Dr. Patrick Ryan

Weekly Questions

SEPT. 19 - LAW & GRAND HISTORICAL NARRATIVES
Herzog, chapters 1-4, pages 1-72.

1.  What are Herzog's two or three primary points (her main arguments)?  Make page and line notations as appropriate.

2.  Write two questions (with the appropriate pages noted) about the readings.

3.  On page, 22 - Herzog identifies the historical origins of legal thinking in European cultures - what is it?

4.  Herzog begins chapter two by saying Christianity was an 'earthquake' for ancient Roman law - briefly name why.

5.  Herzog offers a number of ways that different forms of medieval European legal systems determined fact (a verdict).  Name three.

6.  What is the essential quality of a 'feudal' society?  (chapter 4).


SEPT. 26 - MEDIEVAL ENGLAND & MASTER-SERVANT RELATIONS
Herzog, chapters 5-6, pages 75-115.


1. Write two questions (with the appropriate pages noted) about the readings.

2. Herzog begins chapter 5 by saying Europeans rediscovered something in the 12-13 centuries.  What was it and why did it matter for legal thinking and practice?

3. From pgs. 94-97, Herzog outlines the imposition of royal courts into England under the Normans.  What economic significance might this have had?

4. What is a "writ," and what implications might they have had for the fact/law distinction in English common law?

5. What does Calvin's case reveal about how law is made in the common law system?  (106-108)


OCT. 3 - FEUDALISM & REAL PROPERTY
John Hamilton Baker, "Real Property: Feudal Tenure," chapter 13 in An Introduction to English Legal History 4th edition, (Butterworths, 2010): 223-247.

1. Write two questions (with the appropriate pages noted) about the readings.

2. How does the lord-vassal relationship, and the tenure and service practices in medieval England (described by Baker) depart from how you understand property and ownership in the present?

3. From 233-236, Baker recounts the medieval writs for real actions (claims regarding real property), what impact did these have on the lord-vassal relationship of service and protection? 

4. What were the 'incidents of tenure'? 

5. What was Quia emptores terrarum; what problem was it passed to solve, and what does Baker think it tells us about changes in the tenurial land system between 1100 and 1300?


OCT. 17 - SERVITUDE, SLAVERY & THE ATLANTIC WORLD
Robbie Shilliam, "Forget English Freedom, Remember Atlantic Slavery:  Common Law, Commercial Law and the Significance of Slavery for Classical Political Economy,"" New Political Economy vol. 17, no. 5 (Nov 2012): 591-609.  AND Herzog, chapters 7-9, pages 119-164.

1. Write two questions (with the appropriate pages noted) about the readings.

2. Write three sentences in your own words to reiterate Shilliam’s thesis.

3. Shilliam uses some difficult phrases (“hermeneutic of common law” or “hermeneutic of the commercial contract”);  look for these two (hermeneutic is a word for a principle of interpretation a way of making sense).  These two phrases stand in opposition to each other - list two or three words that you might put in opposing columns that can help us better understand the tension between the two.

4. Accordign to Herzog (chapter 7), what challenges did the Protestant Reformation pose for jus commune?  See if you can list some economic implications that these changes may have carried. 

5. According to Herzog (chapter 8), how or in what ways was the common law reinvented or reimagined in the 17th-century?

6. As you read chapter 9, mark developments in early-modern legal discourse that might have fostered capitalist practices of ownership, transferability, measurability, and markets, or reveal major questions/features of captialism such as commodification, competition, equity, and consolidation.


OCT. 24 - EARLY-MODERN TRANSFORMATIONS: PROPERTY, DEBT, AND LAW
Herzog, chapters 10-11, pages 167-203; begin reading the book for the critical review.

1. Write two questions (with the appropriate pages noted) about the readings.

2. See if you can list the legal/political features of the American Revolution highlighted by Herzog in chapter 10.  Are there any implications of these legal innovations for economic relationships?

3. See if you can list the legal/political innovations furthered by the French Revolution highlighted by Herzog in chapter 11.  What might be some of the implications of these shifts for capitalist development?

4. Restate in your own words the thesis of the book you selected for your critical review.


OCT. 31 - DISCUSSION SESSIONS FOR THE CRITICAL REVIEW
Baucom, Samuel, or Schmidt

1. Write 2 questions about the book you are reading.

2. Read the critical review instructions, and write a preliminary thesis for your paper. 

3. Write three points (reasons) supporting your claim about the book (thesis for your paper).


NOV. 7 - CONTRACTS, LIABILITY, & LIBERAL REVOLUTIONS
Baucom, Samuel, or Schmidt

1. Complete the critical review.


NOV. 14 - MONOPOLIES, PATENTS, & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Oren Bracha, "The Commodification of Patents 1600-1836:  How Patents Became Rights and Why We Should Care," Loyala of Los Angeles Law Review, vol. 38 no. 1 (Fall 2004): 177-244.

Herzog, chapters 12-13 and Epilogue, pages 207-243.

1. Write 2 questions for the Bracha reading.

2. Write 1 question for the Herzog reading.

3. According to Bracha, what are the characteristics of a 'patent-rights' model, and what implications does it have for property ownership, transferability, measurability, and markets?

4. According to Herzog, what are the shared characteristics of both German and French versions of legal codification during the 19th-century (chapter 12), and what economic-political implications do you think they might have had for capitalism?

5. On 217-218 and 241 Herzog specifies (very late in her book), the cardinal differences between common and civil legal traditions; what are they and why might they matter?


NOV. 21 - INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS ON FINAL PAPER November 19 and 20 - NO CLASS on Wednesday night

1. Read the instructions for the case analysis paper.

2. Prepare for the meeting by completing first three steps of final paper: 1 - choose a case; 2 - obtain and read the primary documents associated with it; 3 - construct a 3-source bibliography, and read as much of it as you can.


NOV. 28 - TRUSTS & CORPORATIONS
John Morley, "The Common Law Corporation:  The Power of Trust in Anglo-American Business History," Columbia Law Review vol. 116, no. 8 (Dec 2016): 2145-2197.


1. Write two questions (with the appropriate pages noted) about the readings.

2. Morely list elements of the trust or corporate form of business organization; what are they?

3. On pgs. 2151-53 Morely outlines the medieval orgins of trusts and highlights that equity was the first to name and enforce them.  What are they and why are they significant for capitalism?

4. Note the differences between an incorporated and unicorporated firm, (2158-62).  What concerns about unincorporated business forms did the Registration Act of 1844 attempt to address, and what does the response of the business community to this act tell us about the advantages they sought? 


DEC. 5 - INDUSTRIALISM & CLASS POLITICS
William E. Forbath, "Courts, Constitutions, and Labor Politics in England and America: a study of the constitutive power of law," Law & Social Inquiry vol. 16, no. 1 (Winter 1991): 1-34.  

1. Write two questions (with the appropriate pages noted) about the readings.

2. As you read, construct a list of structural differences between American and British political systems that have produced differences in their labour movements.