By David Montgomery
Within the Nineties, democracy and industry freedom are usually mentioned as if they have been synonymous or interchangeable. What the event of employees within the usa truly unearths is that as govt grew to become extra democratic, what it will possibly do to form lifestyle grew to become extra limited. This unique and demanding paintings examines the connection among employees and govt by means of focusing no longer at the criminal rules of unions and moves, yet on renowned struggles for voters' rights. the level and screw ups of employees' efforts to workout strength via political events supply insights from the 19th century to lead our wondering the twenty-first.
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Additional resources for Citizen Worker: The Experience of Workers in the United States with Democracy and the Free Market during the Nineteenth Century
1987), 164-76. An excellent summary of voting participation and restrictions by Walter Dean Burnham can be found in Census, Hist. Stat, vol. 2, 1067-72. 22 Public relief was a routine part of the income of the nineteenthcentury urban poor, and aside from the privileged few, virtually any woman living away from a farm and without a man's income was impoverished. 23 Destitute or not, however, they were excluded from suffrage by virtue of being women. Moreover, by the 1870s most poor relief in larger urban areas had been taken out of the hands of elected governmental bodies by privately directed charities.
Peter Coleman has calculated that the courts of Philadelphia received an average of seven hundred and fifty such petitions each year between 1822 and 1830, most of them for petty claims against poor artisans and laborers - claims that often ran to as little as sixty cents, and in one famous case of 1830, two cents. The rapid growth of the wage-earning population stimulated not only demands for abolition of debtors' prison, but also powerful opposition to those demands, especially from the vast network of petty creditors with whom working people dealt.
He supported the 1866 Civil Rights Act, and subsequently the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, both of which nullified contractual requirements of the Black Codes and put in their place principles of "freedom of contract" to regulate both economic and family life throughout the United States. Even Senator Edgar Cowen of Pennsylvania, who opposed the remedial federal legislation, argued that if a southern legislature "declared that a contract for the performance of labor can be specifically performed, .