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Shaping the Common LawFrom Glanvill to Hale, 1188-1688$
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Thomas Garden Barnes and Allen D. Boyer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757140

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757140.001.0001

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The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts

The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts

(p.195) Chapter Thirteen The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts
Shaping the Common Law
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the rarest book of the common law, The Book of the General Lawes and Libertyes Concerning the Inhabitants of the Massachusets, published in 1648, which was the first printed compilation of the laws of any English colony, and served as the model for similar efforts elsewhere and subsequent revisions in Massachusetts. It was the first response of colonial oligarchy—and an effective, lasting response—to a basic, popular agitation that can only be characterized as democratic. The book was a document that reflected an English past but promised an American future.

Keywords:   Lawes and Libertyes, common law, English colony, colonial oligarchy

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