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The Progressive Era (woodrow Wilson and T.R.)

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Essay title: The Progressive Era (woodrow Wilson and T.R.)

Industrialization led to the rise of big businesses at the expense of the worker. Factory laborers faced long hours, low wages, and unsanitary conditions. The large corporations protected themselves by allying with political parties. The parties, in turn, were controlled by party leaders, rather than by the members. Many people felt that all power rested with the politicians and businessmen. Reformers known as Progressives attempted to undo the problems caused by industrialization. The Progressive movement sought to end the influence of large corporations, provide more rights and benefits to workers, and end the control possessed by party leaders. At the national level, Progressivism centered on defeating the power of large businesses. The Progressive Era was a period in American history in which improving working conditions, exposing corruption, improving the way of life, expanding democracy, and making reforms were the objectives at hand. With the emergence of the Progressive Era two important figures gradually emerged as well. One of the mentioned figures, President Theodore Roosevelt, succeeded to the Presidency when President McKinley was assassinated in 1901, helped the Progressive movement greatly. Another figure, although a Democrat is Woodrow Wilson who much like Roosevelt still pushed for progressive reforms. Each of the mentioned figures did their share in re-establishing a "fair" government that would work for the people and not for the large corporations and monopolies.

President Theodor Roosevelt, the most dominant personality of the Progressive Era, targeted monopolistic business practices for reform. Roosevelt persuaded Congress to create a Bureau of Corporations to investigate and regulate big business, then brought an anti-trust suit against J.P. Morgan's Northern Securities Company, a railroad trust controlled by the Wall Street financier, with the United States Supreme Court upholding the closure of the trust in the case of Northern Securities Co. v. United States issued in 1904. During Roosevelt's Administration, over 40 major corporations were sued for antitrust or price-fixing violations. Roosevelt greatly expanded the powers of the government within the economy, often by endorsing new power for organized labor to organize and put forth leverage against employers. By supporting labor in the settlement of the Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902, Roosevelt became the first president to assume such a direct role in intervening in labor disputes, including the threatened use of the U.S. Army to seize the coal mines and operate them until the owners agreed to arbitration to settle the strike. Rosevelt unlike many of his successors really took advantage of the power given to him as president. During his presidency he revived the Sherman Antitrust Act ,which was an act that sought to prevent companies from combining into trusts and gaining monopolies. Roosevelt was also one to enforce the Hepburn Act, which allowed the Interstate Commmerce Commission to regulate railroads. The railroads had allied themselves with large businesses, charging higher

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