Wisconsin History Day By Day


Related Web Sites:
History of the Courts

The Regulation of Business Affected by a Public Interest


Read More About It

"Law and Locomotives: The Impact of the Railroad on Wisconsin Law" by Robert Hunt


Vocabulary:

regulate


Interesting Fact:

In 1860 Wisconsin had 905 miles of railroad track and by 1880, the state had 2,950 miles of track. It grew to 6,592 miles by 1900.


Study Questions:

  • Why is it called the Potter Law?
  • Why did the railroads need regulating?
  • How long did the Potter Law stay in effect?


    Search these newspaper databases for additional stories about railroad regulations:

  • Newspapers on BadgerLink
  • Wisconsin Historical Society


    U.S. historical events that occurred on March 12:

    1933: President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his first "fireside chats," broadcast live on radio.



  • March 12

    March 12, 1874: The Potter law, legislation which sought to regulate the railroads, including the rates charged, was signed by Gov. William Robert Taylor.


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