Laws regulating slavery are as old as slavery itself, and only in the latter half of the 20th century has the world been without widespread legal forms of slavery. American laws of slavery had their origin in Roman law. They came together piecemeal and not systematically. Slavery in the United States involved municipal, state, and federal law. Centuries of Anglo-American common law affected the quotidian lives of slaves across America. Slavery dominated life in the south, and a substantial body of law made slavery functional, ...

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