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tutions of six states and resulted in statutes in seventeen states.
After the worst years in the terrible business depression, following the panic of 1893, activity in combinations of manufacturing plants began again with increasing vigor. By Mr. Moody's list, there were less than a hundred industrial combinations of consequence, prior to 1898, and more than three hundred by 1904. This renewed development toward manufacturing monopoly brought other states to the rescue. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah, all passed anti-trust statutes in the years 1895 to 1898 inclusive. This made a total number of twenty-nine states which legislated against Trusts in the first decade of the agitation against industrial monopolies.
This registration of the American attitude toward business combination has been endorsed and reinforced since 1900. Nine more states have legislated against Trusts, and many of the states have amended their statutes to make them more effective. Notably, after the presidential campaign of 1912, during which discriminating tactics by big business organizations against their rivals were condemned widely many states added sections to their anti-trust laws forbidding specifically “unfair competition and discrimination.' In 1912 and 1913 no less than twelve states strengthened their Trust laws in this way. Most notable among these was New Jersey. This state deliberately remained an open state for Trust formation, during all of the first twenty-five years of general war on Trusts by most of her sister states and then, in 1913, under the leadership of Governor Woodrow Wilson, she passed some of the most stringent of anti-trust statutes, those familiarly known as the “Seven Sisters."*
As an example of the more radicalanti-trust legislation of the states, the Statute of Texas may be outlined.t
This statute first defines elaborately Trust, Monopoly, and Conspiracy in Restraint of Trade. As so defined, all Trusts, monopolies and conspiracies in restraint of trade are declared to be illegal and are prohibited. Foreign corporations violating the act are to be denied right to do business within the state. A domestic corporation violating the act is subject to fines ranging from $50 to $1,500 for each day of violation, and an individual person taking part in any violation of the act is subject to imprisonment for from two to ten years. All contracts and agreements in violation of provisions of the act are declared to be null and void and are not enforceable either in law or in equity. County and district attorneys may begin prosecutions under the act and must notify the attorney-general, who is thereupon bound to join in the prosecution and to do all in his power to enforce the act. Any witness having knowledge of a violation of the act may be compelled to testify, but is exempted from indictment or prosecution for any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he shall give evidence. All actions brought under the act are given precedence, on motion of the prosecuting attorney, or the attorney-general, over all other business before the court save only criminal cases, the defendants of which are in jail.
*See Appendix E-2, p. 396, for full text of these New Jersey laws. This Statute is given in full in Appendix E-1 p. 384.
In summary of the whole state anti-trust legislation as to laws and constitutional amendments in force in the year 1914, these are the facts:
Of the forty-eight states:
Seven, Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, had neither law nor constitutional provision against Trusts.
Three, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, had constitutional provision, but no statutes against Trusts.
Twenty, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin, have statutes but no anti-trust constitutional provision. Six of these states have constitutional provisions relating only to railway consolidations or to railway and telegraph company consolidations.
The remaining eighteen states have both constitutional provisions and statutes against Trusts.
On the whole, it is a quarter-century record of consistent legislative battling against Trusts, with a growing determination amongst the states that Trusts shall be destroyed. The acts have been steadily strengthened and more and more states have legislated as the years have passed. If the state legislation be taken as the indicator of the American attitude toward Trusts, then it must be said that the overwhelming majority sentiment of the people is against the existence of these large industrial combinations.
Over against this majority stands the small number of states, such as New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia, which have not legislated against this new form of business organization. Until her defection from this minority, in 1913, New Jersey was the most conspicuous of these Trust tolerating states.
New Jersey had a long record of open-mindedness in dealing with corporations generally. Her first general corporations act was passed in 1846, and this declared that the business to be done by such corporations must be done within the state. In 1865 this limitation was removed. In 1875 New Jersey amended its constitution so that it forbade the grant of special charters and directed the legislature to pass general laws under which alone corporations might be organized. The liberal act of 1873 did not require annual public statements of the amount of paid-in capital stock and of the existing debts and assets of corporations. Many states required such statements. New Jersey legislators deliberately omitted these requirements because such statements might react disastrously against the corporations. The position was taken that corporations should be treated as individuals were treated. Corporations were dealt with on the theory that they were legitimate forms of business enterprise and the regulations written in the Corporation Act were meant primarily to protect thepersonsinterestedinthecompany.
The act of 1875 set no limit to the amount of capital stock. It provided that directors might hold their annual meetings, have offices and keep all books, except stock and transfer books, outside the state. They were, however, to maintain a principal office in New Jersey, and all books might be ordered brought within the state by duly-empowered state officers. All meetings of stockholders and elections of officers were to be held within the state.
In 1883 and 1884 this general corporations act was amended by the addition of provisions for the payment of taxes for incorporation once and for all and for the payment of annual franchise taxes. The rates set in these acts are among the lowest set in any states, and have not been changed. The organization tax is 20 cents for each $1,000 of capital stock, but never less than $25. The annual franchise tax is 1-10 of one per cent. of the par value of issued capital stock up to $3,000,000, 1-20 of one per cent. from $3,000,000 to $5,000,000, and $5 for every $100,000 or part thereof in excess of $5,000,000. Nothing is left to the discretion of the tax gatherer since the tax is determined by the amount of the outstanding capital stock. It was deliberately declared that no chance would be left to officials to blackmail the great corporations by threatening to overcharge them.
In 1888 the New Jersey legislature made provision that corporations might hold and dispose of the stock of other companies, and in 1893 some doubtful passages in this enactment were cleared by express enactment that it should be lawful for any corporation in New Jersey “to purchase, hold, and sell stock and bonds of any other corporation in the same manner that an individual could.”
In 1892 the act relating to conspiracy in New Jersey was amended to omit all mention of injuries to trade and commerce.
The acts of 1897, 1898, and 1899 further protected stockholders and corporations and facilitated combinations.
All through this history the policy of the state of