This course will explore the interaction of law, culture, and politics in American society from the Civil War through the present day. It is not a survey course, but rather an introduction to the study of law and society from a historical perspective. It is organized as a weekly seminar, with a focus on discussion of primary sources and interpretive readings, and a final research paper on a legal historical topic. The course will be divided into topical sections, including: (1) Reconstruction, race, and the Constitution; (2) marriage, gender, and family; (3) corporations and the economy; (4) legal education and the legal profession; and (5) law, labor and civil rights in the twentieth century. The course will emphasize reading primary materials -- cases as well as other legal and social history sources -- with a critical eye; and it will introduce students to the contrasting approaches taken by legal historians to those materials.