American Legal History


What does it mean to study the law historically?  How has law changed over time?  What is the relationship between law and society?  How have changes in American life, ideas, and economics impacted legal thought?  And how has legal thought in turn influenced the development of American life and culture?  These are the types of questions that legal historians spend their time examining.  This course offers an introduction to key methodologies and approaches in American legal history, as well as a survey of recent important works.   Students will write six two-page response papers over the course of the semester and a final five to seven page historiographical paper at the end of the class, integrating and responding to the course readings.  

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts