View Full Version : Help for a History of Law Class

03-12-2008, 11:53 AM
Hi everyone, I am hoping this is the right place to ask this question.. if not please let me know.

I am currently taking a class on the History of American Law and need to choose a book on American legal history to write a final report on. It can be on anything dealing with American legal history.

I thought this would be a great place to ask for insight on subjects and books for this. Dr. Paul supporters seem to have a great handle on the legal system and it's history. Also, I would prefer to do the report on something meaningful and insightful in regards to the history of law in a certain area.

Any suggestions? I have been thinking about trying to do something on monetary policy or history of drug laws... to note I do not do drugs, but think that some of the real reasons these laws were put into place is fascinating. Another place I looked into maybe doing something on was a history of sin laws such as gambling.

If anybody has any ideas for a subject, books, or just general input that would be great! Thanks much in advance!

tod evans
03-12-2008, 12:00 PM
united sates law is based on the magna-carta........and has been bastardized since it`s inception.

03-12-2008, 12:06 PM
American Naval Law would be interesting. At the beginning of our nation's history, their was actually a huge debate over the legality and morality of the country having a navy. The Federalists wanted one, the anti-federalists were adamantly opposed to the idea.

For an intro to the subject, I would check out this book: Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll


Not strictly about law, but interesting nonetheless.

03-12-2008, 12:14 PM
You could do something on the history of common law/precedents. I had learned that English/American legal systems got that because of William the Conquerer. He figured that it would be easier if, rather than just putting all of his laws on the newly conquered populace, they were just left to their own laws based on what had usually been done/decided. I've never checked this myself, but if true it's pretty interesting. If it isn't true, the history of how that did actually come to be and how that sets our legal system apart from other western nations should still be a good topic.

03-12-2008, 12:33 PM
I'm not quite sure what exactly the guidelines are, but you could look at Richard Epstein's book "Takings." It's not about what you said you were thinking of, but it goes into the history and theory behind eminent domain and Supreme Court cases. It scares left wingers so much Clarence Thomas was harrased about it during his Senate confirmation hearings. They were asking him if he's read it and agreed with it.


03-12-2008, 03:14 PM
united sates law is based on the magna-carta........and has been bastardized since it`s inception.

Eh... sort of... Also, read the Declaration of Arbroath