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The Accidental Republic: Crippled Workingmen, Destitute Widows, and the Remaking of American Law
In the five decades after the Civil War, the United States witnessed a profusion of legal institutions designed to cope with the nation's exceptionally acute industrial accident crisis. Jurists elaborated the common law of torts. Workingmen's organizations founded a widespread system of cooperative insurance. Leading employers instituted welfare-capitalist accident relief ...more
Paperback, 311 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Harvard University Press
(first published 2004)
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The takeaway here is that workman's compensation legislation, sponsored by social reformers and passed by almost all states during the nineteen-teens, became the model for most subsequent social legislation, and itself involved a revolution in the way lawyers and judges thought about harm and responsibility. It's a great look at the intersections of legal, political, and philosophical thought.
Some of the sections here, such as those on cooperative insurance and managerial "Taylorism" (the creati ...more