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SUMMARY - Theodore Frank Thomas Plucknett, A Concise History of the Common Law 
A Concise History of the Common Law (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2010).
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SOME FACTORS IN LEGAL HISTORY
In Part I of this general survey we have placed the law in its environment of national life as a whole. We have seen its early dependence on the crown, its gradual separation from royal administration, and its final assumption of an independent position in the state, as a result of its victory in the conflict of the seventeenth century.
In Part II we have watched the development of the institutions through which the law has worked, some of them ancient and communal, others a little more recent and feudal, and still others of even later date whose origin was due to the crown. With the passage of time these royal courts supersede all the rest, and begin to be regarded as a judicial system which ought to be, and finally was, taken apart and reassembled in logical fashion as an organisation for the speedy and convenient administration of justice. There has been in fact a steady growth of the conception of law as distinct from its machinery; the idea of jurisdiction with its implications of monopoly and profit to courts, their owners, and their practitioners, has yielded to the newer feeling that institutions are valuable only so far as they fulfil useful functions.
We now come to a third part, where a brief examination of some of the more imponderable factors in legal history must be made. Leaving aside the visible institutions into which lawyers were organised, we must consider the thought which animated them, and first of all certain external forces such as civil and canon law. After that we shall discuss custom, legislation and precedent from the same point of view.