Only one place of redress: African Americans, labor regulations, and the courts from Reconstruction to the New Deal
InOnly One Place of RedressDavid 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 theLochnerera-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 Bernsteinrs"s daring-and controversial-argument.
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ONE Emigrant Agent Laws
TWO Licensing Laws 28
THREE Railroad Labor Regulations 46
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Afri African Ameri African American barbers African American firemen African American workers Alabama argued Arnold Hill bill Black Workers Brotherhood Civil Rights constitutional construction contractors County craft unions Davis-Bacon Act Deal Labor Laws discrimination discriminatory Econ economic effects emigrant agent laws employers employment exclude African Americans facially neutral federal FLSA Fourteenth Amendment free labor Georgia Greene County Herbert Hill hire industry Jim Crow labor market labor unions liberty of contract licensing laws Lochner Lochnerian jurisprudence Migration minimum wage Morgan County National Negro Hist North Carolina Northrup Notes to Chapter Organized Labor percent Place of Redress planters plumbers political Prevailing-Wage Laws protection Race Racial racism railroad unions Railway Labor Act recruit Robert South southern Spero & Harris statute supra note supra note 15 Supreme Court tion unconstitutional United unskilled Virginia Wagner Act white workers Williams Williams's Wolters yellow dog contracts