Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 May 2022
These past three or four centuries have seen bitter discord and inequity arising initially in the most base form of oppression, slavery itself. The centuries have seen turmoil, inequity, and some considerable movement forward. The great post–Civil War constitutional amendments, which owe their inspiration to Magna Carta itself, have set much of the framework as have legislation that was designed to improve conditions of the average worker in the past century itself. But President Lincoln’s great triumph was achieved through the Grand Army of the Republic on the ground and at sea – just as FDR’s New Deal was a background and inspiration for workers who sought self-help prior to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).