President Theodore Roosevelt.Regulation

Topics: African American, Theodore Roosevelt, W. E. B. Du Bois Pages: 2 (772 words) Published: March 19, 2008
When progressives began to work for reform at the national level, their major goal was government regulation of business. Seeking antitrust laws to eliminate monopolies, they also supported lower tariffs, a graduated income tax, and a system to control currency. They found a spokesperson in President Theodore Roosevelt.Regulation, Roosevelt believed, was the only way to solve the problems caused by big business. A leading publicist for progressive ideals, Roosevelt became known as a trustbuster. He revived the Sherman Antitrust Act, vigorously enforcing it to break up large trusts that reduced competition and controlled prices. He also pursued a railroad monopoly, took on the meatpacking trust, and attacked oil, tobacco, and other monopolies. In 1906 Roosevelt helped push through a meat inspection act, the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the Hepburn Act. This law expanded the regulatory powers of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the agency that regulated commercial activity crossing state lines.Roosevelt was also a leading nature conservationist who wanted to preserve the nation's natural resources. He withdrew thousands of acres of forests, mineral lands, and waterpower sites from the public domain to protect them from exploitation by private interests. Roosevelt doubled the number of national parks and established many national monuments and wildlife refuges. He also supported a 1902 law to provide irrigation and hydroelectric development by building dams on some of the nation's rivers.Roosevelt's successor, William Howard Taft, was more conservative, and domestic reforms slowed during his administration. He reluctantly signed a bill in 1909 that slightly raised tariffs, but he aggressively pursued twice as many antitrust proceedings. Taft won major victories against Standard Oil Company and American Tobacco Company, which were ordered by the Supreme Court to break into smaller, competing firms. Taft also signed laws for progressive measures such as raising...
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