Legal communications and imperial governance: British North America and Spanish America compared

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Strategies and practices for the communication of law were vital to England’s capacity to govern its North American colonies. A diverse array of mechanisms for exchange of legal information characterized the expanding English empire – Crown instructions to governors, Privy Council review of colonial legislation and appellate cases, petitioning, the stationing of colony agents in London and royal officials in America, the training or immigration of lawyers, the transmission of information through lobbying and interest groups, the discussion of law in congregations and universities, and publication by the linked media of print, manuscript, and speech. Here I use the protean concept of “legal communications” to bundle together several distinguishable practices both to achieve breadth and to demonstrate their interrelationships. In what ways did legal communications in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglo-American world affect imperial governance? First, the strengthening of English oversight of the colonies after the Restoration required the cultivation of an assortment of legal communications techniques. We are already quite familiar with the general growth and functioning of imperial institutions and trans-Atlantic politics that this entailed. Here, I explore the variety of different roles that legal communications played in tying the empire together administratively and intellectually. This exploration provides the basis for the chapter’s second and more extensive part, which advances the main argument. In that second part, we see that the empire’s communications practices actually had a double nature. Although they facilitated greater imperial oversight, they also inadvertently shielded a significant measure of local control and diversity in the colonial legal systems themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Law in America
Subtitle of host publicationEarly America (1580-1815)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages104-143
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9781139054171
ISBN (Print)9780521803052
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

Fingerprint

Communication
British North America
Spanish America
Governance
Colonies
Immigration
Congregations
Lobbying
Legislation
Governor
American Colonies
Legal System
Bundle
Interrelationship
Lawyers
Manuscripts
Transatlantic
Strengthening
Nature
Interest Groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Ross, R. J. (2008). Legal communications and imperial governance: British North America and Spanish America compared. In The Cambridge History of Law in America: Early America (1580-1815) (pp. 104-143). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521803052.005

Legal communications and imperial governance : British North America and Spanish America compared. / Ross, Richard J.

The Cambridge History of Law in America: Early America (1580-1815). Cambridge University Press, 2008. p. 104-143.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Ross, RJ 2008, Legal communications and imperial governance: British North America and Spanish America compared. in The Cambridge History of Law in America: Early America (1580-1815). Cambridge University Press, pp. 104-143. https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521803052.005
Ross RJ. Legal communications and imperial governance: British North America and Spanish America compared. In The Cambridge History of Law in America: Early America (1580-1815). Cambridge University Press. 2008. p. 104-143 https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521803052.005
Ross, Richard J. / Legal communications and imperial governance : British North America and Spanish America compared. The Cambridge History of Law in America: Early America (1580-1815). Cambridge University Press, 2008. pp. 104-143
@inbook{87f5b0718073484c8d39596db64b8414,
title = "Legal communications and imperial governance: British North America and Spanish America compared",
abstract = "Strategies and practices for the communication of law were vital to England’s capacity to govern its North American colonies. A diverse array of mechanisms for exchange of legal information characterized the expanding English empire – Crown instructions to governors, Privy Council review of colonial legislation and appellate cases, petitioning, the stationing of colony agents in London and royal officials in America, the training or immigration of lawyers, the transmission of information through lobbying and interest groups, the discussion of law in congregations and universities, and publication by the linked media of print, manuscript, and speech. Here I use the protean concept of “legal communications” to bundle together several distinguishable practices both to achieve breadth and to demonstrate their interrelationships. In what ways did legal communications in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglo-American world affect imperial governance? First, the strengthening of English oversight of the colonies after the Restoration required the cultivation of an assortment of legal communications techniques. We are already quite familiar with the general growth and functioning of imperial institutions and trans-Atlantic politics that this entailed. Here, I explore the variety of different roles that legal communications played in tying the empire together administratively and intellectually. This exploration provides the basis for the chapter’s second and more extensive part, which advances the main argument. In that second part, we see that the empire’s communications practices actually had a double nature. Although they facilitated greater imperial oversight, they also inadvertently shielded a significant measure of local control and diversity in the colonial legal systems themselves.",
author = "Ross, {Richard J.}",
year = "2008",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1017/CHOL9780521803052.005",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9780521803052",
pages = "104--143",
booktitle = "The Cambridge History of Law in America",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
address = "United States",

}

TY - CHAP

T1 - Legal communications and imperial governance

T2 - British North America and Spanish America compared

AU - Ross, Richard J.

PY - 2008/1/1

Y1 - 2008/1/1

N2 - Strategies and practices for the communication of law were vital to England’s capacity to govern its North American colonies. A diverse array of mechanisms for exchange of legal information characterized the expanding English empire – Crown instructions to governors, Privy Council review of colonial legislation and appellate cases, petitioning, the stationing of colony agents in London and royal officials in America, the training or immigration of lawyers, the transmission of information through lobbying and interest groups, the discussion of law in congregations and universities, and publication by the linked media of print, manuscript, and speech. Here I use the protean concept of “legal communications” to bundle together several distinguishable practices both to achieve breadth and to demonstrate their interrelationships. In what ways did legal communications in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglo-American world affect imperial governance? First, the strengthening of English oversight of the colonies after the Restoration required the cultivation of an assortment of legal communications techniques. We are already quite familiar with the general growth and functioning of imperial institutions and trans-Atlantic politics that this entailed. Here, I explore the variety of different roles that legal communications played in tying the empire together administratively and intellectually. This exploration provides the basis for the chapter’s second and more extensive part, which advances the main argument. In that second part, we see that the empire’s communications practices actually had a double nature. Although they facilitated greater imperial oversight, they also inadvertently shielded a significant measure of local control and diversity in the colonial legal systems themselves.

AB - Strategies and practices for the communication of law were vital to England’s capacity to govern its North American colonies. A diverse array of mechanisms for exchange of legal information characterized the expanding English empire – Crown instructions to governors, Privy Council review of colonial legislation and appellate cases, petitioning, the stationing of colony agents in London and royal officials in America, the training or immigration of lawyers, the transmission of information through lobbying and interest groups, the discussion of law in congregations and universities, and publication by the linked media of print, manuscript, and speech. Here I use the protean concept of “legal communications” to bundle together several distinguishable practices both to achieve breadth and to demonstrate their interrelationships. In what ways did legal communications in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglo-American world affect imperial governance? First, the strengthening of English oversight of the colonies after the Restoration required the cultivation of an assortment of legal communications techniques. We are already quite familiar with the general growth and functioning of imperial institutions and trans-Atlantic politics that this entailed. Here, I explore the variety of different roles that legal communications played in tying the empire together administratively and intellectually. This exploration provides the basis for the chapter’s second and more extensive part, which advances the main argument. In that second part, we see that the empire’s communications practices actually had a double nature. Although they facilitated greater imperial oversight, they also inadvertently shielded a significant measure of local control and diversity in the colonial legal systems themselves.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84928353133&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84928353133&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/CHOL9780521803052.005

DO - 10.1017/CHOL9780521803052.005

M3 - Chapter

AN - SCOPUS:84928353133

SN - 9780521803052

SP - 104

EP - 143

BT - The Cambridge History of Law in America

PB - Cambridge University Press

ER -