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Legal scholar Alan Watson presents a comprehensive overview of legal change in the Western world. Watson explains why and how such change occurs in mature systems, in underdeveloped systems, and when legal systems of different levels of sophistication and from different societal roots - such as those of the Romans and of Germanic tribes - come into contact.;Originally intended as a second edition of the author's text ""The Evolution of Law"" (1985), this expanded edition has been completely restructured with more than double the number of examples. The result is a work that incorporates all the ideas that Watson has put forward during his 25 years studying comparative law and the development of legal systems.