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Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State$
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Samuel DeCanio

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300198782

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300198782.001.0001

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The Compromise of 1877 and Railroad Regulation

The Compromise of 1877 and Railroad Regulation

(p.149) Chapter 9 The Compromise of 1877 and Railroad Regulation
Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State

Samuel DeCanio

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the Compromise of 1877 between Republicans and Southern Democrats involving railroad subsidies that would extend Thomas Scott's Texas and Pacific Railroad into their districts in exchange for making Rutherford Hayes president. Initially documented by C. Vann Woodward in Reunion and Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction (1954), the Compromise of 1877 involved not only the removal of federal troops from the South but also promises of federal aid to railroads. The compromise collapsed after Hayes became president and refused to provide railroad subsidies to the South. This chapter considers how the collapse of the Compromise of 1877 led Texas Democrat John Reagan to introduce a bill that culminated in the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission. It also explores the ramifications of railroad regulation championed by Reagan for American state formation.

Keywords:   railroad regulation, state formation, Compromise of 1877, Republicans, Democrats, railroad subsidies, Rutherford Hayes, railroads, John Reagan, Interstate Commerce Commission

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