In the American context, the study of legal history and the correlation that law and the legal organizations have to the community that forms their environment gives a deep dive into the country’s legal framework and their interdependence. The law, on the other hand, refers to all the aspects from the local regulations and the rules that are subdued by the various administrative agencies, to the statutes and court rulings. Therefore, legal history focuses on how the law and the legal institutions conduct their businesses and their dynamism aspect that is concerning the constantly changing conditions politically, economically, and socially (Reimann Pg 672). Additionally, legal history is interested in the people who are governed by the rule of law and how these individuals strive to influence law and the legal players. Therefore, this paper shall delve into the study of law and legal structures that help individuals understand American history in the twentieth century.
The study covers crucial areas such as the Roman law of wills, the socio-economic conditions that collapsed feudalism, the legal philosophies and concepts behind the motivation of the American Revolution, the rise and fall of the slave trade, the legal regulation of business in the early 20th century, all the way through the Black Power movement’s critique of the US criminal justice system (Reimann Pg 677). The areas of studies are wide and contain a lot of information that not only give the United States of America its identity but make learners understand and appreciate the milestone of America.
The role of the law in bringing change
It should not slip our minds that the main purpose of the law is to address the underlying social, political, and economical issues in society. America in the twentieth century has passed significant laws that greatly shaped the lives of the people by ensuring a safer society and the prevalence of the rule of law (Reimann Pg 678). For instance, the Anti heroin Act of 1924 specifically outlawed the use and trafficking of the substance. The generation that came after the twentieth century is now fully aware that heroin is a substance that is not only illegal but also very dangerous to individuals and the entire society.
Supreme Court and the history of America
Established in 1789, this highest court has been at the forefront of legal history not only in America but also in the world. The verdicts of the cases have been vital in understanding the journey of America. For instance, Brown Vs Board of Education (1954), where the court ruled that segregation in schools is illegal and does not represent the true American spirit (Reimann Pg 682). The judges quoted that “separate schools are inherently unequal.” (Reimann Pg 683). For that reason to date, there has never been a situation where schools are segregated along racial lines. This has been curried and passed on from generation to generation to the other. It teaches the current students and the entire nation, that America is a place of equal opportunity for all regardless of their gender, color, age et cetera.
The Heroes and the heroines who came before us left a mark that we must consider and undertake to shape our society better. The likes of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jnr among others stood for the truth. Malcolm X is known for speaking for the Islamic religion and Martin Luther King Jr was advocating for a social change and the abolition of white supremacy (Reimann Pg 688). The history reveals to us what they stood for and that has been a key element in understanding America better.
The study of law and legal structure highlights the far America has come from and how it embarked on that journey to make it right. The steps and the position of the law back then has given hope and prosperity to many because America knows where it is and where it wants to go.
Reimann, Mathias. “The progress and failure of comparative law in the second half of the twentieth century.” The American Journal of Comparative Law 50.4 (2002): 671-700.