John Locke is often cited as the main influence on the political philosophy of the Founding Fathers during the American Revolution, and in the realm of law, that same position was held by Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780).
After studying law, Blackstone became an accomplished barrister, rising so far as to become a patron of King George III. But he left his true mark on legal philosophy by writing at length about English Common Law, which set the precedents for law in the United States. By his early 30s, Blackstone published An Analysis of the Laws of England in 1756, which was immensely popular throughout the British Empire.
Eventually Blackstone set out to establish a comprehensive overview of English law, which he did with his massive 4 book Commentaries on the Laws of England, a tome that is still cited about a dozen times a year by the U.S. Supreme Court. Blackstone’s work was crucial to the development of American legal ideas like “innocent until proven guilty”, and it guided the likes of John Jay, John Marshall, and Banjamin Franklin.
In Book 2, Of Public Wrongs, Blackstone explains the elements of various crimes and the criminal legal procedures used to try and decide criminal cases. Blackstone also explains concepts like intent, as well as principals and accessories. All of these concepts still form the backbone of criminal law and criminal procedure in the United States and other Western nations today. Blackstone finishes the work by summarizing the entire Commentaries and including an Appendix at the end.
This edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England: Book 4, Of Public Wrongs is specially formatted with a Table of Contents and images of Blackstone, his life and work.
|Publisher:||Charles River Editors|
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|File size:||2 MB|