PANEL: "The Surprising Effects of Sympathy": A Memorial Discussion of the Work of Elizabeth B. Clark Saturday, October 24, 10:30-12:00
Moderator: Hendrik Hartog, Department of History, Princeton University
This session commemorates the life and work of the legal historian Elizabeth B. Clark, who died on December 26, 1997, with an open-ended discussion of one of her best-known publications, "'The Sacred Rights of the Weak': Pain, Sympathy, and the Culture of Individual America," Journal of American History 82 (September 1995): 463-93. Three speakers will commence the discussion with brief remarks on the significance of the article. The floor will then be open for remarks from members of the audience, who will have been alerted to the format of the session in a communication accompanying the preliminary program.
Karen Halttunen, Department of History, University of California, Davis
James T. Kloppenberg, Department of History, Brandeis University
Aviam Soifer, Boston College Law School
privileges. Local leaders as well as Court officials were deeply involved in the origins of many of these cases. The chief goal of writ was the maintenance of order, not necessarily legal victory for the crown. Quo warranto had the potential to be a tool of strict central enforcement--indeed, in the 1630s, King Charles I did threaten its use to punish errant corporations. But quo warranto proceedings should be seen as a tool for local governments, as well, and the central courts as a venue for negotiation between center and locality.
Quo Warranto, 1660-1750: Whose
Paul D. Halliday, Department of History, Union College
The information in the nature of quo warranto, though not a prerogative writ in the strict sense of the word, had most of the characteristics of one. The use of quo warranto to compel the City of London and scores of other corporations to surrender their charters in the 1680s has long been one of the central elements in the story of "Stuart absolutism." Through a study of the rarely explored records of King's Bench, case reports, and local archives, this paper challenges this view, showing instead that the initiative in the use of quo warranto lay with people in the provinces, not with agents of the crown. In the 1680s, it took townsmen and other individuals to prod the crown to use a legal device it had long been shy about employing. After 1688, when many aspects of the "arbitrary" governments of the 1680s were rejected, quo warranto lived on. In 1698, it was revived by individuals in the corporation of Hertford who used it to attack their local political foes. Though their efforts failed, they had shown that quo warranto might be used by a group of individuals to test the claims of others to hold office or to exercise certain powers. In short, quo warranto had emerged as the legal weapon of choice in provincial partisan political battles. The prerogative for using quo warranto had fallen entirely into the hands of individuals outside of royal government. Quo warranto thus joined other devices--such as mandamus and certiorari--that were developing at this time as the means by which people in the provinces could check the political excesses of their own neighbors, a transformation in the law that occurred as a result of transformations in the practice of politics.
The Decline of English Witchcraft
Brian P. Levack, Department of History, University of Texas
Comment: The Chair