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Monuments to Democracy: Architecture Styles in North Carolina Courthouses.The judicial system, as one of three branches of government, is one of the main foundations of democracy. North Carolina’s earliest courthouses, none of which survived, were simple, small, frame or log structures. Ancillary buildings, such as a jail, clerk’s office, and sheriff’s office were built around them. As our nation developed, however, leaders gave careful consideration to the structures that would house important institutions – how they were to be designed and built, what symbols were to be used, and what building materials were to be used.

North Carolina Constitutions spanning from 1776 to present day.

Without Favor, Denial or Delay; a Court System for the 21st Century by the Commission for the Future of Justice and the Courts in North Carolina, December 1996.

North Carolina's first state courts were largely continuations of the colonial system and thus influenced greatly by the English court system. A county court, called the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, was held in each county by the justices of the peace appointed by the governor from the recommendations of the General Assembly.

Historical landmarks of the North Carolina Supreme Court. 

Prior to 1966 there were basically three levels of courts in North Carolina: the Supreme Court, the Superior Courts and a hodgepodge of local courts. The local courts varied from Recorder’s Courts, to Domestic Relations Courts,