The Seventh Amendment

An Illustrated History

  • When a Trial Really Was a Trial
  • To Plead or Not To Plead
  • Juries in Athens and Rome
  • Why Twelve Jurors?
  • The Early English Jury
  • The Grand Jury and Petit Jury
  • The Changing Grand Jury
  • Jurors Become Even Less Informed
  • Evidence and the Hearsay Rule
  • The Early Modern Jury
  • Juries in America
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Jury Trial in Civil Courts

Trial by oath, trial by ordeal, trial by combat. However did we get from those forms of trial to trial by jury? We take trial by jury as a given, but why is it enshrined in the Bill of Rights?

In this book you will find out. Robert McWhirter traces the long history of trials in their various forms from Medieval England, through the Tudor dynasty and the problems of Henry VIII, the Stuart Kings and the Georgians to arrive at how trials were conducted in Colonial America with the tussle for primacy between the judiciary and juries. It was as a result of that last struggle that the drafters of the Bill of Rights realized the need for the Seventh Amendment.

Illuminated with discursions into literature, religion, film, and popular culture here is a book for the interested citizen as well as the student of American politics and history.

46 pages
Illustrated in full color
ISBN: 978-1-945682-07-0