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INTRODUCTION.

PERHA

ERHAPS no measure that ever passed

Congress equals in importance the law which has now become famous under the name of the Inter-State Commerce Act. It is the first attempt on the part of the National Government to regulate, if not to control, a private commercial business ; for, although the transportation of passengers and property is regarded as one in which the public has an interest, it is, in its main features, not different from any other private commercial occupation. The capital invested in such enterprises is generally furnished by individuals, and the business, in its financial features, is conducted purely for private gain. For the past few years, however, public attention has been steadily concentrating around the subject of the government of railroad corporations, and, step by step, the Legislatures of the different States have encroached upon the prerogatives of these bodies, and

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