British leaders also felt the need to tighten control over their empire. To be sure, laws regulating imperial trade and navigation had been on the books for generations, but American colonists were notorious for evading these regulations. They were even known to have traded with the French during the recently ended war. From the British point of view, it was only right that American colonists should pay their fair share of the costs for their own defense. If additional revenue could also be realized through stricter control of navigation and trade, so much the better. Thus the British began their attempts to reform the imperial system.Continue Reading →
Prior to his public service in the 1960s as U.S. secretary of labor, Supreme Court justice and ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur J. Goldberg spent 23 years as a chief legal strategist and adviser to the American labor movement. Goldberg provided brilliant legal advice to the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) in its successful battle to unionize the steel industry in the late 1930s. He was a principal architect of the U.S. collective bargaining system as it evolved in the post-World War II decades. Goldberg also helped draft the merger agreement between the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955 and played a key role in AFL-CIO policies aimed at ending corrupt union practices among affiliates.Continue Reading →
In the 1960 campaign, Lyndon B. Johnson was elected Vice President as John F. Kennedy’s running mate. On November 22, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated, Johnson was sworn in as the 36th United States President, with a vision to build “A Great Society” for the American people. In his first years of office he obtained passage of one of the most extensive legislative programs in the Nation’s history.
First he obtained enactment of the measures President Kennedy had been urging at the time of his death–a new civil rights bill and a tax cut. Next he urged the Nation “to build a great society, a place where the meaning of man’s life matches the marvels of man’s labor.”
In his domestic policies, Truman sought to accomplish the difficult transition from a war to a peace economy without plunging the nation into recession, and he hoped to extend New Deal social programs to include more government protection and services and to reach more people….The Truman administration went considerably beyond the New Deal in the area of civil rights. Although, the conservative Congress thwarted Truman’s desire to achieve significant civil rights legislation, he was able to use his powers as President to achieve some important changes. He issued executive orders desegregating the armed forces and forbidding racial discrimination in Federal employment. He also established a Committee on Civil Rights and encouraged the Justice Department to argue before the Supreme Court on behalf of plaintiffs fighting against segregation.Continue Reading →
Walter Reuther was president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) from 1946 until his death in 1970. Under his leadership, the UAW grew to more than 1.5 million members, becoming one of the largest unions in the United States. Reuther was widely admired as the model of a reform-minded, liberal, responsible trade unionist—the leading labor intellectual of his age, a champion of industrial democracy and civil rights who used the collective bargaining process and labor’s political influence to advance the cause of social justice for all Americans.Continue Reading →
BEFORE this article appears the President’s much-discussed Work-Relief Bill may have reached a compromise satisfactory enough at least to insure its passing through a faction-torn Congress. This will not, however, put an end to the vital interest with which Negroes, in common with all workers, should scrutinize the provisions of the bill. Assuming that the President is sincere in his announced intention of taking this country “out of the business of relief,” then the manner of his so doing will certainly concern very deeply the dark-skinned workers who form more than one-fifth of the nation’s jobless.Continue Reading →
This Society was formed at Washington, near the last of December, 1816. Though the objects proposed by the Society had, for a considerable time previous to its origin, occupied the thoughts of several enlightened and benevolent individuals, still the Institution owes its origin mostly to the philanthropic efforts of Rev. Dr. Finley of New Jersey, aided by Rev. Samuel J. Mills, and a few others of a kindred spirit. The object to which the attention of the Society is exclusively directed, is to colonize, with their own consent, on the Coast of Africa, or such other place as Congress shall deem expedient, the people of colour in our country, already free–and those others, who may hereafter be liberated by the humanity of individuals, or the laws of the States.Continue Reading →
This lengthy entry is from The Library of Congress’s American Memory. It is a copy of a pamphlet prepared, published and sold as “Facts for the People of the Free States.” It is a significant document insofar as it reports on the reality of slave treatment and the influence of Southern States on the politics and policies of the federal government in the year 1846.Continue Reading →
Passage of the Fugitive Slave Act made abolitionists all the more resolved to put an end to slavery. The Underground Railroad became more active, reaching its peak between 1850 and 1860. The act also brought the subject of slavery before the nation. Many who had previously been ambivalent about slavery now took a definitive stance against the institution.
The Compromise of 1850 accomplished what it set out to do — it kept the nation united — but the solution was only temporary. Over the following decade the country’s citizens became further divided over the issue of slavery. The rift would continue to grow until the nation itself divided.Continue Reading →
The Plessy decision legitimized segregation practices begun earlier in the South and provided a legal framework for additional segregation laws throughout the rest of the nation. As a consequence of the Plessy decision, many of the rights blacks won at both the state and federal level during the Reconstruction Era were erased through means of the “separate but equal” doctrine. Despite the Supreme Court’s faith in “separate but equal,” Southern state governments refused to provide blacks with genuinely equal facilities and resources in the decades following the Plessy decision.Continue Reading →