The Legalist Reformation: Law, Politics, and Ideology in New York, 1920-1980
University of North Carolina Press
By William E. Nelson
January 1, 2001
Ultimately, says William Nelson, a new legal ideology was created. By the late 1930s, New Yorkers had begun to reconceptualize social conflict not along class lines but in terms of the power of majorities and the rights of minorities. In the process, they constructed a new approach to law and politics. Though doctrinal change began to slow by the 1960s, the main ambitions of the legalist reformation--liberty, equality, human dignity, and entrepreneurial opportunity--remain the aspirations of nearly all Americans, and of much of the rest of the world, today.