Unions & Child Labor in Antebellum America

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
  • #15598

    Was it forbidden by law to form labor unions to raise wages or for workers to strike in the Antebellum era? According to a textbook I have, it was. But I recall listening to a lecture by one of the esteemed instructors of Liberty Classroom that it was not illegal to form unions (I do not recall anything about the legality of striking), or to collectively bargain. Why the discrepancy, or am I remembering incorrectly?

    The textbook also states that “In 1820 a significant portion of the nation’s industrial toilers were children under the age of 10”. I’m not sure what the authors meant by “significant portion”, but I’m still curious as to the validity of that claim.

    Thank you!


    In general, striking was intermittently disallowed by court injunctions prior to federal legislation legalizing it. I can’t say this general subject is my bailiwick, however.

    Yes, child labor was common until relatively recently (that is, the last few generations). There’s interesting treatment of this issue in Tom Woods’ 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.