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The People and Their Peace
Author: Laura F. Edwards

ISBN: 9780807859322
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 17 August 2009
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6 x 2.5
Description:
In the half-century following the Revolutionary War, the logic of inequality underwent a profound transformation within the southern legal system. Drawing on extensive archival research in North and South Carolina, Laura F. Edwards illuminates those changes by revealing the importance of localized legal practice.

Edwards shows that following the Revolution, the intensely local legal system favored maintaining the "peace," a concept intended to protect the social order and its patriarchal hierarchies. Ordinary people, rather than legal professionals and political leaders, were central to its workings. Those without rights-- even slaves-- had influence within the system because of their positions of subordination, not in spite of them. By the 1830s, however, state leaders had secured support for a more centralized system that excluded people who were not specifically granted individual rights, including women, African Americans, and the poor. Edwards concludes that the emphasis on rights affirmed and restructured existing patriarchal inequalities, giving them new life within state law with implications that affected all Americans.

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