Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater – Schenck v. US

Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater - Schenck v. US
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., c. 1924, introduced the clear-and-present-danger test. | Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater – Schenck v. US

Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater – Schenck v. US

During World War I, socialists Charles Schenck and Elizabeth Baer distributed pamphlets claiming that the draft was in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment’s ban on involuntary servitude. The leaflets urged people to oppose the conscription, but only in a peaceful way. Schenck was charged with conspiring to break the 1917 Espionage Act by inciting military insubordination and obstructing recruitment. Schenck and Baer were found guilty of breaking this legislation and filed an appeal claiming that the statute was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

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19th Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote (1920)

19th Amendment: Women's Right to Vote (1920)
The cover of the program from a women’s suffrage procession in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 1913. | 19th Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote (1920)

19th Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote (1920)

The 19th amendment, passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, gave women the right to vote.

The 19th Amendment provides women in the United States the right to vote. This achievement came after a long and arduous struggle—victory came after decades of agitation and resistance. Several generations of women’s suffrage supporters spoke, wrote, marched, lobbied, and engaged in civil disobedience beginning in the mid-nineteenth century to obtain what many Americans considered a radical amendment in the Constitution. Only a small percentage of early supporters lived to see the final victory in 1920.

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18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)

18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)
New York City police officers watch as agents pour booze into a sewer after a raid, c. 1921. | 18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)

18th Amendment 1919 (National Prohibition Act)

The 18th Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages, was ratified by Congress on January 19, 1919. However, no provisional funds were available for anything other than token enforcement.

The 18th Amendment Divides the Country – Everyone is forced to make a decision: you are either a “dry” who supports Prohibition or a “wet.” But one thing is certain: Prohibition has had little impact on America’s thirst. While organized crime fights for control of illegal alcohol markets, underground distilleries and saloons supply bootlegged liquor to a large clientele. The mayhem prompts the United States Department of Treasury to beef up its law enforcement capabilities.

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Expansion of Consumer Rights 1916 US

The Expansion of Consumer Rights 1916 US

The Expansion of Consumer Rights 1916 US
A car accident involving a Buick Runabout, like the one pictured here, expanded consumer rights by focusing legal attention on products liability.
The Expansion of Consumer Rights 1916 US

MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., Benjamin Cardozo (1870–1938)

MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co. – 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 1050 (1916)

Rule

The maker is responsible to make the product carefully if manufacturing carelessness is fairly guaranteed to cause harm, knowing that others may use it. Whether or not anything is thus harmful is an issue for the court at times and a jury at other times. The relationship’s proximity or distance is a consideration to consider.

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The Child Labor Act of 1916 US

The Child Labor Act of 1916 US

The Child Labor Act of 1916 US
The Child Labor Act of 1916 US

This law set limits on children’s working hours and prohibited the interstate sale of commodities made with child labor.

Approximately 2 million youngsters worked in mills, mines, farms, factories, stores, and on city streets across the United States, according to the 1900 census. The census data sparked a nationwide push in the United States to abolish child labor.

Lewis Hine was engaged as a staff photographer by the National Child Labor Committee in 1908, and he was dispatched around the country to photograph and report on child labor (see Hine photo). Because of its negative impact on children’s health and wellbeing, social reformers began to denounce child labor.

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The Prohibition of Illegal Narcotics 1915

The Prohibition of Illegal Narcotics 1915

The Prohibition of Illegal Narcotics 1915
USA or American flag background

Francis Burton Harrison (1873–1957)

Morphine (an opium derivative and relative of heroin) was discovered to have pain-killing qualities during the Civil War and quickly became the major component in numerous patent medications.

Marijuana and cocaine were used to cure migraines, rheumatism, and sleeplessness in the late 1800s, while cocaine was used to treat sinusitis, hay fever, and chronic exhaustion in the late 1800s. All of these narcotics were also used recreationally, with cocaine being a regular ingredient in wines and soda pop, notably the well-known Coca-Cola.

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The Clayton Antitrust Act 1914

The Clayton Antitrust Act 1914

The Clayton Antitrust Act 1914
This 1905 illustration shows John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil prompting U.S. Senator Nelson Aldrich to play Congress like an organ.
The Clayton Antitrust Act 1914

Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924)

The Clayton Antitrust Act was passed by Congress in 1914 to clarify and enhance the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890). Large firms were able to take advantage of several loopholes in the latter’s imprecise language, allowing them to engage in certain restrictive business arrangements that, although not unlawful in and of themselves, resulted in concentrations that harmed competition.

Despite the trust-busting actions of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft under the Sherman Act, it appeared to a legislative committee in 1913 that big business had continued to grow bigger and that a few persons had the capacity to throw the country into a financial crisis. When President Woodrow Wilson requested a major overhaul of existing antitrust laws, Congress reacted by establishing the Clayton Act.

The Clayton Act made unlawful some commercial activities that are favorable to the establishment of monopolies or that result from them, whereas the Sherman Act merely made monopolies illegal.

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