Interstate Commerce Act Of 1887 Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Interstate Commerce Act Of 1887?
The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 (ICA) was the first federal law to regulate commerce between states in the United States. It was enacted by Congress in response to the abuse of railroad monopolies, which were seen as a threat to economic competition and fair trade. The ICA sought to ensure that railroads operated fairly and transparently, with rates set at reasonable levels and without discrimination against certain shippers or regions. The ICA prohibited several anticompetitive practices, including rebates, pools, and price-cutting agreements between railroads. It also required railroads to publish their rates openly and gave shippers the right to challenge any rate deemed unreasonable in court. The ICA also established the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), an independent agency responsible for enforcing its provisions. Although it did not go far enough to break up monopolies or otherwise completely address concerns over competition and fair trade, the ICA marked an important milestone in American antitrust policy. By setting a precedent for government regulation of interstate commerce, it laid the groundwork for future antitrust laws such as the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. In addition, its passage into law signaled an acknowledgment by Congress that certain types of private sector activity could be harmful if left unchecked by public authorities. Today, many provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act remain relevant even though much has changed since 1887; for example, many industries now operate across state lines thanks to advances in technology and communication systems that facilitate international trade. Nonetheless, this law still stands as a landmark moment in American history when government began regulating businesses on behalf of consumers’ interests.