The Legalist Reformation: Law, Politics, and Ideology in New York, 1920-1980 / Edition 1

The Legalist Reformation: Law, Politics, and Ideology in New York, 1920-1980 / Edition 1

by William E. Nelson
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0807825913

ISBN-13: 9780807825914

Pub. Date: 03/12/2001

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

Based on a detailed examination of New York case law, this pathbreaking book shows how law, politics, and ideology in the state changed in tandem between 1920 and 1980. Early twentieth-century New York was the scene of intense struggle between white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant upper and middle classes located primarily in the upstate region and the impoverished,

Overview

Based on a detailed examination of New York case law, this pathbreaking book shows how law, politics, and ideology in the state changed in tandem between 1920 and 1980. Early twentieth-century New York was the scene of intense struggle between white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant upper and middle classes located primarily in the upstate region and the impoverished, mainly Jewish and Roman Catholic, immigrant underclass centered in New York City. Beginning in the 1920s, however, judges such as Benjamin N. Cardozo, Henry J. Friendly, Learned Hand, and Harlan Fiske Stone used law to facilitate the entry of the underclass into the economic and social mainstream and to promote tolerance among all New Yorkers.

Ultimately, says William Nelson, a new legal ideology was created. By the late 1930s, New Yorkers had begun to reconceptualize social conflict not along class lines but in terms of the power of majorities and the rights of minorities. In the process, they constructed a new approach to law and politics. Though doctrinal change began to slow by the 1960s, the main ambitions of the legalist reformation—liberty, equality, human dignity, and entrepreneurial opportunity—remain the aspirations of nearly all Americans, and of much of the rest of the world, today.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807825914
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
03/12/2001
Series:
Studies in Legal History Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
472
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.29(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I. Conservatives and Reformers
Chapter 1. 1922
Chapter 2. The Conservative Agenda: Protecting Property and Preserving Morality
Chapter 3. The Reform Agenda: Preventing Exploitation and Providing Opportunity
Chapter 4. Conservatives versus Reformers: The Ongoing Juridical Conflict

Part II. The Legalist Reformation
Chapter 5. 1938
Chapter 6. Gradual Assimilation as a Constitutional Mechanism for Ending Inequality
Chapter 7. Gradual Assimilation as an Economic Mechanism for Ending Inequality
Chapter 8. The Prevention of Injury
Chapter 9. Liberty and Sexuality
Chapter 10. Liberty and the Family
Chapter 11. The Growth of Distrust

Part III. The Endurance of Legalism and the End of Reform
Chapter 12. 1968
Chapter 13. Gender Equity
Chapter 14. Equality for Underdogs: Race, Religion, Sexuality, and Poverty
Chapter 15. Bureaucracy
Chapter 16. Enterprise and Efficiency

Epilogue: A Golden Anniversary
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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