LEGS, or "Law-Engaged Graduate Students," meets during the academic year to discuss a work in progress by one of our Graduate Associates. Academic papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation chapters have been presented at these meetings, to an audience of fellow graduate students.
Abstract: "I will present a modified version of my MA thesis, dealing with how popular notions of the law intersect with more learned opinions in the public sphere. Historiographically, I aim to contribute to two related but disparate areas:
- the history of industrialization. Douglass North and other institutionalist economists have pointed to the security of private property rights as a necessary condition for economic growth. Brewer, Hoppit, and others are contesting this claim. I side with the latter in showing that private property was not completely secure in eighteenth-century England.
- the history of popular culture and law. EP Thompson and Douglas Hay, among others, have pointed to popular culture and customary law being in conflict with state-imposed law. Scholars in their train have either illuminated exclusively either side, but rarely both in tandem. By examining a cause celebre, I hope to do exactly that."
Min Tae Cha is a first-year PhD student at the Department of History. Before he came to Princeton, he obtained a BA and MA at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. His primary interests are generally in the early modern British world, and more particularly in eighteenth-century England. Thematically, he is very interested in the intersections between the law, culture, and the economy.