Citizen Worker by David Montgomery
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Citizen Worker
By David Montgomery

Citizen Worker

The Experience of Workers in the United States with Democracy and the Free Market During the Nineteenth Century

By (author) See other recent books by David Montgomery
Format: Paperback

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Citizen Worker by David Montgomery

Book Description

This book discusses the relationship between workers and the government by focusing not on the legal regulation of unions and strikes, but on popular struggles for citizenship rights. This discussion includes the role of democracy in the dismantling of indentured servitude, judicial decisions shaping the rights and obligations of the development of vagrancy law and of municipal police forces. The book also examines the role of the Democratic, Republican, and Know Nothing parties in shaping popular political culture and in mobilising and channeling the political activity of white and black workers.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521483803
ISBN-10: 0521483808
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Pages: 204
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 31-Mar-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author David Montgomery

Household Accounts by David Montgomery Household Accounts, Paperback (May 2015)

Susan Porter Benson takes readers into the budgets and the lives of working-class families in the United States between the two world wars.

Native American Crafts and Skills by David Montgomery Native American Crafts and Skills, Paperback (April 2008)

An excellent introduction to the study of Native American crafts and outdoor skills.

Mountainman Crafts & Skills by David Montgomery Mountainman Crafts & Skills, Paperback (April 2008)

A fully illustrated guide to wilderness living and survival.

Black Workers' Struggle for Equality in Birmingham by David Montgomery Black Workers' Struggle for Equality in Birmingham, Paperback (May 2007)

Presents a set of annotated oral interviews from the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement to be undertaken by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. This book reconsiders the links of the labor movement to the struggle for civil rights.

» View all books by David Montgomery

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A perceptive but pedantic look at the socioeconomic and political lot of America's 19th-century working class. Drawing on research for a lecture series given at Oxford during 1991, Montgomery (History/ Yale; The Fall of the House of Labor - not reviewed; etc.) starts by discussing how democracy helped end onerous forms of personal subordination - apprenticeship, indentured servitude, slavery, etc. He goes on to show that the voting rights given white male wage earners during the early 1800's provided them with the clout to abrogate master/servant ordinances (which all but precluded quitting hateful or otherwise unwanted jobs), imprisonment for debt, and seizure of property for non-payment of rent. During Reconstruction, similarly, southern blacks achieved roughly analogous gains, albeit not without an appreciably fiercer struggle. Ironically, Montgomery points out, imperatives attendant upon expanding business activity and innovation, not the quotidian needs of US labor, largely defined replacement statutes. In addition, courts rather than elected legislators laid down the law governing employers and employees. The judiciary's authority made legal precedent of free-market doctrine and gave the state coercive police powers (which were used to the very great advantage of capital) to curb the individual as well as collective initiatives open to working people. Asserting that diversity barred domination of American life by an ideological consensus, Montgomery closes with an inquiry into the role political parties played in developing alternatives to laissez-faire's cruelly Darwinian laws. In sum, an academic's informed and densely annotated reflections on the paradox of freedom as it applied to earlier workers; offering few substantive links to 20th-century circumstances, however, the study's appeal appears limited to specialists. (Kirkus Reviews)


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