The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce Resident Fellow Christopher Hill will teach a for-credit course on the history of the English Common Law at Utica College. The course will be offered for undergraduate or graduate credit, and will meet Monday evenings, beginning on January 27.  Auditing will be available on a limited basis. Those interested in attending should contact Professor Hill directly at

Dr. Hill will provide a narrative of English History from the Middle Ages to the American founding, following the thread of Common Law as the backbone of English Liberty. The Common Law, which guaranteed access to royal justice to all free people in the English realm, developed into a sort of contractual relationship between the government and the people, continually limiting the power of the crown to act unilaterally. By the 1600s, when other European governments moved toward concepts like divine right and royal Absolutism, England fought a bloody civil war that guaranteed the power of the people and parliament over issues like taxation, and ultimately over the claim to the monarchy itself. In this context, American arguments against taxation without representation make a good deal of sense and show that the American founding was less a radical experiment than an appeal to long-standing tradition.

“The AHI is delighted to work with Utica College in bringing this course to fruition,” said AHI Charter Fellow Robert Paquette.  Chris is a dynamic, prize-winning teacher whom students at Utica College will love. Few scholars have the ability to teach a course on the Western legal tradition from antiquity to modernity.  Chris Hill is one of them. The AHI would like to thank in particular President Todd S. Hutton and Dean John H. Johnsen for making this happen.”