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Other titles in the Studies in Legal History series:

The People's Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century America (Studies in Legal History)

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The People's Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century America (Studies in Legal History) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Much of today's political rhetoric decries the welfare state and our maze of government regulations. Critics hark back to a time before the state intervened so directly in citizens' lives. In The People's Welfare, William Novak refutes this vision of a stateless past by documenting America's long history of government regulation in the areas of public safety, political economy, public property, morality, and public health. Challenging the myth of American individualism, Novak recovers a distinctive nineteenth-century commitment to shared obligations and public duties in a well-regulated society.

Novak explores the by-laws, ordinances, statutes, and common law restrictions that regulated almost every aspect of America's society and economy, including fire regulations, inspection and licensing rules, fair marketplace laws, the moral policing of prostitution and drunkenness, and health and sanitary codes. Based on a reading of more than one thousand court cases in addition to the leading legal and political texts of the nineteenth century, The People's Welfare demonstrates the deep roots of regulation in America and offers a startling reinterpretation of the history of American governance.

About the Author

William J. Novak is associate professor of history at the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

Introduction: Governance, Police, and American Liberal Mythology

Chapter 1. The Common Law Vision of a Well-Regulated Society

Chapter 2. Public Safety: Fire and the Relative Right of Property

Chapter 3. Public Economy: The Well-Ordered Market

Chapter 4. Public Ways: The Legal Construction of Public Space

Chapter 5. Public Morality: Disorderly Houses and Demon Rum

Chapter 6. Public Health: Quarantine, Noxious Trades, and Medical Police

Conclusion: The Invention of American Constitutional Law

Notes

Select Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807846117
Author:
Novak, William J.
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Author:
Novak, William J.
Location:
Chapel Hill :
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
U.S. Government
Subject:
Law
Subject:
Legal System
Subject:
Law -- United States -- History.
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
American History; history of politics;
Subject:
American history
Subject:
history of politics
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Studies in Legal History Paperback
Series Volume:
104-237
Publication Date:
December 1996
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
408
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Crime » Enforcement and Investigation
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Research

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