Spring 2023 • Course
Constitutional Law: Money and the Making of American Capitalism
Exam: Short Format Takehome
According to one of the framers, the “soul of the Constitution” was the clause allocating authority over money. Over the following centuries, money has remained at the center of debates over governance, including federalism and national power, American approaches to economic development and social welfare, the scope of judicial review, economically structured race discrimination, the ascendance of banks, and access to credit. This 4-credit course picks up an essential line of constitutional debate and determination in order to understand the shape of American capitalism. Topics include sovereign debt, the contracts clause, the banked architecture of money, Reconstruction finance and the failure of agrarian populism, the Gold Clause cases, the authority of the Federal Reserve, financialization and inequality.