American Legal History
Please review the following prompts. You must answer a total of TWO prompts. One of your responses must be to a prompt from Group 1 while your other response must be from Group 2. Please include the number of each response (1 through 6) in your submission.
Please be mindful of the prompts that ask you to confine your response between a date range. Your must use cases and historical developments from between these years only to support your response. Every response should incorporate evidence in the form of quotations from the case opinion excerpts from AT LEAST three Supreme Court cases.
Expectations → Your response to each essay should have a clear thesis. Your thesis should be supported with SPECIFIC evidence from the historical contexts and cases discussed in class, and/or distributed Supreme Court opinions. You should use quotations from the case opinion excerpts to support your position. Your responses will be graded on the quality and development of your thesis and evidence.
Length → Your response to EACH prompt should be 2 – 3 pages in length.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly via email with any questions about the prompts or for feedback on your ideas as you study for the exam.
1. Should the Civil Rights Movement be considered a legal success? 2. Argue for or against the following statement using a blend of historical context and Supreme Court
cases: The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment during the Civil Rights Movement was the
greatest contribution to the success of the movement.
3. Did the Reconstruction Era (From 1865 to 1883) help or hinder the ability of the 14th Amendment to bring about racial equality?
4. Did the 14th Amendment make the federal government the “primary authority over the states and the rights of individuals?”
5. How did the evolving judicial interpretation of the 14th Amendment change the relationship between state and federal governments? (Confine your answer to the years 1872 – 1954)
6. To what extent has the federal court system been successful in protecting against injustices committed at the state level? (Confine your answer to the years 1872 – 1954)