Author: William J. Novak
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2000-11-09
Much of today's political rhetoric decries the welfare state and our maze of government regulations. Critics hark back to a time before the state intervened so directly in citizens' lives. In The People's Welfare, William Novak refutes this vision of a stateless past by documenting America's long history of government regulation in the areas of public safety, political economy, public property, morality, and public health. Challenging the myth of American individualism, Novak recovers a distinctive nineteenth-century commitment to shared obligations and public duties in a well-regulated society. Novak explores the by-laws, ordinances, statutes, and common law restrictions that regulated almost every aspect of America's society and economy, including fire regulations, inspection and licensing rules, fair marketplace laws, the moral policing of prostitution and drunkenness, and health and sanitary codes. Based on a reading of more than one thousand court cases in addition to the leading legal and political texts of the nineteenth century, The People's Welfare demonstrates the deep roots of regulation in America and offers a startling reinterpretation of the history of American governance.
Author: James Willard Hurst
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
Release Date: 1956
Genre: Political Science
In these essays J. Willard Hurst shows the correlation between the conception of individual freedom and the application of law in the nineteenth-century United States—how individuals sought to use law to increase both their personal freedom and their opportunities for personal growth. These essays in jurisprudence and legal history are also a contribution to the study of social and intellectual history in the United States, to political science, and to economics as it concerns the role of public policy in our economy. The nonlawyer will find in them demonstration of how "technicalities" express deep issues of social values.
Author: Mark A. Graber
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2006-07-03
Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil , first published in 2006, concerns what is entailed by pledging allegiance to a constitutional text and tradition saturated with concessions to evil. The Constitution of the United States was originally understood as an effort to mediate controversies between persons who disputed fundamental values, and did not offer a vision of the good society. In order to form a 'more perfect union' with slaveholders, late-eighteenth-century citizens fashioned a constitution that plainly compelled some injustices and was silent or ambiguous on other questions of fundamental right. This constitutional relationship could survive only as long as a bisectional consensus was required to resolve all constitutional questions not settled in 1787. Dred Scott challenges persons committed to human freedom to determine whether antislavery northerners should have provided more accommodations for slavery than were constitutionally strictly necessary or risked the enormous destruction of life and property that preceded Lincoln's new birth of freedom.
Author: John Fabian Witt
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2009-06-30
In the five decades after the Civil War, the United States witnessed a profusion of legal institutions designed to cope with the nation's exceptionally acute industrial accident crisis. Jurists elaborated the common law of torts. Workingmen's organizations founded a widespread system of cooperative insurance. Leading employers instituted welfare-capitalist accident relief funds. And social reformers advocated compulsory insurance such as workmen's compensation. John Fabian Witt argues that experiments in accident law at the turn of the twentieth century arose out of competing views of the loose network of ideas and institutions that historians call the ideology of free labor. These experiments a century ago shaped twentieth- and twenty-first-century American accident law; they laid the foundations of the American administrative state; and they occasioned a still hotly contested legal transformation from the principles of free labor to the categories of insurance and risk. In this eclectic moment at the beginnings of the modern state, Witt describes American accident law as a contingent set of institutions that might plausibly have developed along a number of historical paths. In turn, he suggests, the making of American accident law is the story of the equally contingent remaking of our accidental republic. Table of Contents: Introduction 1. Crippled Workingmen, Destitute Widows, and the Crisis of Free Labor 2. The Dilemmas of Classical Tort Law 3. The Cooperative Insurance Movement 4. From Markets to Managers 5. Widows, Actuaries, and the Logics of Social Insurance 6. The Passion of William Werner 7. The Accidental Republic Conclusion Notes Acknowledgments Index John Witt paints his portrait of industrializing America with the subtlety of a master and on an immense canvas. His magisterial history is much more than an account of the rise of workers compensation, still one of our greatest social reforms. Witt vividly recreates the social context of the late 19th century industrial world - workers' appalling injury and death rates, their mutual help and insurance associations, mass immigration, the rise of Taylorist management, the struggles to give new meaning to the free labor ideal, the encounter between European social engineering and American anti-statism and individualism, and the politics and economics of labor relations in the Progressive era. Out of these materials, Witt shows, the law helped fashion a new social order. His analysis has great contemporary significance, revealing both the alluring possibilities and the enduring limits of legal reform in America. It is destined to become a classic of social and