U.S. Legal and Constitutional History

For this assignment, you will write a paper of 4-5 pages. You get to choose the topic 1) Progressive reform had a significant effect on US constitutionalism from the 1880s through the 1910s. What was the result of this reform on four Supreme Court decisions and laws? Identify the underlying progressive ideas that influenced these decisions and laws. Use the first paragraph to introduce your essay. The following four paragraphs will deal with documents that we have read and/or discussed in class, one per paragraph. Your final paragraph will be your conclusion. The best essay has a point of view or argument which is laid out in the first paragraph and relies on the documents to make your case. Remember to date your documents within the decade in which they occur. Be sure to space out your documents so that you include the entire time period that the first part of the class covers. 2) The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified in 1868 as one of the post-Civil War measures. The next fifty years brought many changes in the interpretation of this amendment with regard to civil rights and to an increasingly industrial and urban nation. Identify four Supreme Court cases from this time period that demonstrate this. Be specific regarding the case, its decade, and its impact on the amendment’s interpretation. Remember to date your documents within the decade in which they occur. Be sure to space out your documents so that you include the entire 50-year period that the first part of the class covers. For all of these essay topics, remember to answer the question and use specific details from the documents! Use these examples to illustrate your points regarding the issues you raise (for example, specific aspects of due process). Draw on Urofsky and Finkenstein, March of Liberty to provide more detail about the documents and the events surrounding them. You may also use events from the handouts and information from your lecture notes to further explain the meaning of the documents, but this paper’s focus is on the documents themselves.

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