THE FTC’S CREATION AND THE FTC FROM THE AGENCY’S OPENING (1915) THROUGH
THE END OF WOODROW WILSON’S ADMINISTRATION (1921)
Selected Secondary Materials
Neil W. Averitt, The Meaning of "Unfair Methods of Competition" in Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 27 B. C. L. REV. 227 (1980). This article includes a detailed analysis of the legislative history of the FTC Act.
GERALD D. BERK, LOUIS D. BRANDEIS AND THE MAKING OF REGULATED COMPETITION, 1900-1932 (2009).
THOMAS C. BLAISDELL, JR., THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: AN EXPERIMENT IN THE CONTROL OF BUSINESS (1932) (also covering the FTC during subsequent administrations).
JOHN MILTON COOPER, THE WARRIOR AND THE PRIEST (1983). “The Warrior” was Theodore Roosevelt and “The Priest” was Woodrow Wilson. This book explores their interweaving biographies, and the dynamic between them which (among other things) led to the creation of the FTC.
JOHN MILTON COOPER, WOODROW WILSON, A BIOGRAPHY (2011).
George Cullom Davis, Jr., The Transformation of the Federal Trade Commission, 1914-1929, 49 MISS. VALLEY HIST. REV. 437.
George Cullom Davis, Jr., The Federal Trade Commission: Promise and Practice in Regulating Business, 1900–1927 (1969) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois).
GERARD C. HENDERSON, THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION: A STUDY IN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND PROCEDURE (1924).
SCOTT JAMES, PRESIDENTS, PARTIES AND THE STATE: A PARTY SYSTEM PERSPECTIVE ON DEMOCRATIC REGULATORY CHOICE, 1884–1936 (2000). James examines the development of the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 (as well as the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935). In discussing the FTC Act, the author focuses on President Wilson’s concerns with preempting a third-party challenge from Theodore Roosevelt in 1916.
GABRIEL KOLKO, THE TRIUMPH OF CONSERVATISM: A REINTERPRETATION OF AMERICAN HISTORY, 1900-1916 (1963).
Elizabeth K. MacLean, Joseph E. Davies (1986) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maryland). Davies had been the Commissioner of Corporations, heading the FTC’s predecessor agency, the Bureau of Corporations. He one of the original complement of Commissioners, serving as a Commissioner from 1915 to 1916, and was the FTC’s first Chairman, serving in that capacity from 1915 to 1916. Davies later became ambassador to the Soviet Union, and MacLean has published a work focusing on that part of Davies’s career. ELIZABETH KIMBALL MACLEAN, JOSEPH E. DAVIES: ENVOY TO THE SOVIETS (1993).
MARC MCCLURE, EARNEST ENDEAVORS: THE LIFE AND PUBLIC WORKS OF GEORGE RUBLEE (2003). Rublee played a critical role in the creation of the FTC and served, from 1915 to 1916, as one of its initial complement of Commissioners.
Thomas Lane Moore III, The Establishment of a “New Freedom” Policy: The Federal Trade Commission, 1912-1918 (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Alabama, 1980). This dissertation includes extensive research into early FTC files, among them files concerning the FTC’s wartime work.
George Rublee, The Original Plan and Early History of the Federal Trade Commission, 11 PROC. ACAD. POL. SCI. 666 (1926). An analysis by one of the critical players in the FTC’s creation, who also served as one of the agency’s first Commissioners (1915-1916).
ELIZABETH SANDERS, THE ROOTS OF REFORM (1999). Examines the impact on various statutes, including the FTC Act, of legislators from agrarian states, as well as legislators from “diverse” states that had agrarian economies but strong ties to nearby urban markets.
MARTIN SKLAR, THE CORPORATE RECONSTRUCTION OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM, 1890-1916: THE MARKET, THE LAW, AND POLITICS (1988).
Marc Winerman, The Origins of the FTC: Concentration, Cooperation, Control and Competition, 71 ANTITRUST L. J. 1 (2003).
Miscellaneous Primary Sources
WOODROW WILSON, THE NEW FREEDOM, A CALL FOR THE EMANCIPATION OF THE GENEROUS ENERGIES OF A PEOPLE (1913). A book compiled from Wilson’s speeches during the 1912 campaign.
Commissioner of Corporations, Annual Reports (1904-1914), as well as subsequent FTC Annual Reports. (The Commissioner of Corporations’ reports are available on a single file in Google Books.)
Books by Commissioners
NELSON GASKILL, THE REGULATION OF COMPETITION (1933). Gaskill served as a Commissioner (1920-25).
EDWARD N. HURLEY, THE AWAKENING OF BUSINESS (1920). Hurley was one of the FTC’s original Commissioners (1915-1917) and its second Chair (1916-1917). He was also a highly successful businessman, despite his limited formal education. His book sets forth issues that he addressed while at the Commission. (Hurley’s role during his tenure is discussed in detail in Thomas Lane Moore’s dissertation, noted above.) Hurley left the government when he left the FTC, but was later called back to serve as Chairman of the United States Shipping Board, and in that role he served in Woodrow Wilson’s war cabinet. Hurley describes those years in another book. EDWARD N. HURLEY, THE BRIDGE TO FRANCE (1927).)
George Rublee, interview conducted by the Columbia University Oral History Project, 1951. As noted above, Rublee played a critical role in the creation of the FTC and served, from 1915 to 1916, as one of its initial complement of Commissioners. Index
Stuart Chase Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Chase served on the FTC staff from 1917 through 1922, and played a major role in the FTC’s investigation of the meatpacking industry. He was later an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt and he continued publishing for decades thereafter. (Finding aid.)
William S. Culbertson Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Culbertson was on the FTC’s staff in 1916-17, before he became a member of the U.S. Tariff Commission in 1917. He also taught at Georgetown University for decades and served in ambassadorial and other positions for the United States. (Finding aid)
Joseph E. Davies Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. See the discussion under Elizabeth MacLean’s biography of Davies for more information on the FTC’s first Chairman. (Finding aid)
Edward Nash Hurley Papers, University of Notre Dame Library, Notre Dame, IN. See the discussion under Hurley’s writings for information on Hurley. The collection focuses on aspects of his career other than his time at the Commission.
Learned Hand Papers, Harvard Law School Library, Cambridge, MA. Judge Hand’s papers contain seven boxes of Hand’s correspondence with George Rublee, one of the original FTC Commissioners and an important figure in the debates leading to the FTC Act. (Finding aid)
Victor Murdock Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Murdock served as a Commissioner from 1917 to 1924, following a career in journalism (covering sports and politics) and in Congress. He had been a leader in the Progressive Party, under whose banner Theodore Roosevelt ran in 1912. During the 1914 debates on the FTC Act, Murdock headed the small Progressive Party contingent that had been elected to Congress. (Finding aid)
John Garland Pollard Papers, William & Mary Library, Williamsburg, VA. Pollard served as a Commissioner from 1920 to 1921. He had previously served as Attorney General of Virginia and, after leaving the Commission, he taught at the College of William and Mary and served as Governor of Virginia from 1930 to 1934. (Finding aid)
Huston Thompson Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Thompson served as a Commissioner from 1919 to 1926. He had previously served in the Justice Department and, as a football coach, he had led the University of Texas to an undefeated season. (Finding aid)
See also materials listed under Broad Surveys.