The task of protecting individual natural rights in a democratic system of government was the primary challenge to the framers of the Constitution.
This is why the authors of focused on the problem of majority faction—on the possibility, or even likelihood, that a government empowered by a passionate majority would continually threaten the natural rights of the minority if its jurisdiction was not limited in extent and its powers were not channeled by a prudent design of national institutions.
Given the vast array of activities in which the national government has involved itself in the post–New Deal era, the political branches of government have come to rely heavily on the expertise of bureaucratic agencies, often ceding to them significant responsibility to set, execute, and adjudicate national policy. The aim of this essay is not, therefore, to point to the reality of the administrative state or to describe the manner in which it operates in administrative and constitutional law.
My aim, instead, is to examine the political ideas that gave rise to the contemporary situation in administrative law and policymaking, and especially to uncover the foundations of these ideas in the political thought of the Progressive era.
-Set up FTC or Federal Trade Commission to investigate and halt unfair and illegal business practices.
The FTC could put a halt to these illegal business practices by issuing what is known as a "cease and desist order."-Declared certain businesses illegal (interlocking directorates, trusts, horizontal mergers) -Unions and the Grange were not subject to antitrust laws. -Strikes, boycotts, picketing and the collection of strike benefit funds ruled legal- Federal Reserve Banks in 12 districts would print and coin money as well as set interest rates.The national administrative apparatus that is such an integral part of American government today—one that gives a significant role to administrative agencies in national policymaking—grew out of this movement in American political thought from the old liberalism to the new.There is, of course, much scholarly debate about the characteristics of the old liberalism in America, and even about whether there was enough continuity of thought during the founding era to enable us to describe it under the umbrella of a single concept or theory such as “social compact.” There are also those who would question the distinction between “old” and “new” liberalisms, suggesting instead that there is little about modern American politics and culture that does not have its roots in the principles of the founding.The older understanding of liberalism, in which government is based upon the theory of social compact and is dedicated to securing individual natural rights, is the one that dominated the thought of the American founding era.A different, newer version of liberalism, in which government is based upon historicism and its ends adjust to fit the new demands of each historical epoch, began to replace the founding version in the second half of the nineteenth century, and culminated in the Progressive and New Deal recasting of American national government.Business Reform - Wilson's program was known as the New Freedom.(The phrase came after the campaign, as the title of a book of his speeches, and as the slogan for his administration's policies.) Wilson believed government's role was to create a level playing field.Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.Peter Laslett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), especially chapters 2 (“Of the State of Nature), 3 (“Of the State of War”), 8 (“Of the Beginning of Political Societies”), and 9 (“Of the Ends of Political Society and Government”).On the connection between Locke and the principles of the Declaration, see Peter C.