American Legal History Seminar
This seminar examines the history of the Constitution of the United States from the Articles of Confederation to the modern era. Topics to be covered include the framing and ratification of the Constitution, the creation of the federal judiciary, the landmark decisions of the Marshall Court, the origins of federalism, slavery, constitutional problems raised by the Civil War, economic issues and the New Deal, and the Civil Rights era. Although readings will include some cases, the course is concerned less with legal doctrine than with the operation of the Constitution in historical context. No particular background in history is required. The course has an examination.
Instead of the exam, students may write a a final paper with the permission of the instructor. The paper may be used to satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement. The course is available for 3 credits to students who complete a major research paper.