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Bruce H. Mann, Rationality, Legal Change, and Community in Connecticut, 1690-1760, 14 Law & Soc’y Rev. 187 (1980).

Abstract: The paper examines certain legal changes in eighteenth-century Connecticut, primarily in the area of debt litigation, and links them with economic development and with changes in the nature and meaning of community. The legal changes proceeded in the direction of greater rationality as expanding economic activity disrupted the multiplex ties that had once characterized communities and paired people instead in single-interest relationships. Max Weber's concept of rationality provides a theoretical base for the historical study of legal change.