Louisiana's legal heritage has long been a source of fascination, curiosity, and sadly, misinformation. Outsiders have viewed the legal system as an anomaly and have shunned its study because of its perceived quirkiness. Moreover, past writings about the state's legal structure have focused on the minutiae of Louisiana's civil law origins, adding to an image of peculiarity. Consequently, Louisiana has been generally ignored in treatments of American or southern legal history. Recently, however, a new vision has emerged -- the New Louisiana Legal History. A product of an energetic cadre of writers, this rendering explores new methods and areas of research with the aim of integrating Louisiana into the mainstream of American legal history, southern history, and American history in general.
Proponents of the New Louisiana Legal History have consistently refused to view law in a vacuum, opting instead for interpretative schemes that mingle social, political, and intellectual history into modes of analysis that treat all things legal as one strand in a complex cultural matrix. The ten essays in this volume -- which address law in the state through the nineteenth century -- exemplify the present condition of the New Louisiana Legal History. Topics range from the impact of the printed word on the evolution of Louisiana law, the economic and civic implications of legal publishing during the territorial and antebellum periods, and the military courts in Union-occupied New Orleans to the consequences of the flurry of emancipation cases in New Orleans in the two years before the Civil War, the use of the courts to attack society's conventions, and the legal status of free people of color inantebellum New Orleans.
A Law unto Itself? marks the coming of age of the New Louisiana Legal History. Grounded in novel research methodologies and underutilized manuscripts, it links the distinctive history of Louisiana law to the wider contexts of southern and American history and offers an exciting new interpretation of the state's unique past.
About the Author :
Warren M Billings has contributed to A Law Unto Itself?: Essays in the New Louisiana Legal History as an editor.
Warren M. Billings is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of New Orleans. He has written extensively about seventeenth-century Virginia and early Louisiana law. He is editor of "The Papers of Sir William Berkeley", historian of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, a member of the Federal Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission, and chair of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project Advisory Board.
|Title:||A Law Unto Itself?: Essays in the New Louisiana Legal History||Publisher:||Louisiana State University Press|
|Author:||Mark F Fernandez, Warren M Billings|
|No. of Pages:||208|
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