Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Common law
(2,938 words)

In the broadest sense, common law is the legal system or law that began to develop in medieval England and spread over time during the early modern and modern period, especially in the countries colonized by Great Britain. The term common law can have four completely different meanings. Originally, it was the “common,” that is, general law created by the royal courts that was valid for all of England, in contrast to particular laws. Later, the expression…

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Reimann, Mathias, “Common law”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 03 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018117>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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