Subjects: commercial policy--U.S. States; Monopolies--Government policy; rail companies--Corrupt practices; Railroads--Freight--Rates--Law and legislation
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The Interstate business Act (1887) was signed by chairman Grover Cleveland ~ above February 4, 1887, when Theodore Roosevelt to be ranching in the Dakotas and writing books. Back the act was passed long prior to he entered the White House, the Interstate commerce Act is essential to Roosevelt. Together president, he would use it to regulate America’s railroads.

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Railroads to be the an initial “big business” in the unified States. They thrived at a fast pace ~ the civil War. Farmers and also ranchers involved rely on trains to get their products to market. The commonwealth government exercised a irradiate hand over industry at that time, assisting the expansion of railroads through land sponsor (until 1871) and little oversight. The railroads offered preferential treatment (in the kind of reduced rates) to big shippers. Small farmers and also businessmen feeling this to be unfair, and eventually lock petitioned conference to pressure the railroads to be evenhanded. The result was the Interstate business Act, which attempted to border corporate power. It regulated the railroads so they had actually to offer “reasonable and also just” transportation rates. Additionally, railroads might no longer administer secret, advantageous rates to certain shippers. In fact, the Interstate business Act compelled rates come be released so everyone might see them. It likewise created the Interstate commerce Commission to make certain the industry followed the Act. However, weak enforcement ensured that the Interstate business Act languished top top the books, nearly forgotten till Theodore Roosevelt became president.

Monopolistic behavior by the railroads ongoing unabated, prompting chairman Roosevelt to look for to reform and regulate the industry. He took the an initial step by having his administration bring suit in 1902 (decided in 1904) versus a railroad monopoly called the northern Securities Company. Quickly after, he signed two necessary pieces of regulation legislation, the Elkins action in 1903 and the Hepburn plot in 1906.

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Both that these laws strengthened the powers of the Interstate commerce Commission and acted as a brake on unjust activities by U.S. Railroads.