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The Constitution and the Nation

The Regulatory State, 1890-1945


Christopher Waldrep and Lynne Curry

The rapid acceleration of industrialization and the transformation of market capitalism that followed the Civil War provided new opportunities for employment and wealth for many Americans. But these opportunities came at a cost: overcrowded and unsanitary housing, long work hours in dangerous conditions, and child labor in factories and mines. At the nineteenth century’s end, Progressivism emerged as a national movement to redress the extreme imbalances in wealth and power that had come to characterize American life and to ameliorate some of the worst consequences of industrialization. The United States Supreme Court struggled with questions of preserving individual and property rights versus government regulation on behalf of the public interest. Following the stock market crash of 1929, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal greatly expanded the regulatory state and brought about a constitutional revolution. This volume assembles the era’s most important Supreme Court decisions, treatises, articles, and speeches, documenting our nation’s Constitutional history from the Gilded Age through World War II.