One focus of this book is to look at the interrelationship between the old Philadelphia upper class and the legal profession. The upper class refers to a group of old Philadelphia families whose members are descendants of financially successful individuals. Through their families, those men have had the means to enter, train in, and practice law. While over the two centuries covered here the percentage of upper class lawyers decreased, their influence for many years continued to surpass their numbers. In 1944, about 10 percent of all lawyers were listed in the Social Register. In the eight largest law firms in the city they accounted for 37 percent of the partners and 23 percent of the associates. But by 1990, their influence was waning: they represented only about two percent of all lawyers in the city. Moreover, in the eight largest law firms in the city, 12 percent of the partners were in the Social Register, but only one percent of the associates. Indeed, with the twenty-first century approaching, the old upper class was - and is - becoming increasingly irrelevant to Philadelphia law. In each chapter, an examination is made of the emerging American legal system and the training and practice of law in a given historical period. Before the Revolution most American law was British law. After the Revolution there were often bitter struggles over the continued use of British common law. Rapidly the British common law was modified, giving way to American common law - and that was the major focus of law up until the Civil War. Following the Civil War and well into the twentieth century the major thrust of law was related to business and industry, especially corporations. By the 1930s there was an increasing focus on Federal Commissions and statute law. Over the decades the training of lawyers underwent change. Until the twentieth century, most lawyers were trained in law offices, and it was only slowly that law schools became the accepted means of legal training. For most of American history, the lawyer practiced alone and often appeared as an advocate in court where his forensic skills were highly valued. For the various historical eras, this study attempts to show how the Philadelphia lawyer lived, some of his values, how he learned the law, and how he practiced it. Anecdotal material is used to illustrate these points whenever possible. Forty-two Philadelphia lawyers were interviewed who, for the most part, had first entered the bar in the 1920s and 1930s. Six modern-day Philadelphia lawyers were interviewed at length, and their insights are presented in the epilogue. Following each chapter there is a profile of a Philadelphia lawyer contemporary to the period discussed. Most of the profiles are of men who, considered outstanding lawyers in their own time, have come to be regarded as outstanding in the history of Philadelphia law.
“This is microhistory at its best. Friederike Baer has selected a single event and brilliantly used it to explore the larger culture and society of the time. With great clarity and insight Baer has investigated multicultural issues of language and the assimilation of immigrants that are as relevant for us today as they were to Americans two centuries ago. This is a very important and timely book.”Gordon S. Wood, Brown UniversityIn the summer of 1816, the state of Pennsylvania tried 59 German-Americans on charges of conspiracy and rioting. The accused had, according to the indictment, conspired to prevent with physical force the introduction of the English language into the largest German church in North America, Philadelphia’s Lutheran congregation of St. Michael’s and Zion. The trial marked the climax of an increasingly violent conflict over language choice in Philadelphia’s German community, with members bitterly divided into those who favored the exclusive use of German in their church, and those who preferred occasional services in English. At trial, witnesses, lawyers, defendants, and the judge explicitly linked language to class, citizenship, patriotism, religion, and violence. Mining many previously unexamined sources, including German-language writings, witness testimonies, and the opinions of prominent legal professionals, Friederike Baer uses legal conflict as a prism through which to explore the significance of language in the early American republic. The Trial of Frederick Eberle reminds us that debates over language have always been about far more than just language. Baer demonstrates that the 1816 trial was not a battle between Americans and immigrants, or German-speakers and English-speakers. Instead, the individuals involved in the case seized and exploited English and German as powerful symbols of competing cultural, economic, and social interests.
Ranging from the founding era to Reconstruction, from the making of the modern state to its post-New Deal limits, John Fabian Witt illuminates the legal and constitutional foundations of American nationhood through the stories of five patriots and critics. In their own way, each of these individuals came up against the power of American national institutions to shape the directions of legal change.
American law in the twentieth century describes the explosion of law over the past century into almost every aspect of American life. Since 1900 the center of legal gravity in the United States has shifted from the state to the federal government, with the creation of agencies and programs ranging from Social Security to the Securities Exchange Commission to the Food and Drug Administration. Major demographic changes have spurred legal developments in such areas as family law and immigration law. Dramatic advances in technology have placed new demands on the legal system in fields ranging from automobile regulation to intellectual property. Throughout the book, Friedman focuses on the social context of American law. He explores the extent to which transformations in the legal order have resulted from the social upheavals of the twentieth century--including two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution. Friedman also discusses the international context of American law: what has the American legal system drawn from other countries? And in an age of global dominance, what impact has the American legal system had abroad? This engrossing book chronicles a century of revolutionary change within a legal system that has come to affect us all.
This twelfth collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist's "On language" column from the "New York Times Magazine" dissects curious coinages, trends, and errors in English usage.
Provides historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes information abstracted from over 2,000 journals published worldwide.
Walter Penn Shipley was crucial to the development of chess in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He organized correspondence chess in the United States in the 1890s, was a talented player and was a friend of world champions and contenders. He served as the president of the Franklin Chess Club in Philadelphia at the height of its power and prestige. This work is a complete biography and games collection of Walter Penn Shipley. It draws from original documents--correspondence with Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Pillsbury and others, detailed Shipley family records--and extensive research conducted in contemporary newspapers, journals and magazines. The book contains approximately 250 games (most of them annotated), with 246 positional diagrams.
Shaping America offers a compelling survey of American history as viewed through the perspective of the United States Supreme Court, concentrating on how the Courtas decisions have shaped American society and how the Court in turn has been affected by prevailing political cultures, strong public attitudes, and several dominating justices. Edward F. Mannino, a practicing trial lawyer and legal historian, analyzes the historical forces that permitted the Court to affect American society profoundly through some 150 decisions organized along chronological and thematic lines. Casting his gaze across the nationas past, he surveys seminal cases in American constitutional history, including Marbury v. Madison, the New Orleans Slaughterhouse Cases, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education, Boumediene v. Bush, and D.C. v. Heller. Mannino takes special interest in cases respecting business and religion in American society and offers concise and objective perspectives on decisions affecting them. Throughout the volume Mannino illustrates the mutual influence the Court and societal forces have on each other, ably demonstrating how Court deliberations affectaand are affected byathe context in which they occur.

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