The federal government under these two administrations was a difficult time. The way I understand is that President Cleveland was always against tariffs because he felt that they led to excess money in reserves which would allow congress to pass extravagant legislation. President Harrison passed the -Sherman Anti-Trust Act but it was deemed virtually worthless only 11 years after it was put into law. This Anti-Trust law came about after several states passed laws prohibiting combinations that restrained competition, the problem was that the larger corporations were able to escape the limitations by incorporating in other states such as New Jersey and Delaware. The states realized that if this law was to be effective it would have to come from the federal government and that is when the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was born, but as previously stated the act was weakened steadily by courts and eventually had no impact. President Cleveland in his second term passed the Interstate Commerce Act which banned discrimination in rates between long and short hauls and required that railroads publish their rate schedule and they also had to file them with the government. This act was brought about after several states attempted to regulate the railroads but were unsuccessful after the supreme court ruled that the laws must be passed by congress and not at a state level, however the court did rule that the states could regulate commerce within there boundaries.
Brinkely, Alan (2007). American History
Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions
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