Historical School of Jurisprudence

The historical school of Jurisprudence is a school of thought which believes history to be the basis of contemporary knowledge. The main propounders of this school of thought are Henry Maine and Fredrich Carl Von Savigny. This school of thought introduced the concept of evolution into legal theory, reading it with subjects like history, anthropology, sociology among others. Maine through his studies concluded that the development of law and the evolution of societies were more or less interlinked to the kind of communities that were put forward in ancient societies like the Romans, Saxons, German and Hindu.

According to Maine’s theories, societies progress from a status to a contract. This is derived from his research. In ancient days, according to Maine, social relations were dominated by status, whereas in the present day and age, these social relations are being dominated and seen as a contract. Status, according to Maine resonated with a “condition of society in which all the relations of Persons are summed up in the relations of family,” i.e., a condition that all relations existing within a society could be expressed in terms of familial bonds. Contract, on the other hand, however, referred to ‘individual obligation arising out from the free agreement of individuals.”

In the primitive society, according to Maine, an individual held no rights, instead, he was under the obligation to follow the duties and the rules laid down either by the head or as tradition prescribed. This is what differs in status and a contract. In contract, individual rights are more protected and a person’s individuality is given due importance and respect. Maine talks about the progress of societies. As societies progress, there is a shift from Status to Contract, owing to the increasing importance laid down on individuality and individual rights.  There are various stages in the development of societies. The first is the law made by the ruler under divine inspiration. The idea of law is derived from a supreme source is the main belief behind this. It was followed by customary law. Laws were and still are influenced heavily by various customs that are followed. Knowledge in the hands of priests is the next step. After this is the final stage; Codification of law. 

According to Maine, any society that goes beyond this incorporates a fourth stage in the development of law, that is either legal fiction or equity, or legislation and such societies are referred to as progressive societies. Any society that does not move on to the fourth stage remains a static society. In the primitive society, according to Maine, an individual held no rights, instead, he was under the obligation to follow the duties and the rules laid down either by the head or as tradition prescribed. This is what differs in status and a contract. In contract, individual rights are more protected and a person’s individuality is given due importance and respect. Maine talks about the progress of societies. As societies progress, there is a shift from Status to Contract, owing to the increasing importance laid down on individuality and individual rights. Status, according to Maine resonated with a “condition of society in which all the relations of Persons are summed up in the relations of family,” i.e., a condition that all relations existing within a society could be expressed in terms of familial bonds. Contract, on the other hand, however, referred to ‘individual obligation arising out from the free agreement of individuals.”

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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