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Legal History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2009

Public Law and Legal Theory

University of Connecticut

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Invention Of Legal Primitivism, Steven Wilf Jan 2009

The Invention Of Legal Primitivism, Steven Wilf

Faculty Articles and Papers

This Article addresses a different sort of legal transplant - one in which outside legal doctrines are imported in order to be cabined, treated as normative counterpoints, and identified as the legal other. Legal primitivism is a kind of anti-transplant. It heightens the persistent differences between a dominant legal system and its understanding of primitive rules. An often ignored legal literature depicting legal primitivism emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century and in the early twentieth century. Mapping the differences between America’s modern legal system and its antecedents, this immense literature, which included works by Oliver Wendell Holmes ...