Report The Most Free Era in Political Philosophy Posted March 26, 2006 Closed shop unions, for one thing, had begun to appear a decade or two before the turn of the century. Due to their absence in the early 1800s, I would still have to proclaim this society more free than many other eras. And furthermore, I should have been more clear on unions. Their appearance was not the problem, but more that fact that the government would intervene in strikes. The most popular example was the Pullman Strike of 1894, where the government felt it necessary to send federal troops to rectify the matter as well as force negotiations between the executives and their workers. Slaves are an entirely different matter. At the time, it was not sanctioned by the governement. You did not have to own slaves, though many did. As for women, I agree that the disenfranchisement of at least half the population was not a very free ideal, but I would much prefer it over today's standards of business regulation, eminent domain, and foreign policy.