Law, Politics, and Society in New Jersey, 1820-2002

Paul G. E. Clemens

Tuesday 7th & 8th Periods (6:10 - 9:00pm) Scott 201

Final Seminar Paper Discussion Schedule

How has law reflected the politics and culture of New Jersey in the 19th and 20th centuries? We will be investigating this question by looking at court cases dealing with divorce, murder, economic development, slavery, insanity, and women's rights. Students will select an area of interest and research a paper using New Jersey appellate court decisions and, in some cases, original court papers in the New Jersey Archives, New Jersey State Library, and the Superior Court of New Jersey Records Management Center (all in Trenton). The course is graded on class participation and a research paper.

Students can see sample cases by visiting the web site:

There is a brief description of sources that might be used for this course at:

Books (available from the Rutgers Bookstore):

Charles Rosenberg, Trial of the Assassin Guiteau: Psychiatry and the Law in the Gilded Age (Chicago, Univ. of Chicago, 1968, 1995).

Norma Basch, Framing American Divorce: From the Revolutionary Generation to the Victorians (Berkeley, Univ. of California Press, 1999)

Diana Hacker, A Pocket Style Manual, 3d edition (Boston, Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000).

Schedule of Class Meetings

Sept. 3rd -- Historians Craft -- the Ambrose and Bellesiles Cases

Assignment Due Second Class: Divorce and Environmental Conflicts  (distributed in class)

Sept. 10th -- trip to Alexander Library.  Meet in regular classroom first.  Two brief case reports due.

Note: All students will schedule office appointments with Prof. Clemens during this week or the next.  Students should have used Lexus nexus to investigate cases that it might be interesting for them to pursue and come prepared to discuss possible paper topics.

Assignment Due Third Class: essay and questions on Rosenberg, Guiteau.

Sept. 17th -- Read for class: Rosenberg, Guiteau, Introduction & Chapter 1-3 (write 2-3 page critique -- assignment will be distributed in class week of sept. 10th).

Sept. 23rd -- Read Basch, Framing Divorce, Proloque, Ch. 1, Meditations (pg. 95ff), & Ch. 4

Oct. 1st -- Read Rosenberg, Guiteau, Ch. 7, 9 & 10.  Students present preliminary statements of thesis topic and sources.

Oct. 8th -- Read Basch, Framing Divorce, Ch. 5, 6.  Students present preliminary statements of thesis topic and sources.

Oct. 15th -- discussion of research problems

Oct. 22nd --  NO CLASS.  Meet individually with Prof. Clemens

Oct. 29th -- NO CLASS.  Meet individually with Prof. Clemens.

Nov. 5th -- preliminary draft of paper due.

Nov. 12th -- students discuss research and writing problems.

Nov. 19th -- Paper Session - students present work to class/ Students meet individually with Prof. Clemens

Nov. 26th (no class-Thursday schedule)

Dec. 3rd -- Paper Session - students present work to class.

Dec. 10th -- Paper Session - students present work to class.

Updated 8-20-2002