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Legal historian G. Edward White recently described it as the "most widely circulated and cited unpublished manuscript in twentieth-century American legal scholarship since Hart & Sacks' Legal Process materials." It began the re-evaluation of law in the Gilded Age, and gave it its current name of Classical Legal Thought. It was also one of the first and most influential of the works that introduced European critical theory and structuralism into the study of American law. This reprint comes with a substantial new Introduction that puts the work in context and relates it to current scholarship in the field. It should interest historians generally as well as readers curious about how our legal system got its special modern character --
This book examines the ideology of elite lawyers and judges from the Gilded Age through the New Deal. Between 1866 and 1937, a coherent outlook shaped the way the American bar understood the sources of law, the role of the courts, and the relationship between law and the larger society. William M. Wiecek explores this outlook--often called "legal orthodoxy" or "classical legal thought"--which assumed that law was apolitical, determinate, objective, and neutral. American classical legal thought was forged in the heat of the social crises that punctuated the late nineteenth century. Fearing labor unions, immigrants, and working people generally, American elites, including those on the bench and bar, sought ways to repress disorder and prevent political majorities from using democratic processes to redistribute wealth and power. Classical legal thought provided a rationale that assured the legitimacy of the extant distribution of society's resources. It enabled the legal suppression of unions and the subordination of workers to management's authority. As the twentieth-century U.S. economy grew in complexity, the antiregulatory, individualistic bias of classical legal thought became more and more distanced from reality. Brittle and dogmatic, legal ideology lost legitimacy in the eyes of both laypeople and ever-larger segments of the bar. It was at last abandoned in the "constitutional revolution of 1937", but--as Wiecek argues in this detailed analysis--nothing has arisen since to replace it as an explanation of what law is and why courts have such broad power in a democratic society.
This book revisits the theory of the sources of international law from the perspective of formalism. It critically analyses the virtues of formalism, construed as a theory of law ascertainment, as a means of distinguishing between law and non-law. The theory of formalism is re-evaluated against the backdrop of the growing acceptance by international legal theorists of the blurring of the lines between law and non-law. At the same time, the book acknowledges that much international normative activity nowadays takes place outside the ambit of traditional international law and that only a limited part of the exercise of public authority at the international level results in the creation of international legal rules. The theory of ascertainment that the book puts forward attempts to dispel some of the illusions of formalism that accompany the traditional sources of international law. It also sheds light on the tendency of scholars, theorists, and advocates to deformalize the identification of international legal rules with a view to expanding international law. The book seeks to revitalize and refresh the formal identification of rules by engaging with some tenets of the postmodern critique of formalism. As a result, the book not only grapples with the practice of law-making at the international level, but it also offers broad theoretical insights on international law, dealing with the main schools of thought in legal theory (positivism, naturalism, legal realism, policy-oriented jurisprudence, and postmodernism). This paperback edition features the author's discussion of this book on the EJIL Talk blog.
This is a study of the central role of history in late-nineteenth century American legal thought. In the decades following the Civil War, the founding generation of professional legal scholars in the United States drew from the evolutionary social thought that pervaded Western intellectual life on both sides of the Atlantic. Their historical analysis of law as an inductive science rejected deductive theories and supported moderate legal reform, conclusions that challenge conventional accounts of legal formalism Unprecedented in its coverage and its innovative conclusions about major American legal thinkers from the Civil War to the present, the book combines transatlantic intellectual history, legal history, the history of legal thought, historiography, jurisprudence, constitutional theory, and the history of higher education.
