Law & Humanities Blog: Rossi on Slaves, Indians, and Legal Formalism

October 21, 2021

Rossi on Slaves, Indians, and Legal Formalism

Christopher Rossi, UiT, Arctic University of Norway, has published Slaves, Indians, and Legal Formalism in 19th Century America. Here is the abstract.
The US engagement with 19th century international society saw the maturation of its approach toward international law. This paper focuses on two historical considerations that helped to shape that character--ending the international slave trade, and Indian removal. An emerging legal methodology of legal formalism helped to rationalize this engagement, and affected the young republic's engagement with the world. Understanding the rise of legal formalism, where it came from and what were its influences, uncovers a significantly American story of ambivalence, which has shaped US foreign policy vacillations between themes of universalism and unilateralism, and international community and international society.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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