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A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights by Laura F. Edwards (review)

A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights by Laura F. Edwards (review) A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights. By Laura F. Edwards. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. 212. Cloth, $80.00; paper, $29.99.) In this important work of synthesis and interpretation, Laura Edwards argues that the Civil War transformed the American legal order. Transcending traditional scholarship that, beginning with the Dunning school, focused on the legal changes brought about by the war at the federal level, Edwards offers a more nuanced account that acknowledges that "legal change not only flowed from above, but also welled up from below" (6). Examining the legal history of both the Union and the Confederacy, while also incorporating the postwar West into her analysis, Edwards contends that the war changed the relationship between the people and their government. As the federal government expanded rights during Reconstruction, in Edwards's telling, African Americans, women, and working people attempted to give their own meaning to the rights revolution, as they sought to expand the meanings of the Reconstruction Amendments into a broad new vision for society. Edwards divides her study into two parts, the first of which deals with legal change during the war years. In these chapters, Edwards covers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights by Laura F. Edwards (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 6 (3) – Aug 18, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807
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Abstract

A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights. By Laura F. Edwards. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. 212. Cloth, $80.00; paper, $29.99.) In this important work of synthesis and interpretation, Laura Edwards argues that the Civil War transformed the American legal order. Transcending traditional scholarship that, beginning with the Dunning school, focused on the legal changes brought about by the war at the federal level, Edwards offers a more nuanced account that acknowledges that "legal change not only flowed from above, but also welled up from below" (6). Examining the legal history of both the Union and the Confederacy, while also incorporating the postwar West into her analysis, Edwards contends that the war changed the relationship between the people and their government. As the federal government expanded rights during Reconstruction, in Edwards's telling, African Americans, women, and working people attempted to give their own meaning to the rights revolution, as they sought to expand the meanings of the Reconstruction Amendments into a broad new vision for society. Edwards divides her study into two parts, the first of which deals with legal change during the war years. In these chapters, Edwards covers

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 18, 2016

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