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The conventional story of American administrative law dates its origin to a period 100 years after the Founding. In his classic history of American law, Lawrence Friedman tells us, "[i]n hindsight, the development of administrative law seems mostly a contribution of the 20th century .... The creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission, in 1887, has been taken to be a kind of genesis."' According to this conventional account, the federal government woke from its laissez- faire slumbers in the face of a crisis in the railroad industry. From that beginning, the modern administrative state was built in fits and starts over the next 100-plus years.

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