The Issue of Federal Regulation in the Progressive Era

By Richard Abrams | Go to book overview

APPENDIX

Chronology and Summaries of Legislation Which Represented Major Federal Intervention in the Nation's Political Economy: 1887-1917. (Tariffs Excluded)

1887--Interstate Commerce Act: (1) establishes the Interstate Commerce Commission with power to investigate, report on, make recommendations on, and issue "cease and desist" orders to interstate carriers in the course of administrating the restrictive provisions of the Act; (2) authorizes the I.C.C. to require interstate carriers to submit annual reports on financial, rate-making, safety, and operational matters; (3) states that "all charges . . . shall be reasonable and just"; (4) outlaws rebates and other forms of "unjust discrimination"; (5) outlaws higher rates "for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line, in the same direction," "under substantially similar circumstances and conditions," except in special cases as approved by the I.C.C. [Section 4]; (6) outlaws pools and combinations.

1890--Sherman Anti-Trust Act: (1) declares illegal "Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of [interstate or foreign] trade"; (2) provides "threefold damages" to those injured by violation of the Act.

1891--Forest Reserve Act: authorizes the president to set aside timber lands and to establish national parks.

1901--Right-of-Way Act: codifies all previous right-of-way grants across public lands for irrigation or other water-use purposes; (2) gives the secretary of the interior power (later transferred to the secretary of agriculture) to issue right-of-way permits or licenses.

1902--Newlands Reclamation Act: reserves revenue from sales of public lands and fees for use of water power on public lands for the purpose of Federal irrigation projects in sixteen western states.

1903--Establishment of the Bureau of Corporations [Section 6 of an Act to Create a Department of Commerce and Labor]: gives the commissioner of corporations, who is made head of the Bureau, "the same power and authority in respect to corporations . . . as is conferred on the Interstate Commerce Commission."

1906--Hepburn Act [Amendment of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887]: (1) includes oil pipe lines, express companies, rail switches, private cars, and terminal facilities within I.C.C. jurisdiction; (2) forbids any railroad to transport any commodity in which it has a proprietary interest, except lumber and lumber products; (3) reinforces the prohibitions against free passes and against rebates; (4) authorizes the I.C.C. to prescribe a maximum rate if upon complaint it finds that a rate is "unjust or unreasonable, or unjustly discriminatory, or unduly preferential, or prejudicial"; (5) empowers the I.C.C. to award damages against a carrier; (6) explicitly authorizes a circuit court of appeals to suspend I.C.C. orders upon a hearing after five days notice to the Commission.

1906--Pure Food and Drug Act: (1) requires accurate labelling of all canned or packaged food and drugs; (2) forbids the manufacture,

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