Laws and Societies in the Canadian Prairie West, 1670-1940

UBC Press
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Laws and Societies in the Canadian Prairie West, 1670-1940 examines the legal history of the north-west frontier, from the earliest years of European-Native contact in the seventeenth century to the mid-1900s. Challenging myths about a peaceful west and prairie exceptionalism, the book explores the substance of prairie legal history and the degree to which the region's mentality is rooted in the historical experience of distinctive prairie peoples. The chapters, written by a cross-section of established and emerging scholars working in the allied fields of law, legal history, sociology, and criminology, focus on what is distinctive in prairie legal culture.

By approaching the issue from a variety of perspectives � those of colonial administrators, fur company employees, Native peoples, women, men, entrepreneurs, judges, magistrates, and the police, among others � the authors find evidence of a conscious effort to apply broad, non-regional experiences to seemingly familiar, local issues. The ways in which prairie peoples perceived themselves and their relationships to a wider world were directly framed by notions of law and legal remedy shaped by the course and themes of prairie history. Legal history is not just about black letter law. It is also deeply concerned with the ways in which people affect and are affected by the law in their daily lives. By examining how central and important the law has been to individuals, communities, and societies in the Canadian Prairies, this book makes an original contribution.

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About the author

Louis A. Knafla is professor emeritus of history at the University of Calgary. Jonathan Swainger is associate professor of history at the University of Northern British Columbia and co-editor, with Constance Backhouse, of People and Place: Historical Influences on Legal Culture, also published by UBC Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
UBC Press
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Published on
Nov 1, 2011
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Pages
360
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ISBN
9780774841450
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)
History / Canada / Pre-Confederation (to 1867)
Law / General
Law / Legal History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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]State trials reveal much about a nation's insecurities and shed light on important themes in political, constitutional, and legal history. In Canada, perceived and real threats to the state have ranged from dissent, disaffection, and the emergence of threatening ideologies to insurrection, riot, violent protest, and military invasion. The Canadian State Trials series will explore the role of the law in regulating such threats, from the period of early European settlement to 1971.

The first volume and the planned series as a whole present a great deal of new material by prominent Canadian historians and legal scholars. Although certain Canadian political trials and security crises have received scholarly attention in the past, there has never been a comprehensive and systematic examination of the country's surprisingly rich record in this area. The eighteen essays in Volume I examine this record for the period 1608-1837, covering proceedings in New France, the four Atlantic colonies, the Old Province of Quebec, and the two Canadas. They highlight security law during the American revolution, the wars against revolutionary/Napoleonic France, and the War of 1812; comparative treason law; and the trials of David McLane, Robert Gourlay, Francis Collins, and Joseph Howe, among others. The essays, which extensive use of primary sources (the most illuminating of which appear in a documentary appendix), place the examination of the law and its administration during these events in socio-political and comparative context.

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Trevor Dean and Lee Beier examine prosecutorial energy in local communities of 15th and 16th century Europe, and see instruments of peace (agreement) and war (prosecution and conviction) as worthy institutions of social control. Andrea Knox studies the prosecution of Irish women, finding that they were prominent as perpetrators of crime as well as victims. Antony Simpson shows how sexual indiscretions developed the law of blackmail in the 18th century, influencing subtle changes in gender roles. David Englander's study of Henry Mayhew reinterprets the role of class in the criminal prosecutions of the 19th century, while Arvind Verma and Philippa Levine extend the roles of class and gender that had been developed in the criminal justice system into the imperial colonies of south-east and east Asia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. An important resource for scholars, students, and researchers involved with legal, political, social, and women's history, criminal justice studies, sociology and criminology, and criminal law.

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In Just Between You and Me, Goodwyn shares the story of his upbringing, first at home in rural New Brunswick and then in the music business as the lead singer of one of Canada’s most popular bands ever, April Wine.

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The Canadian Department of Justice and the Completion of Confederation will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Canadian legal and political history.

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