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The Republic Afloat – Law, Honor, and Citizenship in Maritime America - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Republic Afloat: Law, Honor, and Citizenship in Maritime America

Matthew Taylor Raffety


In the years before the Civil War, many Americans saw the sea as a world apart, an often violent and insular culture governed by its own definitions of honor and ruled by its own authorities. The truth, however, is that legal cases which originated at sea had a tendency to come ashore and force the national government to address questions about personal honor, dignity, the rights of labor, and the meaning and privileges of citizenship, often for the first time. By examining how and why merchant seamen and their officers came into contact with the law, this book exposes the complex relationship ... More

Keywords: Civil War, insular culture, honor, legal cases, dignity, rights of labor, citizenship, merchant seamen, legal consciousness, judiciary

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780226924007
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226924014.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew Taylor Raffety, author