Category Archives: Legal History

‘Blending Business History and Legal History’

“To get started, I want to introduce what I’ve been working on for the better part of a decade, my recently published book, American Fair Trade: Proprietary Capitalism, Corporatism, and the ‘New Competition’, 1890-1940 (CUP, 2018). I began this research project in graduate school at the University of Virginia and, in another post, I plan […]

Philip Rawlings, ‘“A Sacred Trust For The Future”: Regulating Insurance, 1800-70’

Abstract The history of commercial law has often been written as if it were merely a product of the common law, disregarding the role played by legislation. The principal exception to this has been work on company law. Until recently, the prevailing view has been that the Companies Acts 1844–62 represented the triumph of the […]

Just published: The Oxford Handbook of Legal History (Dubber and Tomlins eds)

Drawing on scholarship from around the world, and representing a variety of methodological approaches, areas of expertise, and research agendas, this timely compendium takes stock of legal history and methodology and reflects on the various modes of the historical analysis of law, past, present, and future. Part I explores the relationship between legal history and […]

‘BOOK: Allan Greer, Property and Dispossession : Natives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America (2018)’

“Earlier this year, Cambridge University Press published a book on the processes by which forms of land tenure emerged and natives were dispossessed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries in New France (Canada), New Spain (Mexico), and New England. Allan Greer examines the processes by which forms of land tenure emerged and natives were […]

‘Pihlajamäki and friends on the history of commercial law’

“Heikki Pihlajamäki (University of Helsinki), Albrecht Cordes (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main), Serge Dauchy (CNRS Lille-France, University of Saint-Louis in Brussels), and Dave De ruysscher (Tilburg University, Vrije Universiteit Brussels) have co-edited Understanding the Sources of Early Modern and Modern Commercial Law published by Brill. From the press: ‘The contributions of Understanding the Sources of […]

Otto von Gierke, The Social Role of Private Law (1889) translated, with an introduction, by Ewan McGaughey

Introduction “Otto von Gierke wrote The Social Role of Private Law (Die soziale Aufgabe des Privatrechts) in an age of extraordinary belief in progress and pride. In 1889, the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated, Britain’s Royal Navy was required by law to outdo its next two rivals combined, and Germany was forging a massive new Civil […]

Patrick Goold, ‘The Lost Tort of Moral Rights Invasion’

Abstract Moral rights are often portrayed as an unwelcome import into US. law. During the nineteenth century, European lawmakers, influenced by personality theories of authorship, began granting authors rights of attribution and integrity. However, while these rights proliferated in Europe and international copyright treaties, they were not adopted in the United States. According to a […]

Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse, ‘Colonial Copyright Redux: 1709 vs 1832’

Abstract The study of colonialism shows us that the law often serves the needs and interests of both the Imperial power and the subjugated country. Concessions are necessary to rule a conquered population. In order to understand Canadian law and the measure of Imperial influence, one must understand the dialogue between the various legal traditions. […]

2019 British Legal History Conference, St Andrews, Scotland, 10-13 July 2019

The British Legal History Conference will take place on the 10–13 July 2019 at the University of St Andrews. The theme of the conference is ‘Comparative Legal History’. This website contains information about the conference and will be updated regularly. It also contains information on travel to St Andrews and accommodation. Key Dates: Registration opens […]

G Edward White, ‘A Lost Search for a Generic Tort Action Protecting “Peace of Mind”’

Abstract I plan to spend most of my time today setting forth the details of an episode in the mid twentieth-century history of American tort law, from which I intend to draw some observations on the place of history in tort law, or, put more precisely, the relationship between tort law and its surrounding cultural […]