WGS 340 • LAW/SOCIETY EARLY MOD EUROPE-W
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
This class examines how men and women, in criminal and civil lawsuits, interacted with the legal system in the 250 or so years from the early 1500s to the mid 1700s. We will explore the relationship between law and society in early modern Europe from many perspectives. How did emerging national states use courts to discipline subjects and increase their power? How can we explain the vast decline in the number of prosecutions for homicide and the rapid increase in prosecutions for theft? Why did many early modern Europeans believe in the judicial efficacy of torture? Why did patterns of punishment change? Why did infanticide become a national obsession in many European countries? Legal actions over marriage and debt were at high levels. What do those patterns tell us about family life? Whose behavior was criminalized and why? How could different social groups (men and women, rich or working, lawyers or reformers) use the legal system for their own purposes? CONTAINS A SUBSTANTIAL WRITING COMPONENT AND FULFILLS PART OF THE BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT IN WRITING. UPPER-DIVISION STANDING REQUIRED. COURSE NUMBER MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT WHEN THE TOPICS VARY. WGS 340 AND W S 340 MAY NOT BOTH BE COUNTED UNLESS THE TOPICS VARY. MEETS WITH HIS 350L (TOPIC 57).