Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865

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Overview

Freedom Bound is about the origins of modern America - a history of colonizing, work, and civic identity from the beginnings of English presence on the mainland until the Civil War. It is a history of migrants and migrations, of colonizers and colonized, of households and servitude and slavery, and of the freedom all craved and some found. Above all it is a history of the law that framed the entire process. Freedom Bound tells how colonies were planted in occupied territories, how they were populated with migrants - free and unfree - to do the work of colonizing, and how the newcomers secured possession. It tells of the new civic lives that seemed possible in new commonwealths, and of the constraints that kept many from enjoying them. It follows the story long past the end of the eighteenth century until the American Civil War, when - just for a moment - it seemed that freedom might finally be unbound.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Freedom Bound illuminates and rewrites what the book marks off as a long foundational moment-a moving equilibrium a quarter of a millennium long-in early English American history. Through the lens of land and labor, Christopher Tomlins's text makes a case for the essential unity of this period with analytic reach, moral force, and literary sensitivity, extending across an expanse of enormous spatial and cultural diversity."  Julia Adams, William & Mary Quarterly

"Tomlins is not the first person to write about the history of law that way. But I think he is more articulate than others have been in explaining exactly what he is doing and why he is doing it. It is this clarity of his method that I find especially valuable." -Stuart Banner, William and Mary Quarterly

"Freedom Bound should - and I very much hope will - revolutionize the way we think about the history of American law and American history generally."  Peter Onuf, Journal of Legal Education

"... a magisterial synthesis and a work of original research, this brilliant, Bancroft Prize-winning volume has much to say about the complexities of law and colonialism, but it also broadens our understanding of law and legal culture in general."  James D.  Schmidt, American Historical Review

" Freedom Bound ... is long and complex.  But it is worth the effort.  The work is suffused with an extraordinary and subtle sensibility; and there are even flashes of downright poetry.  This is an important book.  Awesome, in fact.  And also enriching: a real contribution."  Lawrence M. Friedman, Law and Politics Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521137775
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 636
  • Sales rank: 1,043,894
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Tomlins is currently Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine, on leave from the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, where he has been a Research Professor since 1992. Tomlins began his career at La Trobe University in Melbourne; he has also taught at the Marshall-Wythe Law School, College of William and Mary in Virginia; at Northwestern University Law School; and at Tel Aviv and Haifa Universities in Israel. His interests and research are cast very broadly - from sixteenth-century England to twentieth-century America and from the legal culture of work and labor to the interrelations of law and literature. He has written or edited six books, including, most recently, the multi-volume Cambridge History of Law in America, co-edited with Michael Grossberg. His publications have been awarded the Surrency Prize of the American Society for Legal History, the Littleton–Griswold Prize of the American Historical Association and the Hurst Prize of the Law and Society Association. Tomlins currently edits two Cambridge University Press book series: Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society and Cambridge New Histories of American Law (with Michael Grossberg).

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Table of Contents

Tables and Figures xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Prologue Beginning: "As much freedome in reason as may be …" 1

Part I Manning, Planting, Keeping

1 Manning: "Setteynge many on Worke" 216

2 Planting: "Directed and Conducted Thither" 67

3 Keeping (i): Discourses of Intrusion 93

4 Keeping (ii): English Desires, Designs 133

Part II Poly-Olbion; or The Inside Narrative

5 Packing: New Inhabitants 193

6 Unpacking: Received Wisdoms of Law and Work 231

7 Changing: Localities, Legalities 296

Part III "What, then, is the American, this new man?"

8 Modernizing: Polity, Economy, Patriarchy 335

9 Enslaving: Facies Hippocratica 401

10 Ending: "Strange Order of Things!" 509

Appendices to Chapter I 571

Index 599

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