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This article will survey a landmark of American labor law. It will
be prefaced by a short recapitulation of general views which have been
developed at length in another article.'
The handful of American labor cases before 1850 are striking illustrations
of the nature of some law as an index of social direction-an
index less like a compass showing direction in relation to some fixed
lodestar of human harmony than like a weather-vane-harder to read,
however, since the true direction of the wind it swings to is not always
clear. Each of the cases showed a complex force resulting from the
moment's collisions of an heterogeneous variety of wills, wants, interests
and values which it is convenient, though over-simple, to conceive
as two opposing sets, each set more consistent than such a hodge-podge
as distracts a normal individual or political party, one set describable as
Tory and the other as Jeffersonian. Most of the cases showed Tory
pressures as strongest, though the Jeffersonian always modified them
and sometimes prevailed.

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labor law, Commonwealth v. Hunt