Journals Higher Education



Published: 03 April 2017

768 Pages | 0

6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780190253264

Bookseller Code (04)

American Legal History

Cases and Materials

Fifth Edition

Kermit L. Hall, Paul Finkelman, and James W. Ely, Jr.

This highly acclaimed text provides a comprehensive selection of the most important documents in American legal history, integrating the history of public and private law from America's colonial origins to the present. Devoting special attention to the interaction of social and legal change, American Legal History: Cases and Materials, Fifth Edition, shows how legal ideas developed in tandem with specific historical events and reveals a rich legal culture unique to America. The book also deals with state and federal courts and looks at the relationship between the development of American society, politics, and economy and how it relates to the evolution of American law. Introductions and instructive headnotes accompany each document, tying legal developments to broader historical themes and providing a social and political context essential to an understanding of the history of law in America. Setting the legal challenges of the twenty-first century in a broad context, American Legal History, Fifth Edition, is an indispensable text for students and teachers of constitutional and legal history, the judicial process, and the effects of society on law.

New to this Edition:

  • A new section on the Fundamental Constitutions of South Carolina and a revised analysis of the role of Cotton Mather in the Salem Witch Trials
  • Several new documents including John Winthrop's "Reasons to be Considered for Justifying the Undertakers of the Intended Plantation in New England" (1629); the Letter of Brutus on the Courts (1788); Shorter v. The People (1848); Humber v. Morton (1968); and Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law" (2005)
  • Extensive notes and excerpts from cases on the Affordable Care Act, campaign financing (Citizens United), and voting rights (Shelby County v. Holder)
  • Expanded material on gender and marriage, including excerpts from Windsor v. United States and a discussion of the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act
  • A brief discussion of the emerging issue of transgendered people and the law