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The legal system in America is the basis of freedom as we know it today. The system is based, ultimately, on the common law of England, but it has grown, developed, and changed over the years. American law has been a critical factor in American life since colonial times. It has played a role in shaping society, but society-the structure, culture, economy, and politics of the country-has decisively shaped the law. Through history, the legal system has been intimately involved with every major issue in American life: race relations, the economy, the family, crime, and issues of equality and justice. The true strength of the American legal system lies in its ability to adapt to new and difficult issues.