American Legal History

Expansion, Transformation, and the Release of Energy

The newly independent empire of the United States in its explosive, expansionist phase was organized by law built around what Willard Hurst called "the release of energy principle." In this section of the course we consider that regime and its effects.


Access materials on the [Course Readings] page.


From the Notebooks of Judge Thomas Rodney of the Mississippi Territory


Law and the Conditions of Freedom in the Nineteenth-Century United States (Wisconsin Press 1956)

Morton J. Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860 (Harvard 1977):

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3

Notes and Materials




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r6 - 29 Aug 2012 - 21:55:19 - IanSullivan
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