Investigation and Responsibility: Public Responsibility in the United States, 1865-1900

Investigation and Responsibility: Public Responsibility in the United States, 1865-1900

by William R. Brock


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Investigation and Responsibility deals with the extension of social responsibility in the American states during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Lord Bryce questioned the reality of American belief in laissez faire, and recent work has reinforced these doubts. Professor Brock makes a substantial contribution to this reassessment, through an examination of the activities of the agencies established at a state level for the regulation of the social environment. Using the evidence provided by the published reports of the state agencies, he argues that these activities were far more extensive then has often been thought, and indicates the ways in which they laid the foundations for modern government activity in the fields of welfare, health, safety, labour law, and economic regulation. By a detailed examination of such agencies as boards of state charities and public health, bureaus of labour statistics, and railroad commissions, Professor Brock places the extension of state responsibility in a new perspective. The book also includes a reassessment of judicial opinion and closes with an examination of the way in which experience in the states influenced the development of national policy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521093491
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/11/2009
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Public responsibility; 2. Theory and practice; 3. Public responsibility and the law; 4. The charities of the State; 5. The boards of public health; 6. The bureaus of labour statistics; 7. The railroad commissions; 8. Toward the future; Appendices; Essay on sources and historiography; Bibliography; Index.

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