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test 4


(Spring 2015)

Professor Kenneth W. Mack

Office: 404 Griswold; Telephone: 495-5473; e-mail: kmack@law.harvard.edu

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 3:00 - 5:00 PM, or by appointment

Assistant: Carol Igoe, Griswold 4North, 496-1768, cigoe@law.harvard.edu


Required Texts: Multilithed Supplementary Materials will be available at the distribution center.

Required Books:

  •  Morton Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy. (Horwitz, Transformation II).
  •  Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World. (Ahamed).

Course Requirements and Grades: Requirements to receive credit for this course are regular class attendance and satisfactory completion of the eight-hour take-home final examination. Grades will be based on performance on the exam (during which students will be expected to demonstrate critical engagement with the course materials), and classroom participation. Class participation can raise your final score on the examination by 20%.

Assignments: Each of the following assignments covers approximately one week of class.

First Class Assignment: Read the Horwitz and Coase excerpts from Topic 1. Each author is trying to deal with the role of law in the transition to a market economy. How would one write the legal history of such a transformation differently from the perspectives of each author?


I. Law and the Economy: Contract and Regulation.

Read :

  •  Morton J. Horwitz, The Triumph of Contract, in his Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860, pp. 160-70, 173-92, 201. Course Pack:
  •  R.H. Coase, Adam Smith’s View of Man, 19 Journal of Law and Economics 529 (1976). Course pack:
  •  Roy Kreitner, Calculating Promises: The Emergence of Modern American Contract Doctrine 97-99, 100-01, 156-59 (2007). Course Pack:
  •  William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West 123-132, 136-138, 143-146. Course Pack:
  •  Chicago Board of Trade v. Christie Grain & Stock Co., 198 U.S. 236 (1905). Course pack:

II. The Rise of the Business Corporation: From Public to Private?

Read :

• “The Long Johns” on the South Sea Bubble. Watch it here.

• Melvin Urofsky, The Case of the Rival Steamboat Operators, in his Supreme Decisions, 33-37. Course pack:

Livingston & Fulton v. Van Ingen et al, 9 Johns 507 (N.Y. 1812).

Farwell v. Boston & Worcester Railroad, 4 Met. (45 Mass.) 49 (1842).

Course Pack:

• Christopher Tomlins, Law, Labor and Ideology in the Early American Republic, 294-305. Course Pack:

• Ida Tarbell, The History of the Standard Oil Company, excerpt. Course Pack:

• Horwitz, Transformation II, Chapter 3.


Text Information

January 16, 2015

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Brett Johnson


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