Private law has long been the focus of efforts to explain wider developments of law in an era of globalisation. As consumer transactions and corporate activities continue to develop with scant regard to legal and national boundaries, private law theorists have begun to sketch and conceptualise the possible architecture of a transnational legal theory. Drawing a detailed map of the mixed regulatory landscape of 'hard' and 'soft' laws, official, unofficial, direct and indirect modes of regulation, rules, recommendations and principles as well as exploring the concept of governance through disclosure and transparency, this book develops a theoretical framework of transnational legal regulation. Rough Consensus and Running Code describes and analyses different law-making regimes currently observable in the transnational arena. Its core aim is to reassess the transnational regulation of consumer contracts and corporate governance in light of a dramatic proliferation of rule-creators and compliance mechanisms that can no longer be clearly associated with either the 'state' or the 'market'. The chosen examples from two of the most dynamic legal fields in the transnational arena today serve as backdrops for a comprehensive legal theoretical inquiry into the changing institutional and normative landscape of legal norm-creation.
A strain of law reaching beyond any bounded international or transnational remit to assert a global jurisdiction has recently acquired a new prominence. Intimations of Global Law detects this strain in structures of international law claiming a planetary scope independent of state consent, in new threads of global constitutional law, administrative law and human rights, and in revived notions of ius gentium and the global rule of law. It is also visible in the legal pursuit of functionally differentiated global public goods, general conflict rules, norms of 'legal pluralism' and new legal hybrids such as the global law of peace and humanity law. The coming of global law affects how law manifests itself in a global age and alters the shape of our legal-ethical horizons. Global law presents a diverse, unsettled and sometimes conflicted legal category, and one which challenges our very understanding of the rudiments of legal authority.
This unique study offers a comprehensive analysis of American jurisprudence from its emergence in the later stages of the nineteenth century through to the present day. The author argues that it is a mistake to view American jurisprudence as a collection of movements and schools which have emerged in opposition to each other. By offering a highly original analysis of legal formalism, legal realism, policy science, process jurisprudence, law and economics, and critical legal studies, he demonstrates that American jurisprudence has evolved as a collection of themes which reflect broader American intellectual and cultural concerns.
The book examines redistributive processes such as tracing, subrogation and proprietary estoppel and the use of the constructive trust.
This book contains the papers prepared for a conference held at the Wisconsin Law School in 2011 to honour the work of Stewart Macaulay, one of the most famous contracts scholars of his generation. Macaulay has been writing about contracts and contract law for over 50 years; the 1960s were particularly productive years for him, when he introduced many novel ideas into the scholarly world. Macaulay's foundational work for what is now called relational contract theory was published during this period. Macaulay is also known for his use of empirical research and interdisciplinary theories to illuminate our knowledge of contracting practices. The papers in this volume reflect, in diverse ways, on the subsequent influence and the contemporary relevance of Macaulay's work. All the contributors are important contracts scholars in their own right: David Campbell and John Wightman from the UK, Brian Bix, Jay Feinman, Robert Gordon, Claire Hill, Charles Knapp, Ethan Leib, Deborah Post, Edward Rubin, Carol Sanger, Robert Scott, Gordon Smith, Josh Whitford (with Li-Wen Lin) and William Woodward from the USA. The volume also reproduces Macaulay's most cited paper, 'Non-Contractual Relations in Business', and excerpts from two other important papers of his, 'Private Legislation and the Duty to Read-Business Run by IBM Machine, the Law of Contracts and Credit Cards', and 'The Real and The Paper Deal: Empirical Pictures of Relationships, Complexity and the Urge for Transparent Simple Rules'.
This book considers the development of contract law doctrine in England from 1670 to 1870.
Papers originally presented at meetings of the Common Core of European Private Law Project.
Cultural history and themendment : New York Times v. Sullivan and its times / Kermit L. Hall -- New directions in American constitutional history -- Words as hard as cannon-balls : women's rights agitation -- And liberty of speech in nineteenth-century America / Sandra F. VanBurkleo -- Race, state, market, and civil society in constitutional history / Mark Tushnet -- Constitutional history and the "cultural turn" : cross -- Examining the legal-reelist narratives of Henry Fonda / Norman L. Rosenberg -- Contributors
University of Pennsylvania Law Review provides a forum for the publication of original research on a broad range of legal and law-related topics.

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