What impact did the American Revolution have on colonial law and legal systems? Historians have offered different interpretations. Some see primarily legal continuity after the Revolution rather than dramatic change-"evolution," not transformation. Others find that the revolutionary conception of "law as the guardian of liberty" produced a number of modest institutional changes along libertarian lines, such as extending the trial by jury to cases previously tried by judges, strengthening criminal procedural protections, and, in the nineteenth century, disestablishment.
Knapp, Aaron T.
"Law's Revolution: Benjamin Austin and the Spirit of '86,"
Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities:
2, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlh/vol25/iss2/3