chapter  2
25 Pages

History and the Law

All societies develop methods of resolving conicts among their members. Some are formally organized, such as the court systems in the United States, while others are much more primitive; but it is imperative that the rules governing a society be enforced if chaos is to be prevented. The need to maintain order in society is not recent. Ancient civilizations created laws and legal systems to control their members and to resolve conicts. Remnants of these legal systems linger, and many of today’s theories and practices may be traced to them. Cases such as Roe v. Wade, commonly known as the abortion case, are replete with historical references to other, older systems of legal doctrine.