Write a paper (7-10 pages) on a Constitutional issue or debate in American history

Write a paper (7-10 pages) on a Constitutional issue or debate in American history

Write a paper (7-10 pages) on a Constitutional issue or debate in American history.

Possible topics include:

a significant case. Situate that case in a broader political, legal, and Constitutional context
ratification; Federalists and Anti-federalists
the Bill of Rights
Judicial Review
property rights
laissez-faire jurisprudence
legal realism
amendments to the Constitution
the Court and the Executive branch
significant Justices (such as Marshall, Taney, Holmes, Brandeis, Warren, Rehnquist)
confirmation battles over Justices
the “rights revolution” or “rights consciousness”
Civil Rights
the rights of the accused
the right to privacy
the rights of juveniles
freedom of speech
freedom of and freedom from religion
the right to bear arms
New Federalism
strict construction
judicial activism
original intent jurisprudence

The objective of this essay is to discuss a constitutional issue or question in its historical context. That is, the goal is to research, analyze, and discuss a constitutional issue with attention to the historical context in which it arose or developed. Supreme Court cases and ideas (“equal protection of the laws,” for instance) do not exist in a vacuum, but are articulated and used by individuals and groups at particular moments and for specific purposes. So the goal in this essay is to consider constitutional ideas in their historical context.

For instance, if you were to write about, freedom of speech during wartime, you might trace the history of this issue from World War I through the Vietnam War, considering the differences between the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings in Schenck v. U.S. and Tinker v. Des Moines. Or you might focus on either the World War I or Vietnam era. That is, one way to think about history is to consider change over time; another is to delve into a particular historical moment.

This essay will be assessed according to the following criteria:

Argument: Does the paper have a thesis?
Is this thesis articulated in the introduction?
Does the body of the essay make a strong case for the thesis?

Evidence: Does the essay make good use of sources to support its argument?
Are the sources simply used for illustrative purposes, or are they integrated into
argument and analyzed closely?

Writing: Is the essay well written?
Is it well organized? Do the paragraphs flow smoothly from one to the next?
Are the paragraphs and ideas fully developed?


Academic LevelCollege (3-4 years: Junior, Senior)
Subject AreaHistory
Paper Type Research paper
Number of Pages7 Page(s)/1975 words
Paper FormatAPA
SpacingDouble spaced
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