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The American Legal History Podcast

Jul 26, 2020

In episode nine we will explore the fascinating but often neglected topic of the influence of Amerindians on the law. We will discuss why the English gained supremacy along the North American coast at the expense of other European powers; how "virgin soil epidemics" devastated indigenous peoples throughout the New World;...


Jun 20, 2020

In episode eight we will continue our examination of the law in early Colonial America. First, we will examine the trial and banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony of Anne Hutchinson in 1637. Next, we will discuss one of the strangest episodes in American legal history, the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Last,...


May 23, 2020

In this episode we will explore the motivations for the founding of colonies in British North America; how their corporate charters served as a template for the organization of their governments; the highly coercive legal system initiated in Jamestown to control the immigrants; the Massachusetts Bay Colony, its founding,...


Apr 4, 2020

In Episode Six, Part II, on the birth of the Common Law in Medieval England, we will discuss the origins, legal significance, and enduring legacy of "Magna Charta." In addition, we will examine the abolition of the "ordeals" as the principle method of determining the guilt or innocence of those accused of major crimes,...


Mar 2, 2020

In the first of two episodes we will explore the origins and growth of the common law in Medieval England. First, we will attempt the difficult task of defining the common law; then we will take a big picture view of English society in the 10th and 11th century,  the feudal system and its influence on the common law....