Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Billings, Warren

Second Advisor

Cassimere, Raphael

Third Advisor

Mitchell, Mary N.


The judges of the Supreme Court of Louisiana issued a court order, in the year 1840, mandating a required reading course of legal materials for prospective bar applicants. Included in the list of materials was Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. Louisiana's legal system has, from its inception, been based on the civil law, a system tracing its roots back to Rome. The other organized system of law is the common law, which originated in the customs and judicial decisions of England, and is the legal system followed in the other forty-nine states. A question arises as to the reason the Commentaries was included in the "Course of Studies," since there exist fundamental differences between the two systems. This thesis explores the possible motive by examining the decisions of the Territorial Superior Court, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana between the years 1809 and 1875.


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