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HIST322 - AMERICAN SLAVERY AND THE LAW
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DAVID RITTENHOUSE LAB 2N36
In this course, we will work both chronologically and thematically to examine laws, constitutional provisions, and local and federal court decisions that established, regulated, and perpetuated slavery in the American colonies and states. We will concern ourselves both with change over time in the construction and application of the law, and the persistence of the desire to control and sublimate enslaved people. Our work will include engagement with secondary sources as well as immersion in the actual legal documents. Students will spend some time working with Mississippi murder cases from the 19th century. They will decipher and transcribe handwritten trial transcripts, and will historicize and analyze the cases with attention to procedural due process as well as what the testimony can tell us about the social history of the counties in which the murders occurred. The course will end with an examination of Black Codes that southern states enacted when slavery ended.
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