Documents for American Legal History


The following are annotated documents for American Legal History, annotations and commentary designed to inform the reader of the results of my research. Printed collections of teaching materials must look toward adoption of the text to repay the investment. My perception is that that need results inevitably in the worst aspects of a survey: no line of argument. This collection of documents looks explicitly to a line of argument.

The argumentative line pursued here, however, should not preclude other views. If readers would like to have their dissent appended, I would be willing to append those comments if they are reasonable in length and scholarly in tone, together with author attribution of the comment. Simply send the comment to me by e-mail: RPalmer@uh.edu
Except during July and August, such comments will appear in the materials rapidly. Authors of such submissions surrender publication and republication rights by the act of submission of the note, except insofar as they may require deletion of the submission from the version of the materials current at and following the date of the request.

More documents will be added as they are completed. The documents with links are listed in series below:

I will for the time being (and probably as a matter of course thereafter) provide this material on diskette free of charge. It will be considered a courtesy to acquire the materials by sending a diskette to me instead of downloading the whole set from the net. For the time being (and probably as a matter of course thereafter) no charge will be made for the duplication and use of these materials for teaching purposes, as long as attribution is made in the use of these materials or derivative versions. Readers inexperienced with American Legal History are hereby warned that this set of materials does not present itself as a "mainstream" version of American Legal and Constitutional History. Except as expressly noted, the original ideas embodied in these materials (of which there are a substantial number) are those of Robert Palmer, who expressly does not surrender the copyright rights to those ideas.

Government Before the United States Constitution

The Government of Early American States

Actions of the Confederated States

The United States Constitution

Early Federal Practice

The Marshall Court

The Common Law

The Taney Court

The Fourteenth Amendment


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Author and Curator: Robert C. Palmer
Last Updated: 9 February 1996