US Constitutional History
Spring 2004
Tuesdays/Thursdays at 3.30
KC Johnson

This course will examine US constitutional and legal history from the colonial era to the present, with an emphasis on the 20th century. In addition to examining important court cases, we'll be looking at how constitutional debates have played out in the political arena.



Midterm/final exam: 45%


Course Paper: 25%


Moot Court performance: 20%


Participation: 10%

This course will be web-enhanced, with a significant number of documents, primarily court cases. In addition, you are asked to purchase the following books at either Shakespeare or on-line. There is no course packet.

bullet Bernard Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders
bullet Howard Ball, A Defiant Life: Thurgood Marshall and the Persistence of Racism in America
bullet Kermit Hall, ed., Major Problems in American Constitutional History
bullet Linda Przybyszewski, The Republic According to John Marshall Harlan
bullet Dorothy Rabinowitz, No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times
bullet James Simon, What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States

At the completion of this course, students will have fulfilled the following learning objectives:

bullet understanding the foundational knowledge of American constitutional history
bullet appreciating the importance of the law and legal culture to citizenship in a diverse democracy
bullet recognizing the significance of primary sources and content to critically analyzing constitutional history