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Constitutional Rights Foundation Articles

Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) is a not-for-profit based in Los Angeles, non-partisan organization with a 42-year history of educating America's young people about their constitutional heritage, our legal system, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. CRF maintains an extensive catalogue of curricular resources in the areas of law, history, government, and active civic participation. CRF's role in this initiative was primarily the research, writing and, production of one issue of its acclaimed curricular resource, Bill of Rights in Action on the topic of antitrust for classroom use.

Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations
As the American Revolution began, a Scottish philosopher started his own economic revolution. In 1776, Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, probably the most influential book on market economics ever written. This article traces the development of Smith's ideas and the evolution of laissez faire economics. The article includes an activity where students apply Smith's ideas to current government interventions in the economy.

The Development of Antitrust Enforcement
Since 1914, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have shared enforcement of the antitrust laws. This article describes the roles of these agencies in the evolution of antitrust law. The article includes an emphasis on a major area where Congress has expanded the responsibilities of the FTC -- mergers. It includes an activity where students must decide whether a proposed merger should be allowed.

Progressives and the Era of Trust Busting
This article lays the historical foundation for the development of antitrust law in the United States. It describes the movement of Theodore Roosevelt from "Trustbuster" to "Regulator", followed by Taft's vigorous pursuit of trust-busting in the courts and Wilson's eventual turn toward Congress rather than the courts to deal with the monopoly problem. The article ends with an activity asking students to consider what the U.S. should do about monopolies today.

Media Mergers and the Public Interest
In addition to antitrust regulation, many media mergers and acquisitions are subject to regulations from the Federal Communications Commission (FTC). The article focuses on the role of the Federal Communications Commission in trying to balance the public's interest with the desire of businesses to merge. The article ends with a role-play of a Senate hearing on whether the FCC Ownership Rules Serve the Public Interest.

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