legal history. --Peter H. Schuck, author of Diversity in America: Keeping Government at a Safe Distance John Witt shows us the power of perceptive legal history at work. Within the tangle of compensation for industrial accidents, he discovers not only a legal struggle whose outcome set the pattern for many 20th century interventions of government in economic life, but also a momentous confrontation between contract and collective responsibility. Anyone who finds American history absorbing will gain pleasure and insight from this book. --Viviana Zelizer, Princeton University, author of The Social Meaning of Money: Pin Money, Paychecks, Poor Relief, and Other Currencies In 1940 Willard Hurst and Lloyd Garrison inaugurated modern socio-legal studies in the United States with their history of workers' injuries and legal process in Wisconsin. Two generations later, John Fabian Witt's The Accidental Republic marks the full maturation of that field of inquiry. Deftly integrating a legal analysis of tort doctrine, a history of industrial accidents, and a fresh political-economic understanding of statecraft, Witt demonstrates the significance of turn-of-the-century struggles over work, injury, risk, reparation, and regulation in the making of our modern world. Sophisticated, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary, The Accidental Republic is legal history as Hurst and Garrison imagined it could be. --William Novak, The University of Chicago, author of The People's Welfare: Law and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century America
Author: Christopher L. Tomlins
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1993-04-30
This book presents a fundamental reinterpretation of law and politics in America between 1790 and 1850, the crucial period of the Republic's early growth and its movement toward industrialism. It is the most detailed study yet available of the intellectual and institutional processes that created the foundation categories framing all the basic legal relationships involving working people.
Author: Emily Zackin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2013-04-21
Genre: Political Science
Unlike many national constitutions, which contain explicit positive rights to such things as education, a living wage, and a healthful environment, the U.S. Bill of Rights appears to contain only a long list of prohibitions on government. American constitutional rights, we are often told, protect people only from an overbearing government, but give no explicit guarantees of governmental help. Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places argues that we have fundamentally misunderstood the American rights tradition. The United States actually has a long history of enshrining positive rights in its constitutional law, but these rights have been overlooked simply because they are not in the federal Constitution. Emily Zackin shows how they instead have been included in America's state constitutions, in large part because state governments, not the federal government, have long been primarily responsible for crafting American social policy. Although state constitutions, seemingly mired in trivial detail, can look like pale imitations of their federal counterpart, they have been sites of serious debate, reflect national concerns, and enshrine choices about fundamental values. Zackin looks in depth at the history of education, labor, and environmental reform, explaining why America's activists targeted state constitutions in their struggles for government protection from the hazards of life under capitalism. Shedding much-needed light on the variety of reasons that activists pursued the creation of new state-level rights, Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places challenges us to rethink our most basic assumptions about the American constitutional tradition.
Author: Andrew T. Fede
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 2017-07-15
This comparative study looks at the laws concerning the murder of slaves by their masters and at how these laws were implemented. Andrew T. Fede cites a wide range of cases—across time, place, and circumstance—to illuminate legal, judicial, and other complexities surrounding this regrettably common occurrence. These laws had evolved to limit in different ways the masters’ rights to severely punish and even kill their slaves while protecting valuable enslaved people, understood as “property,” from wanton destruction by hirers, overseers, and poor whites who did not own slaves. To explore the conflicts of masters’ rights with state and colonial laws, Fede shows how slave homicide law evolved and was enforced not only in the United States but also in ancient Roman, Visigoth, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and British jurisdictions. His comparative approach reveals how legal reforms regarding slave homicide in antebellum times, like past reforms dictated by emperors and kings, were the products of changing perceptions of the interests of the public; of the individual slave owners; and of the slave owners’ families, heirs, and creditors. Although some slave murders came to be regarded as capital offenses, the laws consistently reinforced the second-class status of slaves. This influence, Fede concludes, flowed over into the application of law to free African Americans and would even make itself felt in the legal attitudes that underlay the Jim Crow era.
Author: Louis P. Masur
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 1999-04-20
In The Challenge of American History, Louis Masur brings together a sampling of recent scholarship to determine the key issues preoccupying historians of American history and to contemplate the discipline's direction for the future. The fifteen summary essays included in this volume allow professional historians, history teachers, and students to grasp in a convenient and accessible form what historians have been writing about.
