Course Descriptions

History of American Law LAW-617

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.
Teaching This Course
John B. and Alice R. Sharp Professor of Law and History
Course Details
Units 2, 3
Grading Options Numeric or CR/D/F
Exam Type Paper
Writing Requirement Yes, with submission of the Upper Division Writing Requirement Form
Skills/Experiential Requirement No

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