(Source: University of Chicago Press)
University of Chicago Press has just published a book on the legal transformation of New York during the Revolutionary War.
ABOUT THE BOOK
How does a popular uprising transform itself from the disorder of revolution into a legal system that carries out the daily administration required to govern? Americans faced this question during the Revolution as colonial legal structures collapsed under the period’s disorder. Yet by the end of the war, Americans managed to rebuild their courts and legislatures, imbuing such institutions with an authority that was widely respected. This remarkable transformation came about in unexpected ways. Howard Pashman here studies the surprising role played by property redistribution—seizing it from Loyalists and transferring it to supporters of independence—in the reconstruction of legal order during the Revolutionary War.
Building a Revolutionary State looks closely at one state, New York, to understand the broader question of how legal structures emerged from an insurgency. By examining law as New Yorkers experienced it in daily life during the war, Pashman reconstructs a world of revolutionary law that prevailed during America’s transition to independence. In doing so, Pashman explores a central paradox of the revolutionary era: aggressive enforcement of partisan property rules actually had stabilizing effects that allowed insurgents to build legal institutions that enjoyed popular support. Tracing the transformation from revolutionary disorder to legal order, Building a New Revolutionary State gives us a radically fresh way to understand the emergence of new states.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Howard Pashman is an associate attorney at Karlin Associates, LLC in Chicago. He was a research fellow at the Indiana University Center on the Global Legal Profession.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Law and Property in Colonial New York
2. Confronting Disorder
3. A Bonanza of Tory Goods
4. The Enemies of the State
More information with the publisher