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Legal History

2012

Anat Rosenberg

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Liberalism Unsettled: Freedom And Status In The Promise Of Marriage, Anat Rosenberg Feb 2012

Liberalism Unsettled: Freedom And Status In The Promise Of Marriage, Anat Rosenberg

Anat Rosenberg

This paper examines the tension between freedom and subjection under liberalism; but, rather than emphasize either side of the binary, my aim is to articulate the terms of duality, and provide an account of the social life of liberal thought. To do so, I revisit the nineteenth-century promise of marriage. The promise of marriage represented a conceptual fusion of the liberal ideals of contract and sentiment, central to rise of the free market and the conjugal family, and of the counterforces of status – particularly gender and class. While the former marshaled the hope of free will as a new basis ...


Classical Contract Law, Past And Present, Anat Rosenberg Feb 2012

Classical Contract Law, Past And Present, Anat Rosenberg

Anat Rosenberg

This paper synthesizes and refocuses a wide range of histories of nineteenth-century contract law. It uncovers an inadvertent consensus among historians: despite significant controversies engaging rival historical schools of contract law, it is almost universally agreed that nineteenth-century law embodied an elaborate version of individualism; that the alternatives to its individualism were status and collectivism — but they functioned as external critiques and so left contract's conceptual link with individualism intact; and that the individualism grounded in contract law was in keeping with broad cultural mores. The consensus effectively entrenches a questionable historical artifact: the idea of a single meaning ...