Cover image for Capital, labor, and state : the battle for American labor markets from the Civil War to the New Deal
Capital, labor, and state : the battle for American labor markets from the Civil War to the New Deal
Robertson, David Brian, 1951-
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxii, 297 pages ; 24 cm
Corporate Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD6508 .R616 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Capital, Labor, and State is a systematic and thorough examination of American labor policy from the Civil War to the New Deal. David Brian Robertson skillfully demonstrates that although most industrializing nations began to limit employer freedom and regulate labor conditions in the 1900s, the United States continued to allow total employer discretion in decisions concerning hiring, firing, and workplace conditions. Visit our website for sample chapters!

Author Notes

David Brian Robertson is associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

What would appear on the surface to be a rather dry study of labor economics is actually a very concise, insightful examination of the ongoing struggle of unions, employers, and the government to establish the precise boundaries of US labor-management relations in the post-Civil War era. The lack of uniform labor market policies on the part of the states or the federal government forced organized workers and employers to attempt to define workplace conditions on their own terms. For the former, that meant the establishment of the union shop. As the labor movement moved aggressively to organize workers, employers became increasingly antiunion. They received strong support from a judicial system committed to the protection of private property and from political leaders who accurately gauged the growing power of both large and small businesses. By the 1920s, employers had gained almost total control of the workplace, even going so far as to establish employee representation plans for their workers. Robertson makes a strong case for the uniqueness of the US labor relations system, pointing out that it was objective economic and political conditions rather than some cultural construct that accounted for its departure from the experiences of other industrial nations. Recommended for upper-division undergraduate through professional collections. H. Harris; Pennsylvania State University, New Kensington Campus

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tablesp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Acronyms and Abbreviationsp. xxi
1 American Labor Market Policy, Strategy, and Political Institutionsp. 1
2 Labor and Regulation, 1865-1900p. 37
3 The American Federation of Labor Confronts Employersp. 65
4 The Employers Counterattackp. 95
5 The American Federation of Labor's Strategic Retreat and Its Consequencesp. 125
6 Limitations of Labor Market Regulationp. 153
7 Confining Trade Union Powersp. 183
8 Marginalizing Labor Market Managementp. 207
9 Circumscribing Work Insurancep. 231
10 The American Model of Labor Market Policyp. 257
Indexp. 281
About the Authorp. 297