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The Interstate Commerce Act was passed on February 4, 1887, to address the issues of railroad commerce and discrimination. It created the first federal regulatory agency through the Interstate Commerce Commission. For more information on the Interstate Commerce Act read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- In the second half of the 19th century, the United States continued to industrialize in terms of commerce. The construction of railroads for trading opened interstate markets. This advancement led to the strong control on commerce through monopolies.
- Railroad industrialists, Edward Harriman, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, Henry Plant and Mark Hopkins, ruled the monopolies in the railroad industry. They were also known as the Robber Barons. They controlled the transportation of grain crops from local farmers.
- The Granger Movement was established by the farmers. It was supported by the farmers from Iowa, Kansas, Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska. In some states, the Granger Law was passed due to the Panic of 1873.
- Railroad monopolies discriminated against fair rates. They provided rebates for large passengers or shippers which small farmers could not afford. Monopolies were established due to lack of competition. Big railroad companies were not regulated. They were the key element for interstate commerce.
- In 1886, the Wabash v Illinois case decision of the Supreme Court declared that states couldn’t regulate commerce outside their borders. In contrast, Munn v Illinois (1876) decided that public regulation of private railroad companies was constitutional. These events gave way to the public’s demand for a federal regulation.
- The provisions of the act were applicable to both small and large carriers of passengers and goods transferred through railroads or shipments.
- Before 1887, Ohio created a state commission that would regulate the railroad as well as the telegraph. It was unsuccessful because the state commission could not change the policies of railroad companies.
- In 1887, the United States Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act. This legislation also created the first federal regulatory agency, known as the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). The act required railroad companies to impose fair rates for the public. The commission was to investigate and prosecute companies who violated the law. On the other hand, ICC’s power was limited to those railroads which crossed states. From 1887 to 1906, they had presented sixteen cases to the US Supreme Court.
- The act aimed to distinguish inequalities in terms of fair rates regardless of how big or small the business. Shipping rates were to be just, reasonable, and published for the public.
- Pres. Grover Cleveland was the US president who signed the Interstate Commerce Act.
Interstate Commerce Act Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Interstate Commerce Act Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about The Interstate Commerce Act which was passed on February 4, 1887, to address the issues of railroad commerce and discrimination. It created the first federal regulatory agency through the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Interstate Commerce Act Facts
- My Glossary
- Interstate Commerce Commission
- Modified True or False
- Train Line
- Pres. Grover Cleveland
- The Robber Barons
- Before the Act Word Search
- Reading Document
- Political Cartoon Analysis
- American Economy
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Link will appear as Interstate Commerce Act Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 7, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.