Richard B. Morris, Government and Labor in Early America, 1946.





Part I: Free Labor

  1. The Regulation of Wages Prior to the Revolution
    • New England
    • The Middle Colonies
    • The Tobacco Provinces
    • The Rice and Sugar Colonies
  2. The Regulation of Wages during the Revolution
    • Regulation by the States and Congress
    • Enforcement of economic controls
    • Military regulation
    • Consequences of regulation
  3. Concerted Action among Workers
    • The Common Law and collective action
    • Combinations to maintain craft monopolies
    • Concerted action by workers in licensed trades
    • Concerted action by bound servants
    • Concerted action by white workmen against Negro artisans
    • Political action by working class groups in the Revolutionary period
    • Concerted action by journeymen workers for labor ends
  4. The Terms and Conditions of Employment
    • The System of Wage Payment
    • The period of employment
    • Enforcement of the contract
  5. Maritime Labor Relations
    • European origins of American maritime labor law
    • Colonial legislation dealing with maritime labor relations
    • The seamen in the courts of common law
    • The maritime contract of employment in vice-admiralty
    • The discipline of the sea
  6. Labor and the Armed Services
    • Exemptions and deferments from military service
    • The military service of servants
    • Impressment and enlistment of servants, free workers, and other landsmen in the navy
    • Nonmilitary services of artificers, laborers, and servants in the army
    • Artificers and laborers in the Continental and British armies during the American Revolution

    Part II: Bound Labor

  7. The Nature of Bound Labor
  8. The Sources of Bound Labor
    • Immigration
    • Servitude in satisfaction of criminal sentences imposed by colonial courts
    • Servitude for debt
    • Apprenticeship and child labor
  9. The Legal Status of Servitude


Persistent Problems of Labor Relations in the Light of Early American Experience