History | Famous Trials in US History
A200 | 4474 | Taysom


Above section open to undergraduates only

This course explores some of the major court trials in American
history.  Set in the context of American intellectual history, these
trials will show students how some Americans came to wrestle with the
possibilities and limitations of the Constitution.  In a way, this is
a kind of “back door” into American history, because each trial must
be placed in its historical context, and along with learning about
the trials, students will come away knowing much more about the
American experience in general.  The objective is to understand not
only what happened, but also why it happened.  To this end, we will
employ a variety of analytical methods and consider a wide range of
scholarly interpretations.  As the semester progresses, students
should be prepared to make their own judgments about the outcome of
each trial.

You will be evaluated on the basis of two short position papers (25%
each), class participation, and a final examination (35%).

There is no textbook, but I will be giving you various readings
throughout the course, and we will examine video presentations both
on your own and together as a class.