Day Four: Protective Legislation, Police Power and Liberty of Contract

by Tona H - February 12th, 2012

Our discussion on Monday 2/13 will center on how Americans understood–and fought over–Constitutional concepts at the turn of the twentieth century, including laissez-faire, liberty/freedom of contract, substantive due process, police power, and the role of government (state and/or federal) in crafting and enforcing different kinds of protective legislation. The broader cultural context of these cases includes the constriction of black civil rights under Jim Crow, imperialist expansion, labor unrest, and the Populist and Progressive movements. It should be a rich discussion! Bring the Major Problems book. Also: the Document Analysis paper is due.
Image: The Guthman Steam Laundry, Atlanta GA 1905

Short video clip: Eric Foner explaining “freedom of contract” 1:24 (Companion website for Give Me Liberty!)

The Brandeis Brief (full text)’s Landmark Cases site
Harvard Baker Business Library Women and Work Collections (documents, photographs, pamphlets, periodicals)

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