Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Making Legal HistoryEssays in Honor of William E. Nelson$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Daniel J. Hulsebosch and R. B. Bernstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814725269

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814725269.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 13 October 2019

Counting as a Tool of Legal History

Counting as a Tool of Legal History

Chapter:
(p.162) 7 Counting as a Tool of Legal History
Source:
Making Legal History
Author(s):

John Wertheimer

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814725269.003.0008

Historical writing in the United States experienced a golden age of quantification in the 1960s and 1970s due to advances in computer technology, which enabled scholars to analyze previously unmanageable amounts of data; and the rise of social history, which prompted scholars to seek new ways to study non-elites. American legal history, however, proved comparatively resistant to the quantification craze. As traditionally practiced, legal history emphasized the evolution of legal doctrine, a quintessentially qualitative, not quantitative, matter. Moreover, many legal historians inhabited law schools, not history departments, making them relatively impervious to the quantifying trends that were sweeping arts and sciences faculties. This chapter focuses on the promise and limits of quantitative method for legal historians. It argues that some legal institutions, such as the jury, agency prosecutors, and the state census, cry out for more quantitative work, which can illuminate the social and racial politics of law enforcement and statutory regulation in American history.

Keywords:   American legal history, quantitative method, quantification, historical writing

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.