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Colonial Period

Factors Influencing Early Colonial Law

Though the arriving colonists had familiarity with complex European legal traditions, there were few trained lawyers or law books available, so they had only basic ideas of the English common law system. The new setting of the colonies, so different from civilized England, called for new solutions to new problems. Several factors influenced changes in English law, including the fragile frontier existence, an American society distinct from that of England, and later the establishment of slavery.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawColonial Period - European Settlement Of North America, Factors Influencing Early Colonial Law, Differences From The English Criminal Justice System