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Spring 2023 Course

Constitutional History II: From Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: Any Day Take-Home

This course examines, from the perspective of social and political history, constitutional developments from the enactment of the post-Civil War constitutional amendments to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education and its effect on the civil rights movement. The principal issues addressed include the enactment and early judicial interpretation of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments; the constitutional questions raised by segregation and disfranchisement during the Plessy era; economic regulation during the Lochner era; the birth of the modern first amendment during the interwar period; women’s suffrage and the 19th amendment; race issues during the interwar period; the constitutional crisis over the New Deal in the 1930s; Japanese American internment and Korematsu; first amendment issues raised during and after World War II; and, finally, the road to Brown v. Board of Education as well as an assessment of that decision’s historical significance.