From the Editor of Perspectives: Political Power and Social Classes

Jefferey IsaacFrom the Editor

Jeffrey C. Isaac

In the beginning there was the American Political Science Review. The first issue of the APSR appeared in 1906—exactly 110 years ago. The early issues of the journal make interesting reading today. The journal was in so many ways very different, in format, style, and substance, than it is today. It contained articles and essays, book reviews, professional news, and also a special section called “Notes on Current Legislation.” In preparing to write this Introduction, I decided to peruse the journal’s first few issues, to see if any of the themes covered in this issue of Perspectives received any attention there.

Three items in the “Current Legislation” section of issue 3, published in May 1907, caught my eye. They are worth quoting:

“Labor of Women and Children. During the closing days of the last session, congress appropriated $150,000 for an investigation into the industrial, social, moral, educational, and physical conditions of woman and child workers in the United States. Special attention is to be given in this investigation to hours of labor, terms of employment, health, illiteracy, sanitary and other conditions surrounding their occupation, as well as the means employed for the protection of their health, person, and morals. The inquiry will be conducted under the supervision of the commissioner of labor (p. 450).”

“Workmen’s Compensation. In December, 1906, the British parliament passed an act to amend and consolidate the law of workmen’s compensation. The act extends the benefits of the law to over six million persons not included under the provisions of preceding acts (p. 467).”

“Social Democratic Program in the Wisconsin Legislature. It is frequently held that the socialists do not have a constructive program. The six social-democratic members of the State legislature of Wisconsin, however, have advanced about seventy carefully drawn measures, which indicate the lines along which they intend to carry out their ideas … It should be noted that some of the measures which the socialists have advanced heretofore, are now being taken up by representatives of other parties…

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Perspectives on Politics / Volume 14 / Issue 02 / June 2016, pp 297-306 / Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016