Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The American Revolution gave birth to a republic that would be shaped profoundly by law—specifically, by a revolution in the law. Conceived during the first revolution, Republican law was molded by the second. In the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville identified “the spirit of the law” abroad in the republic as an outward—and more importantly a downward—emanation. He was describing what republican law had become, rather than its origins. A legal culture that no longer stood alongside “the people themselves” but over them supplanted what is termed the “exuberant legalism” of the American Revolution. The dominant law of the Revolution was Whig law, the lex loci of the colonies. This chapter examines law in the American Revolution, republican law, legal localism, the science of law, and the science of government.

Keywords: American Revolution, republican law, legal localism, science of law, science of government, spirit of law, Alexis de Tocqueville, exuberant legalism, Whig law

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.