Author: Alessandro Stanziani
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2012-02-13
Genre: Business & Economics
The control of competition is designed, at best, to reconcile socioeconomic stability with innovation, and at worst, to keep competitors out of the market. In this respect, the nineteenth century was no more liberal than the eighteenth century. Even during the presumed liberal nineteenth century, legal regulation played a major role in the economy, and the industrial revolution was based on market institutions and organisations formed during the second half of the seventeenth century. If indeed there is a break in the history of capitalism, it should be situated at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with the irruption of mass production, consumption and the welfare state, which introduced new forms of regulation. This book provides a new intellectual, economic and legal history of capitalism from the eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. It analyzes the interaction between economic practices and legal constructions in France and compares the French case with other Western countries during this period, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Italy.
Author: Alison Marie Parker
Publisher: TAMU Press
Release Date: 2000
Because women have always played roles crucial to the functioning of the American political system, their formal entry into electoral politics is far less radical than usually thought. That underlying theme is the basis of this volume, which highlights women's participation in politics and their discourse in the negotiation of power. In her introduction, Sarah Barringer Gordon argues that women in the nineteenth century tolerated political instability only because of a presumption of marital stability. Stephanie McCurry examines the ethics of protection in the Confederacy as the basis for Southern loyalty and, ironically, for women's political demands during the Civil War. Catherine Allgor looks at the role of elite women, securing patronage for their husbands in early Washington while ostensibly protecting them from its corrupting influence. Alison M. Parker explores the radical political thought of Frances Wright and the implications of reactions to her egalitarianism. The difficulties and persistence of partisan political work by women in the late antebellum period underlie Janet L. Coryell's perceptive analysis of Anna Ella Carrol. Through her study of the postwar patronage career of Union spy "Crazy Bet" Van Lew, Elizabeth R. Varon elucidates the strategic advantages of political instability for women and the significance of the cry for women's rights as a threat to the defeated South. In the book's concluding essay, Lori D. Ginzberg analyzes the relationship between structures of formal governance (the ballot) and private governance (marriage) in sustaining women's political marginality.
Author: Kyle G. Volk
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2014
This work unearths the origins of popular minority-rights politics in American history. Focusing on controversies spurred by grassroots moral reform in the early 19th century, it shows how a motley array of self-understood minorities reshaped American democracy as they battled laws regulating Sabbath observance, alcohol, and interracial contact.
Expelling the Poor examines the origins of immigration restriction in the United States, especially deportation policy. Based on an analysis of immigration policies in major American coastal states, including New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana, and California, itprovides the first sustained study of immigration control conducted by states prior to the introduction of federal immigration law in the late nineteenth century. The influx of impoverished Irish immigrants over the first half of the nineteenth century led nativists in New York and Massachusetts todevelop policies for prohibiting the landing of destitute foreigners and deporting those already resident in the states to Europe, Canada, or other American states. No other coastal state engaged in immigration regulation with the same level of legislative effort and success as the two states. By locating the roots of American immigration control in cultural prejudice against the Irish and, more essentially, economic concerns about their poverty in nineteenth-century New York and Massachusetts, this book fundamentally revises the history of American immigration policy, which has largelyfocused on anti-Asian racism on the West Coast. By investigating state officials' practices of illegal removal, such as the overseas deportation of those who held American citizenship, this book reveals how the state-level treatment of destitute immigrants set precedents for the assertion byAmerican officers of unrestricted power against undesirable aliens, which characterized later federal control. Beginning with Irish migrants' initial departure from Ireland, the book traces their transatlantic passage to North America, the process of their expulsion from the United States, and theirpost-deportation lives in Europe. In doing so, it places American nativism in a transnational context, demonstrating how American deportation policy operated as part of a broader legal culture of excluding non-producing members from societies in the north Atlantic world.
Author: Julia Moses
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2018-05-31
During the late nineteenth century, many countries across Europe adopted national legislation that required employers to compensate workers injured or killed in accidents at work. These laws suggested that the risk of accidents was inherent to work and not due to individual negligence. By focusing on Britain, Germany, and Italy during this time, Julia Moses demonstrates how these laws caused a major transformation in thinking about the nature of individual responsibility and social risk. The First Modern Risk illuminates the implications of this conceptual revolution for the role of the state in managing problems of everyday life, transforming understandings about both the obligations and rights of individuals. Drawing on a wide array of disciplines including law, history, and politics, Moses offers a fascinating transnational view of a pivotal moment in the evolution of the welfare state.