Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Courses A - C

354: American Legal History

Credit Hours



Perspective Elective

Deep controversies over political issues present now—immigration, health care, the power of states, even presidential power will be shaped and possibly resolved by law. This has been so from the Colonial era until this moment. The fundamental idea of this course is that, seen through the lens of history, law has molded and been molded by our social, political and economic relations. American law has been essential in determining the most fundamental questions affecting us—slavery, voting, property-holding, the status of women, the role of religion, what agreements we may make, who is responsible for accidents, whether wealth may be taxed, pollution, and countless other topics.  The class critically surveys the legal concepts, forms and institutions that have shaped and been shaped by American society throughout its history.