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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 Conservative Origins of the American Regulatory State

The Conservative Origins of the American Regulatory State

Chapter:
(p.222) Chapter 12 The Conservative Origins of the American Regulatory State
Source:
Democracy and the Origins of the American Regulatory State
Author(s):

Samuel DeCanio

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300198782.003.0013

This chapter argues that the American state was initially created by the response of conservative political elites to electoral pressures and concerns regarding the rationality of public opinion, rather than a product of popular outrage toward industrialization. It explains how populist social demands led certain liberal reformers and Republicans to endorse bureaucracy in an attempt to resist public opinion and to educate voters. It suggests that certain conservatives empowered bureaucracies, particularly the Treasury Department and the Interstate Commerce Commission, to implement policies they believed were extremely unpopular, culminating in a new regulatory state capable of limiting public opinion's influence upon politics.

Keywords:   public opinion, industrialization, liberal reformers, Republicans, bureaucracy, conservatives, regulatory state, Treasury Department, Interstate Commerce Commission

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