Republican Law, 1770-1830 (English)

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Recorded on Monday, March 21, 2011.

This Chancellor's Chair Lecture addresses the expressive legalism of the American Revolution and explains how it turned into a legal culture that ceased to stand in imaginative solidarity with “the people themselves.” Republican law lived in a contradiction between a revolutionary people imbued with law as imaginative possibility, and a constituted polity whose law defined the limits of imaginative political action. As the republic matured, the tension between its two formative revolutions became ever more apparent in its legal order. Eventually, those tensions would contribute their mite to the great unraveling that would end in another civil war.

Christopher Tomlins joined the faculty of UC Irvine’s Law School in July 2009. He came from Chicago, where for 17 years he was a Research Professor on the faculty of the American Bar Foundation. Tomlins has taught at universities across the globe and has degrees from Oxford University and the University of Sussex, and a PhD in History from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a legal historian with wide-ranging interests, and has written or edited six books, the most recent of which is Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865, published in 2010.

Chancellor's Chairs are endowed positions awarded to a very small number of UCI professors across the campus who demonstrate unusual academic merit.

Christopher Tomlins
Chancellor's Professor
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Chancellor's Chair Lecture: "Republican Law, 1770-1830" by Christopher Tomlins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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