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Building the JudiciaryLaw, Courts, and the Politics of Institutional Development$
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Justin Crowe

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152936

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152936.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Civil War and Reconstruction

The Civil War and Reconstruction


(p.132) Chapter Four The Civil War and Reconstruction
Building the Judiciary

Justin Crowe

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the empowerment of the federal judiciary from the Compromise of 1850 (admitting California into the Union as a free state and unofficially signifying the beginning of the political crisis leading to the Civil War) to the Compromise of 1877 (settling the disputed 1876 presidential election between Samuel J. Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes and representing the formal end of Reconstruction). The chapter asks why judicial institution building was pursued, how it was accomplished, and what it achieved within the context of mid-nineteenth century American politics. It examines the role of Republicans in Civil War and Reconstruction era institution building and how it resulted in a significant expansion of federal judicial power. It also considers the four stages in which the substantial empowerment of the judiciary occurred during the period, including the consolidation of a Republican-friendly Supreme Court through ameliorative reforms aimed at specific problems of judicial performance.

Keywords:   federal judiciary, Compromise of 1850, Compromise of 1877, judicial institution building, Civil War, Reconstruction, Republicans, judicial power, Supreme Court, judicial performance

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