Assignments

Reading Assignments


REQUIRED READING:

Friedman, A History of American Law (3d ed., 2005) (paperback), and

History of American Law Documents


TOPICS AND ASSIGNMENTS

We will take the following assignments in order, each assignment will take about one class. My tendency is to take too much time rather than too little, and for that reason there are fewer assignments than scheduled class meetings.

Where no reading assignment is indicated for a particular topic, this means that you'll be just fine if you show up to class having read everything to that point in the class. Use these days as opportunities to catch up with the reading.


INTRODUCTION

Friedman, History of American Law, ix-xx.

  • (Read this assignment at some point early in the semester.)

LAW IN THE COLONIAL PERIOD

  • Friedman, History of American Law, 3-61.

(Read this entire assignment at some point early in the discussion of the colonial period.)


1. "Remembered Folk Law" (For the first class, read this assignment)

John Winthrop, "Speech on Liberty" (1645).

Laws and Libertyes of Massachusetts (1648).

Links:  (reading Links is always optional)
The Mayflower
Biography of John Winthrop
Winthrop, "A Modell of Christian Charity," (1630)

Bibles:

Geneva Bible, (1587) [The version of the bible carried on the Mayflower.]
Geneva Study Bible, (1599) [updated language and notes by Jean Calvin.]
King James Bible
 

2. "Crime and Punishment"

William Bradford,

Of Plimouth Plantation (1642)

Proceedings of the Provincial Court of Maryland (1664)

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts at Ipswich (1664, 1665, 1682)

Links:
Cotton Mather, What Must I do to be Saved? 
Plymouth Colony Archive Project.


3. "17th-Century Courts and Labor"


4. "Racism and Slavery in 17th-Century Virginia"

Act of the Virginia General Assembly (1639-40)

Virginia Statutes on Slaves and Servants (1642-1738)


5. "18th-Century Colonial History"

Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."

George Whitfield, "The Eternity of Hell--Torments." 

Revolution and Independence

  • Friedman, History of American Law, 63-104.


6. "Revolution and Independence"


7. "Excesses of Democracy"

Links:
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention
The Federalist Papers or The Federalist Papers
Papers of James Madison
Papers of George Washington


8. "Sources and Authority of Law"

Links:
Biography of James Kent.


9. "The Legal Profession"

  • Friedman, History, 226-249.

de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 78
Daniel Webster, Autobiographical Sketch (1829)

Caton, Bench and Bar of Illinois (1893)
Baldwin, Flush Times (1853)

Links:
Life of de Tocqueville


10. "Public Lands"

  • Friedman, History, 105-119, 167-188.

Northwest Ordinance (1787)
Public Lands Statutes (1796-1850)

Links:
Michigan Survey:  Northwest Ordinance in Action.
Cadastral Survey


11. "Native Peoples"

  (1892).

Links:
Biography of Tecumseh
History of the Cherokee Nation


12. "Real Property Law"


13. "The Corporate Trajectory and Creative Destruction"

  • Friedman, History, 129-139.

NY Council of Revision (1785)
Currie's Admin. v. Mutual Assurance Soc. (VA, 1809)
Ellis v. Marshall (MA, 1807)
Jackson's Veto of the Second Bank (1832)
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837)
NJ Turnpike Incorporation Act (1856)


14. "Tort and Labor"

  • Friedman, History, 222-225.

John Stark versus Thomas Parker, (MA, 1824).

Nicholas Farwell vs. The Boston and Worcester Rail Road Corporation, (MA, 1842)


15.  "Women, Marriage, and Children"

  • Friedman,History, 149-154.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declarations of Sentiments and Resolutions (Seneca Falls Convention, 1848).

Maria Wightman versus Joshua Coates, (MA, 1818).

Askew vs. Dupree, (GA, 1860).

"An Act to provide for the Adoption of Children," (MA, 1851).
Revised Statutes, Maine, 1847, Chapter 89, Section 2.

