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The Evolution of a NationHow Geography and Law Shaped the American States$
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Daniel Berkowitz and Karen B. Clay

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691136042

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691136042.001.0001

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Legal Initial Conditions

Legal Initial Conditions

(p.16) Chapter 2 Legal Initial Conditions
The Evolution of a Nation

Daniel Berkowitz

Karen B. Clay

Princeton University Press

THIS CHAPTER EXAMINES colonial legal systems and their effects on the balance of power between the state legislature and the state high court. It argues that the balance of power is important because it determines the extent to which the state high court can act as a constraint on the legislature and the elites more broadly. Establishing and maintaining an appropriate balance of power has been and remains a critical issue at both the state and the federal levels. Thus, the chapter conducts a detailed examination of the settlement history and historical operation of courts in what would become the American states.

Keywords:   balance of power, colonial legal systems, settlement history, court operation, state legislature, state high court

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