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Legal and Constitutional History

Legal and Constitutional History Book List

Cover of 'Civil War Congress and the Creation of Modern America'

Civil War Congress and the Creation of Modern America
A Revolution on the Home Front
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

Drawn from a wide range of historical expertise and approaching the topic from a variety of angles, these essays explore the changes in life at home during the Civil War that led to a revolution in American society and set the stage for the making of modern America.

Cover of 'Buying Time'

Buying Time
Debt and Mobility in the Western Indian Ocean
By Thomas F. McDow

Thomas F. McDow synthesizes Indian Ocean, Middle Eastern, and East African studies to explain how in the nineteenth century, credit, mobility, and kinship knit together a vast interconnected Indian Ocean region. McDow's new historical analysis of the Indian Ocean reveals roles of previously invisible people.

Cover of 'Congress and the People’s Contest'

Congress and the People’s Contest
The Conduct of the Civil War
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

The American Civil War was the first military conflict in history to be fought with railroads moving troops and the telegraph connecting civilian leadership to commanders in the field. New developments arose at a moment’s notice. As a result, the young nation’s political structure and culture often struggled to keep up. When war began, Congress was not even in session.

Cover of 'In Essentials, Unity'

In Essentials, Unity
An Economic History of the Grange Movement
By Jenny Bourne
· Preface by Paul Finkelman

The Patrons of Husbandry—or the Grange—is the longest-lived US agricultural society and, since its founding shortly after the Civil War, has had immeasurable influence on social change as enacted by ordinary Americans. The Grange sought to relieve the struggles of small farmers by encouraging collaboration. Pathbreaking for its inclusion of women, the Grange is also well known for its association with Gilded Age laws aimed at curbing the monopoly power of railroads.

Cover of 'The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney'

The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney
The Politics and Jurisprudence of a Northern Democrat from the Age of Jackson to the Gilded Age
By David M. Gold

In The Jacksonian Conservatism of Rufus P. Ranney, David M. Gold works with the public record to reveal the contours of the life and work of one of Ohio’s most intriguing legal figures. The result is a new look at how Jacksonian principles crossed the divide of the Civil War and became part of the fabric of American law and at how radical antebellum Democrats transformed themselves into Gilded Age conservatives.

Jon Gjerde Prize for Best Book in Midwestern History (Midwestern History Association), Honorable Mention
Cover of 'Driven toward Madness'

Driven toward Madness
The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio
By Nikki M. Taylor

Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Her story has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Yet, her life has defied solid historical treatment.

Cover of 'Citizenship, Belonging, and Political Community in Africa'

Citizenship, Belonging, and Political Community in Africa
Dialogues between Past and Present
Edited by Emma Hunter

Africa, it is often said, is suffering from a crisis of citizenship. At the heart of the contemporary debates this apparent crisis has provoked lie dynamic relations between the present and the past, between political theory and political practice, and between legal categories and lived experience. Yet studies of citizenship in Africa have often tended to foreshorten historical time and privilege the present at the expense of the deeper past.

Cover of 'Marriage by Force?'

Marriage by Force?
Contestation over Consent and Coercion in Africa
Edited by Annie Bunting, Benjamin N. Lawrance, and Richard L. Roberts
· Foreword by Doris Buss
· Afterword by Emily S. Burrill

Despite international human rights decrees condemning it, marriage by force persists to this day. In this volume, the editors bring together legal scholars, anthropologists, historians, and development workers to explore the range of forced marriage practices in sub-Saharan Africa. The result is a masterful presentation of new perspectives on the practice.

Cover of 'Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake'

Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake
Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa
Edited by Benjamin N. Lawrance and Richard L. Roberts

Women and children have been bartered, pawned, bought, and sold within and beyond Africa for longer than records have existed. This important collection examines the ways trafficking in women and children has changed from the aftermath of the “end of slavery” in Africa from the late nineteenth century to the present. The formal abolition of the slave trade and slavery did not end the demand for servile women and children.

Cover of 'Justice and Legal Change on the Shores of Lake Erie'

Justice and Legal Change on the Shores of Lake Erie
A History of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Roberta Sue Alexander

Justice and Legal Change on the Shores of Lake Erie explores the many ways that the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has affected the region, the nation, the development of American law, and American politics. The essays in this book, written by eminent law professors, historians, political scientists, and practicing attorneys, illustrate the range of cases and issues that have come before the court.

2013 Award of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society.
Cover of 'The Jury in Lincoln’s America'

The Jury in Lincoln’s America
By Stacy Pratt McDermott

In the antebellum Midwest, Americans looked to the law, and specifically to the jury, to navigate the uncertain terrain of a rapidly changing society. During this formative era of American law, the jury served as the most visible connector between law and society. Through an analysis of the composition of grand and trial juries and an examination of their courtroom experiences, Stacy Pratt McDermott demonstrates how central the law was for people who lived in Abraham Lincoln’s America.

Cover of 'Ohio Canal Era'

Ohio Canal Era
A Case Study of Government and the Economy, 1820–1861
By Harry N. Scheiber
· Foreword by Lawrence M. Friedman

Explores how Ohio — as a “public enterprise state,” creating state agencies and mobilizing public resources for transport innovation and control — led in the process of economic change before the Civil War.

Cover of 'Congress and the Crisis of the 1850s'

Congress and the Crisis of the 1850s
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

During the long decade from 1848 to 1861 America was like a train speeding down the track, without an engineer or brakes. The new territories acquired from Mexico had vastly increased the size of the nation, but debate over their status—and more importantly the status of slavery within them—paralyzed the nation. Southerners gained access to the territories and a draconian fugitive slave law in the Compromise of 1850, but this only exacerbated sectional tensions.

Cover of 'The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV'

The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr., Volume IV
Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau, 1951–1954
By Clarence Mitchell Jr.
· Edited by Denton L. Watson

Volume IV of The Papers of Clarence Mitchell Jr. covers 1951, the year America entered the Korean War, through 1954, when the NAACP won its Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court declared that segregation was discrimination and thus unconstitutional. The decision enabled Mitchell to implement the legislative program that President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights outlined in its landmark 1947 report, To Secure These Rights.