Laws, Maine, 1849Ch. 116, section 1.


16.  "Property and Marriage"

White vs. White, (NY, 1849).
Laws of New York, (1849).
Blood vs. Humphrey, (NY, 1854).

Laws of New York, (1860).

Laws of New York, (1860).

Buckley v. Wells, (1865)


17. "Punishment and Penitence"

  • Friedman, History, 207-222.


Gustave de Beaumont & Alexis de Tocqueville,

On the Penitentiary System in the United States and Its Application in France, (1833).

Charles Dickens,

American Notes For General Circulation (London, 1850).

Penitentiary Law of 1829, Statutes of Tennessee.

Thomas J. Dimsdale, The vigilantes of Montana; or, Popular justice in the Rocky Mountains (MT, 1866).

Optional: Friedman, Crime and Punishment in American History


Links:
Eastern State Penitentiary (text, photos, and a movie)


18. "Everyday Law of Slavery"

Wheeler, A PRACTICAL TREATISE on the LAW OF SLAVERY (1837).

 

Links:
American Slave Narratives (text plus voice)


19. "Slavery as a Constitutional System"

George Fitzhugh, SOCIOLOGY FOR THE SOUTH (1854).

SLAVERY UNDER THE CONSTITUTION

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, (1850).


FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO THE NEW DEAL

  • Friedman, History of American Law, 335-632 [daily assignments indicated below]


20. "Slavery, the Confederacy, and the Civil War"

Dred Scott, Plaintiff in Error, v. John F. A. Sandford, (USSC, 1857).

CONSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES (1787) AND THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA (1861).

The Emancipation Proclamation (1863)

Links:
Editorials about the Dred Scott case (1857)
Dred Scott Archive

 

21. "A Ladder of Rights"

  • Friedman, History, skim 337-70


ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS

An act to confer Civil Rights on Freedmen, (MS, 1865).

Civil Rights Act, (1866).

W[illiam] S[tewart] Simkins, Professor of Law in the University of Texas, "WHY THE KU KLUX," 4 The Alcalde (June 1916): 735-748.

Civil Rights Act of 1875, (1875).


22. "Labor and Populism in the late 20th Century."

Oliver Wendell Holmes to Emily Hallowell, 16 November 1862, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1946).

"THE REBELLION AT HOMESTEAD," Harper's Weekly (New York City, July 16, 1892).

William Jennings Bryan, "Cross of Gold," in William Jennings Bryan, Speeches of William Jennings Bryan, (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1909).  [Get]

Lochner v. New York (1905)


23. "Legal Education/The Legal Profession"

  • Friedman, History, 279-308, 463-500

[Thomas Shearman?], The Judiciary of New York, 105 North American Review, July 1867, pp. 148-176.
David Dudley Field, "The Laws and Lawyers of New York,"
"AN ACT relative to the law school of Columbia College," Chap. 202, Laws N.Y. 1860 (Passed April 7, 1860).
Henry W. Taft, A Century and a Half at the New York Bar (New York, 1938).
Robert Taylor Swaine, The Cravath Firm and Its Predecessors (New York: Ad Press, 1946-48).
Christopher Columbus Langdell, SUMMARY of THE LAW OF CONTRACTS,
(1871).


24. "Progressive Era Law in Action"

  • Friedman, History, 329-349.

Crystal Eastman, Work Accidents and the Law (1910).
BUCK v. BELL, 274 U.S. 200 (1927).

Links:
What was the Pittsburgh Survey?
Wisconsin Historical Society, Robert M. LaFollette
Wisconsin Historical Society, Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea


25.  "Legal Realism"


26.  "The New Deal and Conclusion"

Friedman, History, 501-584.

Louis D. Brandeis, "THE OPPORTUNITY IN THE LAW," business--a profession (1914).

    Links:
Audio of FDR

  


© Thomas D. Russell 2017