50 Years of Negligence: The Development of Tort Law as Viewed Through Illinois, 1850-1900
Taylor Jr., Ivan O.
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The late nineteenth century (1850-1900) was a time of great change in American society, Fed by the expansion ofthe Industrial Revolution, the growth in legal doctrine matched the mechanized innovation. Tort Law, law that governs non-criminal wrongs, experienced the most change and growth. It was in this particular aspect of the law that a peculiar paradigm emerged. Judges and juries seemed to have clashed when applying this fairly new piece of law. Juries, as a reflection of the society, attempted to decide trials to match what they wanted. However, they were thwarted by judges invoking their own vision of how tort law was to be implemented. In this thesis, I will explore the various clashes that occurred in multiple cases and how these clashes helped evolve tort .Using Illinois as a representative of the whole country at that time, I intend to show how these clashes forced changes in the application of tort law that better emulated the ideals of the society.