Conclusion: The Common Law as Mechanism of Governance

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:
Conclusion: The Common Law as Mechanism of Governance

Show Summary Details


The English Crown had turned to the common law and its lawyers when the Crown's financial straits had left it with neither an army nor a bureaucracy to govern its North American empire. Prior to 1730, the lawyers on the whole served the Crown well. They imposed the common law throughout the Carolinas and Middle Colonies. In large part, they supported English interests and persuaded their clients to do so as well. Although the potential always existed for lawyers to become a center of opposition to established government—which would happen in the American Revolution—legal opposition to government authority rarely occurred prior to 1730.

Keywords: common law; Crown; lawyers; opposition

Chapter.  1178 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.