Historical mode of Inquiry/Investigation from Plessy to Brown (ASA citing style) *Law an

Please note you must read, and understand the attached assignment prompt not simply these instructions. Also, see attachments for relevant course material.

Complete an essay that addresses the following prompt about the legal change from the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson to the 1955 case Brown v. Board of Education (see attached assignment prompt for relevant background information links). There are multiple steps and questions to this assignment and all must be answered and completed.

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1. (2 pts.) Create a historical narrative1 to portray the shift in underlying legal principles, explaining what “separate, but equal” and “separate is not equal” mean. As you will recall, a historical narrative refers to an account of a transformation that characterizes the change with general concepts (e.g., instrumentalism to formalism, dispute resolution to routine administration, “separate, but equal” and “separate is not equal”).

2. Apply two different forms of historical arguments to apply to the transformation. (Choose any

two from a-c):

a. Use a historical materialist argument (e.g., Marxist) to explain why the transformation

took place. Include the following:

i. Describe what a materialist approach is (1 pt.)

ii. Provide a summary of how a materialist argument would apply to this particular

transformation (1 pt.)

iii. Propose the kinds historical evidence (e.g, demographic, economic data, cases,

records, etc.) you would use in developing an in-depth research project using a

materialist approach (1pt).

b. Use a historical idealist argument to explain why the transformation took place.

i. Describe what a historical idealist approach is (1 pt.)

ii. Provide a summary of how an idealist argument would apply to this particular

transformation (1 pt.)

iii. Propose the kinds historical idealist evidence (e.g., public opinion, newspaper

coverage, popular culture, records, etc.) you would use developing an in-depth

research project using an idealist approach (1pt).

c. Use Friedman and Ladinsky’s “weakening of legal rules” argument to explain why the

transformation took place.

i. Explain what the “weakening of legal rules” argument is (1 pt.)

ii. Provide a summary of how a “weakening of legal rules” argument would apply

to this particular transformation (1 pt.)

iii. Propose the kinds of evidence (judicial opinions, statutory changes, legal

records, etc.) you would use developing an in-depth research project using the

weakening of the legal rules approach (1pt).

3. Writing and clarity (2 pts.). Cite materials where you rely on ideas or facts that come from a

source other than your own brain. Use a consistent citation format. Try to structure your paper in

a way that provides a statement of the historical narrative and then discuss the historical

argument. Have an introduction and conclusion.

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