A Jurisprudence of Power: Victorian Empire and the Rule of Law

Paperback | November 1, 2008

byR.W. Kostal

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A Jurisprudence of Power concerns the brutal suppression under martial law of the Jamaica uprising of 1865, and the explosive debate and litigation these events spawned in England. The book explores the centrality of legal ideas and institutions in English politics, and of political ideas thatgive rise to great questions of English law. It documents how the world's most powerful and articulate political elite struggled to define its soul, and poses penetrating questions such as can an imperial nation remain committed to laws and legality? Can it contend with the violent resistance of subjugated peoples without corrupting theintegrity of its legal and political ideals? The book addresses these questions as it reconstructs the most prolonged and important conflict over martial law and the rule of law in the history of England in the nineteenth century.

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A Jurisprudence of Power concerns the brutal suppression under martial law of the Jamaica uprising of 1865, and the explosive debate and litigation these events spawned in England. The book explores the centrality of legal ideas and institutions in English politics, and of political ideas thatgive rise to great questions of English law...

R.W. Kostal is an Associate Professor of Law and History at the University of Western Ontario. His research focuses on the history of modern law and society in England and the United States. His first book, Law and English Railway Capitalism 1825-1875, was awarded the Ferguson Prize of the Canadian Historical Association in 1995.

other books by R.W. Kostal

Format:PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.3 inPublished:November 1, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199551944

ISBN - 13:9780199551941

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. 'The Country of Law': Reconstructing the Morant Bay Uprising in England2. 'The Blood that Testifies': The Jamaica Controversy in Jamaica3. The Drawing Room Men: The Jamaica Controversy in 18664. The Tenets of Terror: Reinventing the Law of Martial Law5. Marshalling Martial Law: Litigating the Jamaica Controversy6. 'The Alphabet of Our Liberty': Chief Justice Cockburn in the Old Bailey7. 'The Most-Law Loving People in the World': The denouement of the Jamaica litigationEpilogue: Phillips v. Eyre and afterConclusionA Jurisprudence of Power: Law, Empire, and the Jamaica ControversyAppendix: The Jamaica Controversy as HistoriographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"[An] excellent book...[that] is an important injection of law into both the imperial history and British political history of the late-nineteenth century." --The Cambridge Law Journal