Covers the entire range of constitutional and legal development in the United States from the 1600s
Documents of American Constitutional and Legal History
Vol 1: From Settlement through Reconstruction
This two-volume source book of documents covers the entire range of constitutional and legal development in the United States from Colonial times to the present. Volume 1 begins with the Magna Carta (1215) and then covers the period from about 1600 to the 1870s; Volume 2 covers the period since the 1870s. The materials reproduced, together with introductory notes by the editor, include Supreme Court cases, state and lower federal court cases, and such non-case items as declarations, compacts, letters, and speeches.
The great variety of cases covers both social and economic topics, and explains the evolution of the common law in this country. Using both a topical and a chronological arrangement, Melvin Urofsky provides each document with a brief introduction that outlines its significance and its relationship to larger developments. Cross-references to appropriate documents are included, as are suggestions for further reading.
Incorporating public and private law developments, these volumes include such topics as legal realism, judicial activism, war powers, and civil rights legislation. This documentary history brings together a wide range of material that allows for a more complete understanding of the issues and influences involved in the development of constitutional law.
Melvin I. Urofsky is Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States.