The 1910s and 1920s were critical for the development of labor legislation in the United States. A shift in the role of the state was being negotiated in the regulation of the economy, especially of the labor market. A heterogeneous network of progressive activists, of which academics were a constituent (Hart 1994, 67), fought for enactment of protective labor legislation, while conservative efforts, primarily embodied by Lochner era 2 Federal Courts, upheld freedom of contract and laissez-faire.