Store Wars: The Enactment and Repeal of Anti-Chain Store Legislation in America

Store Wars: The Enactment and Repeal of Anti-Chain Store Legislation in America

By
Paul Ingram, Hayagreeva Rao
American Journal of Sociology.
2004, Vol. 110, Issue 2, Pages 446–487

Competition between organizational forms manifests itself in political contention over the law. The authors analyze the political strength and organization of the groups that supported and opposed state anti-chain-store laws. The enactment of these laws depended on intrastate political activity and the interstate diffusion of antichain-store legislation. The repeal process relied on suprastate activity, as nationally organized pro-chain-store forces shifted the arena of contention to the Supreme Court and forged national alliances with labor unions and agricultural cooperatives. In both enactment and repeal, the political resources and strategies of organziational forms interacted with existing institutions to determine the trajectory of institutional change. The selfishness of those who would control the money power of the nation, if their greed is allowed to develop unchecked... [would leave] masses of Americans wholly at the mercy of the despotic power of a monopolistic class.—National Association of Retail Druggists Journal If the people of the United States like our stores so little that they are willing to tax us out of business, that is their affair. We will shut up shop.—president of the Atlantic & Pacific