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Printable Version

Fall 2023

5374 American Legal History - SIEGEL- 18540

Professor(s): Martin Siegel (ADJUNCT)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Law And Society/ Interdisciplinary 

Time: 2:30p-4:00p  TTH  Location: 310 

Course Outline: This class will examine major legal controversies and changes from the early Republic to the present, with an emphasis on how law, politics and society collided with and influenced each other in the 20th century. By studying recurring arguments over state vs. national power, who merits inclusion in the circle of legal and civil rights, and the balance between individual freedom and public authority in a changing society, we hope to explain how we got here — that is, to better understand today’s legal landscape. Topics include the legal battle over slavery and secession, the 19th and early 20th century struggle for women’s rights and suffrage, legal attacks on Native Americans and immigrants, the Lochner era and the Constitutional revolution of 1937, post-W.W.1 and W.W.2 Red Scares and McCarthyism, the legal war on Jim Crow and the Warren Court’s individual rights revolution, the conservative backlash to legal liberalism and the Bork and Thomas confirmations, Watergate and U.S. v. Nixon, the “War on Drugs” and mass incarceration, the 2000 election and Bush v. Gore, the battle for LGBT rights, and many others.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes: (Face-to-Face)   The UH registration system instruction mode for this course is listed in parenthesis. After student registration opens, there may be instruction mode changes to this course up through two weeks before the first day of classes for the term, but notice of such changes will be sent to then-registered students. For this instruction mode, instructors and students are expected to normally be physically present in the classroom. If the course has a final examination, it will be in a classroom requiring your physical presence. Other assessment, such as a mid term exam, may also be in a classroom. Whether this instructor will offer “remote presence” (starting a zoom meeting from the podium computer to enable student remote access on an occasional basis) for part or all of the semester is not known, but students should not rely on an expectation that remote presence will be available.


First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA: No

Pass-Fail Student Election: Unavailable (Instructor Preference)

Course Materials

Book(s) Required

See syllabus for more details

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