Victor Morawetz, Draftsman of Political Economy: A Study in Constitutional Constraints and Solutions in the Era of Reform

Marc McClure

This paper offers the first comprehensive study of Victor Morawetz’s important contributions to U.S. political economy during the Progressive Era.  It relies overwhelmingly on primary documents to establish Morawetz’s role in shaping the regulation of railroads under the 1905 Hepburn Act, his role in creating the structure for the Federal Reserve Board in the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, and his contributions to the development of antitrust policy leading to the creation of the Federal Trade Commission in 1914.  Owing to his acknowledged expertise in corporation law, both as a scholar and practitioner, as well as his extensive experience as a notable executive of a national corporation, Victor Morawetz was especially well suited to provide constitutionally sound legislative solutions that achieved the goal of bringing the federal government into the market place to ameliorate the problems of laissez-faire capitalism while yet preserving the dynamic and innovative nature of the capitalist economy and principles of limited government.  

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