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This paper demonstrates that two initial conditions-having been settled by a country with a civil-law legal system (France, Spain, or Mexico) and membership in the Confederacy during the Civil War-have had lasting effects on state courts in the United States. We find that states initially settled by civil-law countries and states in the Confederacy granted less independence to their judiciary in 1970-90 and had lower-quality courts in 2001-3. Furthermore, judicial independence is stronglydoi:10.1086/505052 fatcat:nhvsywfwg5affbzeaowsnqagda