Legal History & Historical Law

The following courses are available for those interested in legal history and historical law:

American Federalism Seminar

Comparative Legal History

An introduction to the development of Western legal systems and a foundation for more advanced courses in legal history and comparative law. Topics include concepts of law and legislation; legal pluralism (Roman law, canon law, customary law) and legal culture; and justice and procedure.

English Legal History

This course is a topical introduction to English legal developments, both common law and equity, from 1200 to 1700. Major emphasis is placed on the growth of legal institutions, the legal profession, and substantive and adjudicative law centering on litigation patterns, particularly in real property law.

Modern American Legal History

This course traces the history of American law from the adoption of the 14th Amendment (1868) to the present, focusing on different conceptions of the judicial role in protecting fundamental rights, the appropriate relationship between national and state legal systems, and the growth of a national positive state. These issues are analyzed in the distinct historical circumstances of Reconstruction, Progressivism, the New Deal, the civil rights movement, the War on Poverty and the environmental movement.