Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Although there sprang up a widespread movement for the establishment of commissions by the states, the movement did not make a great deal of headway until about 1905. Due to the depression of 1873 all the earlier commissions were repealed except that of Illinois. With the establishment of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887 the movement for state commissions was resumed, and by means of new laws and successive amendments to old laws, the movement for a strong type of commission continued unabated.

About 1905 another reform and expansion movement set in in the movement for a strong public utilities commission. The earlier type of commission held sway only over common carriers. The new commissions as set up in Wisconsin and New York extended their power over the electric railways, gas utilities, water utilities, electric and power utilities, and telephone utilities.

Since then the movement for state commissions has spread rapidly over the country, so that now in every state, except Delaware, there exists some form of a state public service commission looking to the public utility as a problem upon which continuous attention must be bestowed.