1st Edition

The Uses of Justice in Global Perspective, 1600–1900

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Uses of Justice in Global Perspective, 1600–1900 presents a new perspective on the uses of justice between 1600 and 1900 and confronts prevailing Eurocentric historiography in its examination of how people of this period made use of the law.

    Between 1600 and 1900 the towns in Western Europe, the Kingdoms in Eastern Europe, the Empires in Asia and the Colonial States in Asia and the Americas were all characterised by a plurality of legal orders resulting from interactions and negotiations between states, institutions, and people with different backgrounds. Through exploring how justice is used within these different areas of the world, this book offers a broad global perspective, but it also adopts a fresh approach through shifting attention away from states and onto how ordinary people lived with and made use of this ‘legal pluralism’.

    Containing a wealth of extensively contextualised case studies and contributing to debates on socio-legal history, processes of state formation from below, access to justice, and legal pluralism, The Uses of Justice in Global Perspective, 1600–1900 questions to what degree top-down imposed formal institutions were used and how, and to what degree, bottom-up crafted legal systems were crucial in allowing transactions to happen. It is ideal for students and scholars of early modern justice, crime and legal history.

    1 The uses of justice in global perspective, 1600–1900

    Manon van der Heijden and Griet Vermeesch

    2 The Sinitic justice system, past and present – in a global perspective

    Philip C. C. Huang

    3 Threads of the legal web: Dutch law and everyday colonialism in eighteenth-century Asia

    Alicia Schrikker and Dries Lyna

    4 Facing the law in eighteenth-century Galle

    Nadeera Rupesinghe

    5 Legal pluralism in the cities of the early modern Kingdom of Poland: the jurisdictional conflicts and uses of justice by Armenian merchants

    Alexandr Osipian

    6 The use and abuse of legal services in nineteenth-century Russia

    Elizaveta Blagodeteleva

    7 Skipping court: civil disputes in sixteenth-century Rouen

    Katherine Godwin

    8 In hope of agreement: norm and practice in the use of institutes for dispute settlement in late-seventeenth-century Leiden

    Aries van Meeteren and Griet Vermeesch

    9 Justice and the confines of the law in early modern Spain

    Tomás A. Mantecón

    10 Lo extrajudicial: between court and community in the Spanish empire

    Bianca Premo

    11 Legal pluralism, hybridization and the uses of everyday criminal law in Quebec, 1760–1867

    Donald Fyson



    Griet Vermeesch is a fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, in Belgium. Her research relates to urban history and to access to justice in the Low Countries during the early modern period.

    Manon van der Heijden is Professor of Urban History at Leiden University and a member of the Academia Europaea. She is author of Women and Crime in Early Modern Holland (2016).

    Jaco Zuijderduijn is Associate Professor at the Department of Economic History at Lund University, Sweden. His main research interest is the development of economic exchange and conflict resolution. He previously published Medieval Capital Markets: Markets for Renten, State Formation and Private Investment in Holland (1300–1550).