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The Fourth AmendmentOrigins and Original Meaning 602 - 1791$
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William J. Cuddihy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367195.001.0001

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Colonial Responses to the Controversies over Wilkes, General Warrants, and Writs of Assistance: The Widening Opposition to General Warrants

Colonial Responses to the Controversies over Wilkes, General Warrants, and Writs of Assistance: The Widening Opposition to General Warrants

Chapter:
(p.537) Chapter 21 Colonial Responses to the Controversies over Wilkes, General Warrants, and Writs of Assistance: The Widening Opposition to General Warrants
Source:
The Fourth Amendment
Author(s):

William J. Cuddihy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367195.003.0021

This chapter shows that the Wilkes affair and writs of assistance spurred opposition to promiscuous search and seizure throughout colonial America. Although this growing hostility to general search and seizure was neither uniform nor free of political and expediential motives, it marked another milestone on the odyssey of events and ideas that ended in the Fourth Amendment. Until the 1760s, the evolution of unreasonable search and seizure had been a British affair, for colonial law had neither rejected general warrants nor embraced specific ones. In the fifteen years before the revolution, however, the colonists came as close to those destinations as the British had in the preceding hundred and fifty.

Keywords:   colonies, specific warrant, general warrant, writ of assistance

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