I know this is a bit of a broad question, but what did leading thinkers and the American public think about government control of railroads as they were coming into widespread use post-Reconstruction?
I've heard two different stories: that there was demand for the government to own railroads and that there was pressure only for regulation of railroads. I'm sure they were both around to some degree, but was one more dominant than the other?
Even if you don't have a definite answer, I'd appreciate any hints as to where I should look. Quick Google searches haven't served me well in this case. My curiosity stems from all the talk of net neutrality and such, with the government regulating the Internet. I'm in a class which is currently studying the Gilded Age and we've talked about the emergence of railroads a great deal. I'm wondering how the public handled a groundbreaking technology like railroads compared to how we're handling the Internet today.