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Law, Court, and Crime in England, 600--1660
HIST 272
Fall 2022
Section: 01  

This course will discuss the nature and development of law, dispute resolution, custom, and rule in England from the arrival of the English on the island in the age of Arthur when feud and compensatory justice dominated. It will then examine the rise of royal power, local custom, and the common law in the 12th and 13th centuries, including the Magna Carta crisis. We will focus on the growing politicization of law and the development of courts and lawyers alongside new sorts of lawmaking in parliament and through the power of the king. The growth and challenge of royal and parliamentary power will frame the last parts of the course that anticipate the revolutionary crisis of the 17th century. Along the way, the course will ask, Who gets to make law, what is the role of writing in the development of custom and law, how did the English decide who was right and who wrong: calculation, testimony, jury, or ordeal? What were the forms of punishment and compensation employed, and what did this tell us of conceptions of the person: mutilation, execution, or incarceration? How did social status and gender shape expectations and outcomes in the legal process: Who could be a legal actor, a responsible malefactor, a property owner, or a slave; who could be judge and legislator? The course will be based on the examination both of recent scholarship and a wide array of primary sources such as law codes, court record books, advice manuals, literature, treatises on law, and the practical documents from lawyers in courts and judges that are plentiful in medieval, Tudor, and Stuart England. The course provides a background to the sources of law in early America as well as other common law countries around the world.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (HIST-MN)(HIST)(MDST-MN)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-24-2024
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