Welcome - The Rule of Law? Topics in British Legal History (Pre-1900) HIST 2135   The Rule of Law? Topics in British Legal History (Pre-1900)
The British long claimed to have developed a uniquely potent conception of the ‘rule of law’, inseparable from ‘the liberties of the subject’, which they then bestowed (often by force) upon the peoples in their empire. This course offers students an introduction to key concepts and developments in English, then British, legal history up to c. 1900, with a focus on the apparent paradoxes of the rule of law. How did law serve to justify violence and dispossession? How, conversely, did people use law to define and fight injustices? Topics may vary from year to year but can include such subjects as the role of jury trial; Magna Carta and its myths; torture and penology; imperial violence; enslavement, abolition, and emancipation; and campaigns for women’s rights that secured changing to laws on divorce, property ownership, and the franchise.
FORMAT: Lecture