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American Lawyers: Public Servants and the Development of a Nation

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ISBN: 9781614383031
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The law and the lawyers who both work within it and help define it has always been a reflection of the larger culture of which they are a part. American Lawyers: Public Servants and the Development of a Nation follows the development of the United States from the Founding Fathers through the twentieth century, looking through the eyes of the lawyers who shaped the country as they were shaped by it.

Lawyers played many different roles in the design, development, and maintenance of democratic government in the United States, and American Lawyers contains vignettes of the participation of hundreds of lawyers in diverse events of significance that occurred between 1775 and 2000. Has the American legal profession served the public good as John Adams and George Wythe envisioned? The heroes and antiheroes of this work did not so much develop a jurisprudence as it developed them–this book is an exploration of where our current laws come from, who played a role in creating them, and whether or not these law serve our country's culture in the best way possible.

It was not accidental that every person elected President of the United States before 1920 was a lawyer except for a few military heroes. American Lawyers: Public Servants and the Development of a Nation explores possible causes of some decline in the public roles of lawyers. Are the lawyers of today concerned only with their own personal status and wealth? Throughout history, the worth of private wealth and status has depended on the willingness of many citizens to contribute to the public good shared by all. And in America it is the lawyers who must continue to show the way.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Founding Lawyers: Enthroning Law as King

•   Chapter Two: Founding Lawyers as Partisans: Making the Judiciary

•   Chapter Three: Lawyers Unifying a Nation

•   Chapter Four: Lawyers for Equal Rights for All Citizens

•   Chapter Five: Lawyers and the Issue of Slavery

•   Chapter Six: Lawyers at War with One Another

•   Chapter Seven: Lawyers Reconstructing the South

•   Chapter Eight: Lawyers and the "Search for Order"

•   Chapter Nine: Lawyers Competing for Status: Law as Science?

•   Chapter Ten: Lawyers Organizing Their Profession

•   Chapter Eleven: Lawyers for Social Progress

•   Chapter Twelve: Exporting Progress: Lawyers as Missionaries

•   Chapter Thirteen: Progress on a National Scale

•   Chapter Fourteen: Progress Interrupted

•   Chapter Fifteen: Institutional Reforms

•   Chapter Sixteen: Lawyers in the New Deal

•   Chapter Seventeen: Patriotic Lawyers

•   Chapter Eighteen: Lawyers Seeking World Peace

•   Chapter Nineteen: The Cold War: Lawyers and Loyalties

•   Chapter Twenty: Civil Rights Lawyers

•   Chapter Twenty-one: Lawyers for Civil Liberties and "The Great Society"

•   Chapter Twenty-two: Private Lawyers Enforcing Public Law

•   Chapter Twenty-three: Lawyers as Human Capitalists

•   Chapter Twenty-four: Lawyers Deterring Public Disorder

•   Chapter Twenty-five: Lawyers in Disorder: Watergate

•   Chapter Twenty-six: New Law Governing Lawyers and Legal Institutions

•   Epilogue