Fall 2019 Course Schedule

U.S. Legal History I (LAW-606-001)
James May

Meets: 10:30 AM - 11:50 AM (TuTh) - Warren - Room NT03

Enrolled: 8 / Limit: 22

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Explores the interaction of American law and society primarily from the Revolutionary War and New Republic era through post-Civil War reconstruction, with a brief introductory overview of colonial developments. Examines the origins, evolution, and impact of major constitutional, statutory, and private law developments in this period. Specific topics include changes in understanding and operation of basic constitutional rights; the evolving scope of governmental power and relationship between federal and state authority; legal promotion and regulation of American economic life, particularly through the development and application of property, tort, and contract law; the changing legal and social status and activity of women, African-Americans, and industrial workers; evolving ideas and practices regarding crime and criminals; and the history of the legal profession.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

Hall, Kermit and Karsten, Peter, The Magic Mirror, 2d ed., Oxford University Press, 2d Edition (ISBN: 9780195081800; Horwitz, Morton, Transformation of American Law 1780-1860, Harvard University Press (ISBN 9780674903715); Urofsky, Melvin and Finkelman, Paul, A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States ( V1), Oxford University Press, 3rd Edition ( ISBN 9780195382730); White, G. Edward, Law in American History, Oxford University Press ( ISBN 9780195102475); Wiecek, William, Liberty Under Law, The Johns Hopkins University Press (ISBN 9780801835964) ** Almost all of these are available on line, used at a substantial discount. There also will be some copies of each of these texts available on library reserve throughout the term.

First Class Readings

For our first class session, please read: (1) David M. Walker, “Ancient Law” in David M. Walker, The Oxford Companion to Law 55-60 (1980) (posted in the Reserve Readings folder in the Course Materials section of the MyWCL site for the course); (2) Kermit Hall and Peter Karsten, The Magic Mirror 7-9(middle) (2d ed. 2009) (a few copies are available in the library reserve stacks); and (3) Melvin I. Urofsky and Paul Finkelman, A March of Liberty 1-6(top) (3d ed. 2011) (a few copies are available in the library reserve stacks).


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