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Why the State? 100 Harvard Law Review 781 (1987)


We're back where we began. One hundred years ago the issue of the day was the scope of state power. America was becoming increasingly urbanized and industrialized and, to curb the excesses of industrial capitalism, various political forces turned to the state.1 The Interstate Commerce Commission was established in 1887, as part of a larger program to regulate the railroads that was to include the Elkins Act of 1903, the Hepburn Act of 19o6, and many state statutes; the Sherman Act was enacted in i89o, and the first peacetime income tax in 1894; statutes were also passed regulating the sale and distribution of liquor and lotteries; and a wide variety of federal and state statutes were then enacted to control various facets of the employment relationship, including the maximum number of hours worked, safety, child labor, and union membership.

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