By Janice Ruth Wood
Handed in 1873, the Comstock Act banned 'obscene' fabrics from the mail with out defining obscenity, leaving it open to interpretation via courts that have been adversarial to loose speech. Literature that mirrored altering attitudes towards sexuality, faith, and social associations fell sufferer to the Comstock Act and comparable kingdom legislation. Dr. Edward Bliss Foote grew to become one of the earliest members convicted below the legislation after he mailed a brochure on birth-control tools. For the subsequent 4 a long time, Foote Sr. and his son, Dr. Edward Bond Foote, challenged the Comstock Act in Congress, legislatures, and courts and likewise provided own suggestions to Comstock defendants. This e-book chronicles the Footes’ fight, studying not only the efforts of those cruising champions of freedom of expression and women's rights, but additionally the bigger concerns surrounding loose speech and censorship within the Gilded Age of yank background.
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Additional info for The Struggle for Free Speech in the United States, 1872-1915: Edward Bliss Foote, Edward Bond Foote, and Anti-Comstock Operations (Studies in American Popular History and Culture)
76–9). Thereby, women had become threats to the common morality and the very foundations of society, as many believed (Haller & Haller, 1995, p. 85). Divorce Women pursuing greater personal freedom were joined by male supporters such as the Footes in demanding changes in the institution of marriage. They called for revisions to laws that subordinated wives to their husbands and to divorce laws that bound partners in unhappy unions despite incompatibility (McElroy, 1996, p. 1). In a public lecture and debate that he published in 1884, Foote Sr.
In the early 20th Century, Foote Sr. , 1911, p. 1 From the Manhattan base Foote established in 1864, Foote Sr. gradually developed an extensive medical practice and offered medical advice through correspondence (Sears, 1997, p. 186). , and others on reproductive control, health care, social reform, and free speech; agents across the country distributed the materials. Foote Sr. aggressively advertised his books and services, enclosing sales fliers with orders and printing testimonials from satisfied patients in the backs of books.
The first section describes the context of the Comstock Act and related arrests against the backdrop of the era’s judicial system that was biased against free speech. The second part turns to actions taken on obscenity in Congress and statehouses, including the New York legislature, Foote Sr. and his son lobbied against Comstock. , starting with his prosecution for violating the Comstock Act by distributing information on contraceptives. Yet another conflict developed between Foote Sr. and postal authorities over mailing rates for his magazine; he took drastic measures—printing in Canada—to continue publishing it, which led to a different set of problems.