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Corruption and the history of the CTA

            Many people think that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the American way. Look hard; the real American way lies beneath that, on the dark side of reality: corruption. With corruption comes profit, loss, good, bad, deceit, pain, and politics. To survive in a corrupt world you cannot back down, especially in the business world. There you must eliminate competition to allow for your own success. That is why there are monopolies. Business owners see a threat in their competition, so they buy them out, either openly or under the table. Soon, only one owner, one company controls the rest. There is no competition. In early Chicago, the business to be in was transportation. It was also the prime target for a monopoly. The real issue is whether or not these monopolies benefited the system, or if they merely served to hinder its growth, and merely prolong the collapse of the systems. .
             There were, however, several laws that were passed in an attempt to block monopolization of the rapid transit system in Chicago. The main one of these laws was the Cities and Villages Act of 1872, which required the company to get the consent of 2/3 of the property owners along the proposed route (Garfield). This often required bribery, and in denser areas, a more tricky way of building. The law stated that you needed the consent to build in the street. It said nothing about the alleys, and the builders of the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Company's elevated train line noticed the loophole. When the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Company opened the city's first L' line in 1892, the tracks ran through alleys from Congress to 39th, on the tracks currently used by the CTA Green line (Cudahy). Another way to get past the law was to build through areas that were still unclaimed prairie.

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