619 Readings: Commercial Law and Society in Historical Perspective

Fraud, mortgage crises, banking regulation, tax evasion – these are bywords of our time but, of course, such concepts and concerns have a long history. Many of the foundations of modern law regarding property and obligation were laid in English courts in the eighteenth century –a period of remarkable commercial expansion, imperial overreach, and stock market plunges. How did developments in legal procedure and doctrine shape the course of socio-economic change in the modern age? And what kinds of impacts did commercialization and colonization have on English law in an era of expanding empire?

Readings will explore such questions through study of the development of the Anglo-American law of contract, mortgage, bankruptcy and trust. We will also explore these questions through comparative readings in the law of other places (in Europe, or Asia for example) and other times. In examining some exemplary cases, novels and magazines, and works of historical analysis, we will consider the different social, political, economic and cultural contexts within which seminal legal changes occurred.

This readings course will meet for 10 sessions of 1 1/2 hours each. Specific meeting dates and times will be arranged in consultation with the students. Requirements include class participation and completion of five 2-page response papers. 1 credit (graded on a credit/no credit basis). No exam or final paper, however students may, if they wish, receive 2 credits upon successful completion of an additional 15-page paper. Variable Credit.

Course Areas of Practice
Course Type
Seminar
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
2017
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

619.01 1 Julia Rudolph TBD TBD

Fraud, mortgage crises, banking regulation, tax evasion – these are bywords of our time but, of course, such concepts and concerns have a long history. Many of the foundations of modern law regarding property and obligation were laid in English courts in the eighteenth century –a period of remarkable commercial expansion, imperial overreach, and stock market plunges. How did developments in legal procedure and doctrine shape the course of socio-economic change in the modern age? And what kinds of impacts did commercialization and colonization have on English law in an era of expanding empire?

Readings will explore such questions through study of the development of the Anglo-American law of contract, mortgage, bankruptcy and trust. We will also explore these questions through comparative readings in the law of other places (in Europe, or Asia for example) and other times. In examining some exemplary cases, novels and magazines, and works of historical analysis, we will consider the different social, political, economic and cultural contexts within which seminal legal changes occurred.

This readings course will meet for 10 sessions of 1 1/2 hours each. Specific meeting dates and times will be arranged in consultation with the students. Requirements include class participation and completion of five 2-page response papers. 1 credit (graded on a credit/no credit basis). No exam or final paper, however students may, if they wish, receive 2 credits upon successful completion of an additional 15-page paper. Variable Credit.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.