American Legal History

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My Wikipedia article can be found here:

Brief introduction to source

The source I've posted below is a copy of the Act for the Better Regulation and Government of Seamen in the Merchants Service. This piece of British legislation, passed in 1729, mandated a formalized wage contract between merchants and the seamen they employed. As I describe in my article, formalized wage contracts provided various protections to both parties, either of whom could take contract disputes to Admiralty courts. The Act signalled a shift towards a free wage system in an industry that traditionally lacked formalized labor relationships. A reliance on oral agreements and customary practices of the sea had led to various inefficiencies and captain-sailor tensions in merchant voyages.

The Act can be found here (note: you will need to enter your Columbia uni/password to access it):

-- DanielLennard - 10 Mar 2013


Revision 1r1 - 10 Mar 2013 - 13:59:17 - DanielLennard
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