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In these essays J. Willard Hurst shows the correlation between the conception of individual freedom and the application of law in the nineteenth-century United States—how individuals sought to use law to increase both their personal freedom and their opportunities for personal growth. These essays in jurisprudence and legal history are also a contribution to the study of social and intellectual history in the United States, to political science, and to economics as it concerns the role of public policy in our economy. The nonlawyer will find in them demonstration of how "technicalities" express deep issues of social values.