By Michael Grossberg
A Judgment for Solomon tells the tale of the d'Hauteville case, a arguable baby custody conflict fought in 1840. It makes use of the tale of 1 couple's sour struggle over their son to discover a few timebound and undying positive aspects of yank felony tradition. This eagerly trial sparked a countrywide debate over the criminal rights and tasks of mom and dad, husbands and better halves. The d'Hauteville case explains why well known trials turn into "precedents of felony experience"-- mediums for debates approximately hugely contested social concerns. It additionally demonstrates the power of person men and women to give a contribution to criminal swap via turning to the legislations to struggle for what they wish.
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Extra info for A Judgment for Solomon: The d’Hauteville Case and Legal Experience in Antebellum America
Like many other fathers in the period, David reacted ambivalently to the new marital mores of his age. He accepted the right of his children to make their own marriage choices as demanded by the new regime of romantic love and nuptial individualism coming to govern courtship, but he also clung to the traditional patriarchal responsibility of protecting his children's financial interests and his family's standing. Particularly for men of wealth like himself, the separation of marital choice from questions of lineage and economic advantage would never be as complete as it might be for those of other classes or as the new demands of romantic love seemed to require.
But he prayed that time and freedom to choose would send her back to him, "If you return to me, my Ellen, oh! shall I be most happy!! If a frightful misfortune await me, I shall repeat, that I have done my duty. "23 Entering the Law's Shadow 13 She was restored to him. Once again, though, their versions of the reconciliation diverged dramatically. Ellen explained that Magnus's description of his son's wretchedness made her realize that Gonzalve's release had not been genuine. The would-be bride recalled feeling trapped yet again.
Nevertheless, even though Entering the Law's Shadow 27 lay people and even professionals may misunderstand the exact letter of the law, they still conceived of it as an external force that could be used to wage disputes. As a result, lay beliefs and formal rules could both be found in uneasy existence in the law's shadows. The discrepancy between them only became critical when private bargaining failed and disputants had to seek a formal resolution of their conflict. And then differences between existing rules and individual demands could help frame public contests over the proper meaning of the law.