Origins and history of the law system in the USA

Generally speaking, laws are important rules that people use to enforce upon all members of a certain group in order to progress as a functioning society. Every country in the world has its own laws and law systems, and so does the United States of America. In this article, we will reflect on the basics of history and origins of the American law system.

The Origin

The law system in the US, in its early forms, came from Great Britain. It goes way back to the original 13 colonies when the first settlers brought with them a set of rules and principles that they were going to practice in a new society. Since the settlement of America was mostly done by people from England, it was only natural for the laws of a new overseas territory to be mirrored as the ones from the old country. So to look at the origins of the American law, we have to look at the origins of the English one, which dates all the way back to the late 11th century.

When the English tribes came together, they organized a universal set of rules for their united society that we know today as The English Common Law. This law, however, is rooted not only in one particular moment in time in English history, but throughout centuries.

Black’s Law Dictionary

Every law student and attorney should know about Black’s Law Dictionary as it is one of the essential documents of this kind. It was published in 1891 and it represents the most important tool for defining legal terms that are used to this day. The latest, ninth edition of the dictionary was published in 2009. However, this dictionary is not the law itself, as the official body for determining law and its terms in the country is the United States Supreme Court.

What Is The United States Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) is a highest federal court in the country. It was established on March 4, 1789 and it is authorized by the United States Constitution. The Court defines law as “…a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force”. Although each state has their own laws, the Supreme Court has total jurisdiction over all federal and state laws. The court consists of judges selected and appointed by the president of the United States. There are five different bodies of law that are used in the United States: common law, constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, and treaties.

Books About US Law History

There’s much more to the United States law history that we can really tell you about. If you wish to find out more details about how this country’s law came to be, turn yourself to some reliable sources like a book “A History of American Law” by Lawrence M. Friedman, or “Law in America: A Short History” that gives you a quick read about the basics on the subject.