Cover: Merchants, Farmers, and Railroads: Railroad Regulation and New York Politics, 1850–1887, from Harvard University PressCover: Merchants, Farmers, and Railroads in E-DITION

Merchants, Farmers, and Railroads

Railroad Regulation and New York Politics, 1850–1887

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674733619

Publication Date: 01/01/1955

310 pages


Available from De Gruyter »

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

In 1850 the State of New York enacted a Free Railroad Law which represented perhaps the most sweeping legislative endorsement of laissez faire in American history. With remarkable speed, state after state followed suit, expressing the New York doctrine of political economy: faith in the wonder-working qualities of the “natural laws of trade.” And yet, in 1887 the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act formally signaled the end of laissez faire in transportation.

The merchants, farmers, railroaders and financiers all had quite different ideas as to the proper allocation of economic rewards, and they expressed their ideas in no uncertain terms. However, there was general agreement that free enterprise must be maintained, although free competition as such might fall by the wayside.

From Our Blog

Jacket: Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, by Peter Wilson, from Harvard University Press

A Lesson in German Military History with Peter Wilson

In his landmark book Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, acclaimed historian Peter H. Wilson offers a masterful reappraisal of German militarism and warfighting over the last five centuries, leading to the rise of Prussia and the world wars. Below, Wilson answers our questions about this complex history,