Only One Place of Redress: African Americans, Labor Regulations, and the Courts from Reconstruction to the New Deal

Only One Place of Redress: African Americans, Labor Regulations, and the Courts from Reconstruction to the New Deal

ISBN-10:
0822325837
ISBN-13:
9780822325833
Pub. Date:
01/18/2001
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
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Overview

Only One Place of Redress: African Americans, Labor Regulations, and the Courts from Reconstruction to the New Deal

In Only One Place of Redress David E. Bernstein offers a bold reinterpretation of American legal history: he argues that American labor and occupational laws, enacted by state and federal governments after the Civil War and into the twentieth century, benefited dominant groups in society to the detriment of those who lacked political power. Both intentionally and incidentally, claims Bernstein, these laws restricted in particular the job mobility and economic opportunity of blacks.
A pioneer in applying the insights of public choice theory to legal history, Bernstein contends that the much-maligned jurisprudence of the Lochner era—with its emphasis on freedom of contract and private market ordering—actually discouraged discrimination and assisted groups with little political clout. To support this thesis he examines the motivation behind and practical impact of laws restricting interstate labor recruitment, occupational licensing laws, railroad labor laws, minimum wage statutes, the Davis-Bacon Act, and New Deal collective bargaining. He concludes that the ultimate failure of Lochnerism—and the triumph of the regulatory state—not only strengthened racially exclusive labor unions but contributed to a massive loss of employment opportunities for African Americans, the effects of which continue to this day.
Scholars and students interested in race relations, labor law, and legal or constitutional history will be fascinated by Bernstein’s daring—and controversial—argument.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822325833
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Publication date: 01/18/2001
Series: Constitutional Conflicts
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1

1. Emigrant Agent Laws
33

2. Licensing Laws 121

3. Railroad Labor Regulations
203

4. Prevailing-Wage Laws
275

5. New Deal Labor Laws 353

Documents

Section 1: Federal Acts and Resolutions 486
486

Section 2: State Legislation 519
519

Section 3: Municipal Resolutions 537

Section 4: Advocacy and Activism 560

Section 5: Case Studies of Redress
638

Section 6: Lawsuits 661

Selected Bibliography 673

Contributors 683

Acknowledgment of Copyrights 687 687

Index 691

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