Papers, Petitions, and Parades: Free Expression's Pivotal Function in the Early Labor Movement
44 Pages Posted: 24 May 2006
In this manuscript, I describe and analyze the important role free speech played in the early labor movement. Labor scholars widely acknowledge free speech's essential function in the labor movement, so it is not surprising that early labor extensively used expression. It is surprising, however, that this use of expression has gone unnoticed by constitutional historians. First Amendment scholarship has largely neglected the history of free speech before the Civil War, and recent attempts to recapture this history have focused solely on the abolition movement - leaving early labor speech truly forgotten in the history of free speech.
Keywords: free speech, free expression, labor law, social movements, social movement theory, unions, legal history
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