leading scholars. Each volume focuses on issues within a particular time-period. Volume I covers colonization of the American continent to the creation and stabilization of the republic (1580-1815). Volume II covers the creation of the country to the end of the first World War (1789-1920) and Volume III covers "The American Century" (1920- present).
Michael Grossberg & Christopher Tomlins eds.

The Common Law in Colonial America

This comparative legal history treatise challenges the traditional focus on searching for a unifying transmission and reception of the English common law in colonial America in order to explain how a truly American legal culture had developed by the time of the Founding era. Through extensive research into archival legal records and existing historical scholarship, Prof. Nelson demonstrates that the legal cultures of the early American colonies were more characterized by divergence and dissimilarities than by any uniform reliance on English common law. Seen from this perspective the origin story of a common American legal culture is a dynamic one of tension between imperial British efforts to transmit the uniformity of England’s common law and colonial desires to maintain their distinct legal cultures and social norms. Volume 1: The Chesapeake and New England, 1607-1660 and Volume 2: The Middle Colonies and the Carolinas, 1660-1730 comprise a promising start to this project.
William E. Nelson

The Magic Mirror: Law in American History.

This acclaimed narrative history examines how law has influenced American social, political, economic, and cultural events, as well as how those events inevitably influenced the law itself, from the earliest English settlements to 2007.
Kermit Hall & Peter Karsten.