Image courtesy of Howard Chandler Christy [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
An American Constitutional History Course for
The classroom workload for this course is 21 hours, divided in 7 lectures and 7 seminars, all of them of 90 minutes each.
The total workload for the course is of approximately 75 hours.
This course provides an overview of the American Constitutional History, and it is aimed to Law students primarily in countries outside of the Anglo-Saxon legal system. The course is organized in seven themes, namely The Colonial Origins of the American Constitutionalism; The Constitutions of the Revolution – 1776-1780; The Process of Federation – 1776-1789; Early Changes to the Constitution; The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era; The Progressive Era and the New Deal; and Civil Rights in the Second Half of the 20th Century. Through this chronological trip, the student should get a comprehensive view of the main characteristics of the American constitutional system and its evolution through time. The process of learning is based, primarily, on the study of legal documents, such as the early Royal Chapters of the colonists or the Constitution and its Amendments, and some landmark opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States. (These opinions are presented through syllabi of the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School. UC3M appreciates the right of use and thanks Mrs. Valarie Kimber for her kindness on granting such right.)
At the end of the seven Themes, the student should have a good knowledge of process followed by the American constitutionalism in its formation. The course can also be a gate to a more comprehensive study of American Constitutional Law.
Each Theme is presented by a general description of the period and a more detailed explanation of the documents chosen for it. Excerpts of the documents treated in each Theme, or the complete text, depending on its importance or extension, are added as additional materials of the course. (The total workload is calculated assuming all the documents are read by the student.).
PRACTICAL ASSIGMENTS AND ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES
A number of related questions are associated to each of the themes. (It is recommended that the students write down the answers to all the questions.).