In spite of these obstacles, the national government and the various states have enacted a great many labor laws. In many of the states women and children are fairly well protected, not only against unscrupulous employers, but also, strange as it may seem at first, against themselves. In passing on these laws, however, the courts have often been compelled to shut their eyes to the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees the right of every citizen to make contracts. In the case of men they have not been so lenient. In fact, except in the most extreme cases, or where the public interest was directly involved, the courts have usually declared those laws to be unconstitutional which restrict the rights of adult males to enter into whatever labor contracts they please. Yet it seems safe to say that the trend of the times is toward restrictive labor legislation for men, for it is practically impossible to separate the welfare of the individual from the welfare of society. Hence we have laws abolishing the manufacture of certain kinds of matches; others regulating hours of labor in deep mines; and still others, restricting the number of hours railroad crews may work.