Building a Revolutionary State: The Legal Transformation of New York, 1776-1783 (American Beginnings, 1500-1900) (Paperback)
Building a Revolutionary State looks closely at one state, New York, to understand the broader question of how legal structures emerged from an insurgency. By examining law as New Yorkers experienced it in daily life during the war, Pashman reconstructs a world of revolutionary law that prevailed during America’s transition to independence. In doing so, Pashman explores a central paradox of the revolutionary era: aggressive enforcement of partisan property rules actually had stabilizing effects that allowed insurgents to build legal institutions that enjoyed popular support. Tracing the transformation from revolutionary disorder to legal order, Building a New Revolutionary State gives us a radically fresh way to understand the emergence of new states.
About the Author
“Building a Revolutionary State is a refreshingly eye-opening book about a wrinkle in American history long overlooked. It’s a testament to dogged research and to a willingness to synthesize a great amount of disparate data to find a new framework for understanding this early moment in the life of the nation. Beyond that, it opens the door for other works to delve deeper into this and other data and to look farther afield at how the process has worked or not worked in other revolutions. In other words, the insurgents in America stumbled on this solution to many of their problems. How have insurgents elsewhere fared?”
— Patrick T. Reardon, author of Requiem for David and former urban affairs writer for the Chicago Tribune
— Ajay K. Mehrotra, Northwestern University
— Bruce H. Mann, Harvard University