The History of Michigan Law

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Paul Finkelman, Martin J. Hershock, Clifford W. Taylor
Ohio University Press, 2006 - 290 pages
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The History of Michigan Law offers the first serious survey of Michigan's rich legal past. Michigan was among the first states to admit African-Americans and women to its law schools and was the first governmental entity to abolish the death penalty. Additionally, the state, unlike its midwestern neighbors, did not enact racial exclusion laws in the post-Civil War era. Michigan has also played a leading role in developing modern rape laws, in protecting the environment, and in assuring the right to counsel for those accused of crimes. The story of Michigan's legal development includes high profile cases such as the Dr. Ossian Sweet murder trial, the cross-district busing case Milliken v. Bradley, and the affirmative action cases brought against the University of Michigan Law School.The History of Michigan Law documents and analyzes, as well, Michigan legal develpments in environmental history, civil rights, and women's history. This book will serve as the entry point for all future studies that involve the law in Michigan. With 2005 marking the bicentennial of the establishment of the Michigan Supreme Court, as well as the bicentennial of the creation of the Michigan Territory, The History of Michigan Law has appeal beyond the legal community to scholars and students of American history. ABOUT THE EDITORS---Martin Hershock is an associate professor of history at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is author of The Paradox of Progress: Economic Change, Individual Enterprise and Political Culture in Michigan, 1837-1878 (Ohio, 2003) Paul Finkelman is Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He is the author of many articles and books, including His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid and the Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference.
 

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Contents

THE NORTHWEST ORDINANCE AND MICHIGANS TERRITORIAL HERITAGE
13
BLOOD ON THE TRACKS
37
AN OCCASIONALLY DRY STATE SURROUNDED BY WATER
61
A BEACON OF LIBERTY ON THE GREAT LAKES
83
DEFERENCE TO DEMOCRACY
108
THE FOUR MICHIGAN CONSTITUTIONS
126
RUIN AND RECOVERY
148
170 YEARS OF A BALANCING ACT
167
THE PROMISE OF EQUALITY AND THE LIMITS OF LAW
187
METHODS OF MYSTICISM AND THE INDUSTRIAL ORDER
214
THE MICHIGAN WOMENS COMMISSION AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SEX DISCRIMINATION IN THE 1970S
238
LEGAL EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN
256
CONTRIBUTORS
277
INDEX
281
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Page 1 - The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed.

About the author (2006)

The History of Michigan Law offers the first serious survey of Michigan's rich legal past. Michigan legislators have played a leading role in developing modern civil rights law, protecting the environment, and assuring the right to counsel for those accused of crimes. Michigan was the first jurisdiction in the English-speaking world to abolish the death penalty. As the state industrialized, its legal system responded to the competing demands and interests of farmers, railroads, entrepreneurs, and workers.

Michigan was a beacon of liberty for fugitive slaves and free blacks before the Civil War and an early leader in the adoption of laws to protect civil rights and prohibit discrimination after that conflict. The state was the site of the Ossian Sweet murder trial, which illustrated the tensions in Michigan between law and popular ideology. The History of Michigan Law documents and analyzes these legal developments and others, including the history of labor law, women's rights, and legal education.

This landmark volume will serve as the entry point for all future studies that involve law and society in Michigan and will be invaluable in the comparative study of state law. As the Michigan Supreme Court enters its third century, The History of Michigan Law has relevance beyond the legal community, for scholars and students of American history.

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