New York: The Triumph of the Common Law

William E. Nelson

in The Common Law in Colonial America

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199937752
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199301539 | DOI:
New York: The Triumph of the Common Law

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New York City was different from the rest of the colony. In the city, the common law began to assume primacy within a year of the English conquest as the lawyers brought by the first governor began to practice in its courts. For a decade Dutch customary law continued to be applied in partnership with the common law, but by the end of the 1670s English law dominated New York City practice. Outside the city Dutch and Puritan law retained their force into the 1680s, but the cataclysmic events of that and the early part of the next decade produced a new judicial system through which the common law became dominant by the early eighteenth century.

Keywords: bar association; Charter of Liberties; common law; Dutch law; Judicature Act

Chapter.  8754 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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