Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865

Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865

Language: English

Pages: 636

ISBN: 0521137772

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Freedom Bound is about the origins of modern America - a history of colonizing, work, and civic identity from the beginnings of English presence on the mainland until the Civil War. It is a history of migrants and migrations, of colonizers and colonized, of households and servitude and slavery, and of the freedom all craved and some found. Above all it is a history of the law that framed the entire process. Freedom Bound tells how colonies were planted in occupied territories, how they were populated with migrants - free and unfree - to do the work of colonizing, and how the newcomers secured possession. It tells of the new civic lives that seemed possible in new commonwealths, and of the constraints that kept many from enjoying them. It follows the story long past the end of the eighteenth century until the American Civil War, when - just for a moment - it seemed that freedom might finally be unbound.

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This page intentionally left blank Advance Praise for FR EEDOM BOUND “Freedom Bound is a truly magisterial work by one of the finest minds currently working in the field of legal history. It is about no less a topic than the origins of modern America – and, in particular, about the law that framed its genesis and its early development. In this exceptionally erudite study, Christopher Tomlins succeeds in achieving an unusual ‘thickness’ of description, notable alike for its breadth and depth,

affirme, and it is likely to be true, that these Sauages haue no particular proprietie in any part or parcell of that Countrey, but only a generall residencie there.” Nor would collective cultivation suffice to create property rights in the collective (“things were the property of individuals”53 ). Only individual transformative acts counted. Hence Gray could conclude, because “there is not meum ortuum amongest them” – that is, no observable practice of individuated property right – “if the whole

Change in Early Modern England, 1550–1640 (New York, 2002), 58–9. Ibid., 51, 168. See “An Acte for punishment of Rogues Vagabondes and Sturdy Beggars” 39 Eliz. c 4 (1597), clause xv; “An Acte for the Punishment of Vagabondes, and for Releif of the Poore & Impotent” 14 Eliz. c 5 (1572), clause ii. Hindle,State and Social Change , 26, 37–65, 146–75. Bailyn, Voyagers to the West , 52. Richard Hakluyt (the younger), Preface toDivers Voyages , in Taylor, ed.,Original Writings and Correspondence , I,

law that had been formulated according to the limits specified, and through the jurisdictional structures described, in the charters granting permission to proceed with settlements. Conclusion Through the device of the charter or royal letter patent, English law granted migrants permission to depart, created apparatuses of governance to receive and rule them on arrival, and assured them status as legal persons (subjects, denizens) within the king’s dominions. Together, English statutes and those

Employment Relation in English and American Law and Culture, 1350–1870 (Chapel Hill, 1991), 3–5; Farley Grubb, “Does Bound Labour Have to be Coerced Labour? The Case of Colonial Immigrant Servitude versus Craft Apprenticeship and Life-Cycle Servitude-in-Husbandry,” Itinerario , 21, 1 (1997), 29; Karen Orren, Belated Feudalism: Labor, the Law, and Liberal Development in the United States (Cambridge and New York, 1991), 4. McCusker and Menard,The Economy of British America , 246. My analysis of

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