Commentaries on the Constitution LIVE!

Modern constitutional scholars still consider Joseph Story's Commentaries on the Constitution to be one of the most important sources on "originalism." Story wrote his three volume exposition on the Constitution in 1833 while he was still serving as a United States Supreme Court Justice and concurrently as a professor of law at Harvard University. He earned nearly $10,000 a year on royalties from the Commentaries, over double his salary as a Supreme Court Justice.

While Story's Commentaries are the most conspicuous example of this type of work, several important Americans produced similar works, including John Adams, St. George Tucker, John Taylor of Caroline, Abel Upshur and others.

How Americans interpreted the Constitution was a central issue in antebellum America and arguably led to the War in 1861.

This class will explore how various antebellum legal and constitutional scholars viewed both the Constitution and the nature of the Union through their respective published works.

Those who finish the course will receive a certificate of completion, making this class a perfect "professional development" course for history teachers at any level.

Course Outline and Schedule:

Your reading material, discussion threads, and on-demand videos will be made available May 25, 2023.

LIVE sessions will be 1:15 minutes and will be recorded for follow up or if you miss the session. Students will be able to ask questions and interact with Dr. McClanahan via both audio and video.

All material must be accessed by July 9, 2023. Certificates of completion will be sent via email not later than July 9, 2023. In order to obtain the certificate you must attend every LIVE session or view the video replay for each event. and download all required reading material.

The LIVE sessions will adhere to the following schedule:

Thursday, June 1, 2023, 7:15 PM Eastern

Thursday, June 8, 2022, 7:15 PM Eastern

Thursday, June 15, 2023, 7:15 PM Eastern

Thursday, June 22, 2023, 7:15 PM Eastern

LIVE sessions will be conducted via Zoom, and students will be emailed a link for the webinars once the course enrollment closes. You must have a camera and microphone for the live sessions.

Your Instructor


Brion McClanahan holds a Ph.D in American History from the University of South Carolina. He is the author or co-author of six books, including the #1 Amazon best selling 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America and How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America.

Course Curriculum

  Antebellum Southern Commentaries on the Constitution
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Antebellum Northern Commentaries on the Constitution
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days after you enroll
  Bonus Session
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course opens May 25, 2023 and ends July 9, 2023.
How long do I have access to the course?
You will have access to all material from May 25, 2023 through July 9. 2023.

This course is closed for enrollment.