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Mediation Publishing

English Arbitration and Mediation in the Long Eighteenth Century

English Arbitration and Mediation in the Long Eighteenth Century

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Mediation used to be the key service in the law! 

Our Early Modern period runs from 1700 to 1815. England was never at peace. The Act of Settlement 1701, whatever it did for the Constitution, did not end the fighting between English and Scots.

Bonnie Prince Charlie was not seen off until Culloden in 1748. George Washington became president of a new country in 1789, the year of the French Revolution. Britain was intermittently at war with France or Spain.

Yet the primary sources show that parties with disputes got on with their resolution in the same old ways, by arbitration and mediation. After an introduction, describing the social, economic, political and legal background, the individual documents which make up the primary sources are each examined, including court records, law reports, newspapers and memoirs. The practices of mediation and arbitration across various sectors of eighteenth-century England are explored.

First the services offered by the State, primarily by Justices of the Peace but also by all the courts. Then the bulk of the work is devoted to private arbitration and mediation, including extensive sections on Commerce, Labour Relations, the London Theatre, Families and Property, Architects and Engineers, Sport and Betting, with an extended section devoted to the work of women. The lives of individuals in all strata of English society are revealed.

Finally, a long chapter describes what has been called legalisation and professionalisation, showing the increasing involvement of lawyers.

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