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date: 12 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter advances the argument that regulation in the United States developed through a pattern of actions and reactions set in motion by business corporations and financiers of the Gilded Age attempting to control markets through cooperative institutional arrangements such as stock pooling and trusts, justified by new ideas based on work of Charles Darwin and Frederick Taylor. These efforts at “private regulation” evoked demands from first populists and then progressives for government intervention to counter not only the economic impacts these new ideas and institutions but also the concentrations of business power that created and defended them. These demands for “public regulation” led to America’s first national regulatory laws and agencies. The evolution of the regulatory state in America reflects a succession of alternating private and public regulatory regimes, each characterized by a distinct set of regulatory ideas justifying its defining regulatory institutions and polices.

Keywords: administrative state, monopoly, New Deal, new social regulation, Progressive Era, regulatory regime, social Darwinism, Taylorism

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