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COMMENCEMENT SEVERE WEATHER PLAN: Please learn more about locations for the diploma ceremony and viewing rooms

Spring 2025 Course

Constitutional History I: From the Founding to the Civil War

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: Any Day Take-Home

This course considers, from the perspective of social and political history, American constitutional development from the Articles of Confederation to the Civil War. Issues covered include the failures of the Articles of Confederation, the framing of the Constitution, debates over ratification and the enactment of the Bill of Rights, constitutional disputes over the Alien and Sedition Act, the Chase impeachment, the origins of judicial review, the nationalist rulings and the contracts clause decisions of the Marshall Court, states rights constitutionalism and the nullification debate of 1832, various issues involving slavery including fugitive slave renditions and slavery in the western territories, the constitutional debate over secession, and various constitutional issues raised by the Civil War including conscription, confiscation, and emancipation.