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The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Twelfth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Examining the Evidence Activites
Chapter 29: Progressivism and the Republican Roosevelt, 1901-1912

Examining Related Evidence: Muller v. Oregon, 1908
This internet activity is based on the Examining the Evidence feature found on page 671 of The American Pageant, Twelfth Edition. Or you can view the feature here.

Court records, such as transcripts of Supreme Court decisions, can be difficult to understand not just because of the content but also because of the structure and language used by their authors. To investigate this further, examine the decision in the case Lochner v. New York (1905) which the Muller decision seemed to reverse. Go to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University and scroll down to the alphabetical listing of decisions and select Lochner v. New York.

Read the decision first then use the syllabus (summary) of Lochner to help you answer the following questions:

  1. What is the basic argument in the Lochner decision as to why it is NOT constitutional to restrict bakersí hours?
  2. What law was overturned by this case?
  3. Compare this case to the Muller case: Why was it constitutional to have a law restricting the hours of women in Oregon but not bakers in New York? (Hint: look at the third point made in the Lochner case syllabus and compare this to the Muller decision)
  4. What does this tell you about the prevailing attitudes towards women in the early 1900s? What is the argument in Lochner as to why it is NOT constitutional to restrict bakers hours?





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