The Progressive Presidents Roosevelt And Monopolies

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The progressive presidents all took a multitude of measures to give the government more control over corporations by breaking up monopolies and busting trusts, but none of them advanced the concept of socialism that populists had wanted. President Theodore Roosevelt did not necessarily want to break down big companies, but wanted to even the playing field and created a program called the Square Deal that kept big businesses from taking advantage of small companies and the poor. This program was aimed towards helping the middle class and attacking bad trusts and satisfied a populist contention on controlling monopolies. In 1903, he passed the Elkins act, which stopped railroads from giving rebates for bigger businesses. This stabilized and reduced …show more content…

This is important because the ICC was originally created by the grange movement, which was the forerunner of the populists and had the same concerns. Taft made no distinction between trusts and set out to destroy all of them. Although he differed greatly from President Roosevelt on how to deal with monopolies and trusts, his intentions and goal on satisfying the populist demands were the same. President Woodrow Wilson created a program called new freedom that put strict government controls on corporations in order to benefit small companies. He also approved the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1914 that strengthened the Sherman Antitrust act by spelling out specific activities that businesses could not do. His goal was to take down the “triple wall of privilege” – tariffs, banks, and trusts – and create an economy that the government had more control over. Though the presidents did place a lot of control over monopolies and trust, breaking up many abusive ones, there was one issue they did not address. Populists and progressives wanted socialism, which would spread out the wealth and power among the people, to replace capitalism, which had concentrated all the wealth and power among the big

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