Pros And Cons Of The Hepburn Act

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The Hepburn Act: Rough Draft
In the early 1900s, there were approximately 250,000 miles of railroad track. These tracks were often regulated by corporations that had no concern for the citizens that were directly affected by the railroad. Imagine taking a train to go visit your family in the next state over; this sounds completely harmless in the modern time, but in the past, the passengers had to worry about their safety and the outrageously unfair travel rates. What our country needed during that era was a change in the world of transportation. The Hepburn Act was beneficial because it extended the jurisdiction of railroads including Europe, added safety regulations to transportation, as well as made the transportation rates fair. The
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In fact, he personally put forth the effort to get the act passed. According to, “Roosevelt moved much more aggressively after his 1904 election. Public demand for effective national regulation of interstate railroad road rates were growing since the Supreme Court had emasculated the ICC rate making authority in the 1890’s.” Roosevelt wanted the people to have reasonable rates for railroads, ferries, etc. He pushed to get the Hepburn Act approved in its early stages. The steps leading up to the Hepburn Act involved the passing of the ICC Act in 1887. This act gave the ICC limited control over the federal regulations, unlike the Hepburn Act that eventually gave the ICC full control. Roosevelt won over the people by promising the regulation over rates, but he also began to gain the support of the railroad companies. According to The Progressive Era by LIFE, “by promising not to advocate major changes in the tariff, Roosevelt obtained a quid pro quo from the speaker in the form of a pledge of support for the railroad rate measures.” (LIFE pg. 405) Roosevelt’s debate on the tariff was dangerous, because it could have cause a complete division in the republican party if it was left

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