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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Historical jurisprudence first arose in the German romantic era in the early nineteenth century and lasted until it was gradually superseded by the sociological turn in legal thought between the 1880s and the First World War. There were some notable publications even after 1914, but they were an aftermath, mostly collecting or reprinting earlier work. By 1920, historical jurisprudence was legal history. This chapter first looks at historical jurisprudence in its various iterations; it was not only a German, but an international phenomenon. It then describes the work done by its adherents, in particular their purposes, objects, and approaches. In addition, a proper understanding of historical jurisprudence requires recognition of its political implications. The conclusion reflects upon the legitimacy of instrumentalizing legal history for current agendas.

Keywords: legal history, historical jurisprudence, Germany, romantic era, Roman law, Savigny, John Adams, laissez faire

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