INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND THE ROLE THE GOVERNMENT
Prior industrial revolution, the government had adopted the laissez-faire approach where the government had little involvement in what the businesses were doing. However, with the industrial revolution, there was much at stake because people no longer worked at their home. They had migrated to the urban area to work for big companies. The government had to play an essential role in preventing the development of monopolies and protect the rights of the workers within these companies. The federal government, therefore, created bureaucracies and passed laws to enable the protect the workers and prevent the development of monopolies (Harris, n.d.).
Two significant laws that were passed during this time were the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890. The Interstate Commerce Act prevented railroad companies from abusing their industrial advantages (Harris, n.d.). The primary purpose of Sherman Anti-Trust Act was to protect the rights of emerging companies and their workers. The Sherman Anti-Trust law was its first of its kind in the United States, and its purpose was to prevent monopoly by making the government the absolute power with the ability to dissolve trusts as they would be a source of competition in the marketplace and would hurt the emerging companies ("The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 - Economics", n.d.).
Other than protecting the rights of emerging companies and their workers, the government expanded the commerce and labor department accommodate Children’s Bureau. The bureau was to take care of the welfare of children and families. The bureau would later put pressure on the Congress to enact laws that would protect children workers. The government also provided infrastructural development support. As a result, there was the easy transportation of raw materials to the factories and even the finished products to the consumers. It, therefore, intensified the development of these companies (Harris, n.d.).
In conclusion, the government’s role changed from being a spectator to protecting the rights of the minority in the revolution and even supporting the industrial revolution.
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