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Martin Luther King Case

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Kasey Chockalingam 1979 DBQ

Mr. Bass Period 5

The extent to which the federal government followed the principles of laissez faire can be seen as neither great nor minimal. The government held to some principles of laissez faire, but clearly intervened in some aspects of business. It is evident that the government often passed orders in favor of big business at the expense of workers, as well. The government's influence surrounded the issue of railroad land grants, as well as the control of interstate commerce. The Interstate Commerce Act was enacted to limit the freedom and wrongful capital gain of railways to benefit the people. Additionally, the government became involved in dealing with antitrust activities. The Senate passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, heavily influenced by the monopolies, to prevent trade restrictions. It is important to realize that there wasn't an excess of violation, nor was there a complete lack of intervention. Despite the fact that it seemed to be an exceptional way to aid the economy, between 1865 and 1900, many of the federal government policies did violate the principles of laissez-faire.

It is evident that the government violated laissez-faire on various occasions. The railroad companies were becoming a very successful business during this time period. Much of their success was due to the laissez-faire economic system. However, there were numerous accounts of the government acting in the railroad industry, trying to limit certain aspects of the companies, which clearly and directly contradicted the ideas of a laissez-faire system. One example is when they tried to set a price for the railroad industry, by calling for a "fair rate of freights". (Doc. E) Although this is not a clear-cut standard set for the industry, it became one nonetheless. This is a prime example of a violation of laissez-fair economics. Furthermore,



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