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

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674733619

Publication Date: 01/01/1955

310 pages


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.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Cover: Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present, by Harold Bloom, from Harvard University Press

Remembering Harold Bloom

Harold Bloom, the literary critic who championed the Western canon, died at age 89 last month. Lindsay Waters, HUP Executive Editor for the Humanities, looks back on their publishing history, their friendship, and Bloom’s great contributions to the literary community

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.