Necessary Fraud: Progressive Reform and Utah Coal

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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the State of Utah was the federal choice for what was intended to be a definitive antitrust suit aimed at quelling the power of western railroads over coal lands in the diminishing public domain. The government did not achieve this primary objective, but through decades of litigation it did force the passage of a realistic coal-land law and develop precedents for its application. Using century-old photographs and copious documentation, Nancy J. Taniguchi creates a legal history ...
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Overview

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the State of Utah was the federal choice for what was intended to be a definitive antitrust suit aimed at quelling the power of western railroads over coal lands in the diminishing public domain. The government did not achieve this primary objective, but through decades of litigation it did force the passage of a realistic coal-land law and develop precedents for its application. Using century-old photographs and copious documentation, Nancy J. Taniguchi creates a legal history of land fraud in Utah's turn-of-the-century coal fields that intertwines national, regional, and local events. Necessary Fraud transcends parochialism to become a compelling exposition on the era of progressive reform. Alternating between actions in Utah and in Washington, D.C., the book traces a series of coal-land cases that passed through the courts and government agencies as Congress struggled to reform the Coal Land Act of 1873. As the story moves between courtroom and coal field, the collusion between railroads and coal companies becomes ever clearer. Taniguchi's portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt contrasts sharply with his standard image as trust-buster, and she reveals for the first time the depth of involvement of both the State of Utah and the Mormon Church in the land frauds.
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Editorial Reviews

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A legal history of land fraud in Utah's turn-of-the-century coal fields, intertwining national, regional, and local events and reflecting the era of progressive reform. Traces a series of coal-land cases as Congress struggled to reform the Coal Land Act of 1873, describing the collusion between railroads and coal companies, President T. Roosevelt's involvement, and the actions of the State of Utah and the Mormon Church. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806128184
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Series: Legal History of North America Series, #3
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.21 (d)

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