During the Progressive Era from 1900 to1920, the reformers
and the federal government were very successful in bringing reform at a national level. This reform movement had the most influential reformers and worked more closely with the federal government than any other previous reform movement in American history. Although not every single sect of the progressive movement made significant gains, the regulation of corporations, the fight against child labor and the rights of women were three movements that were particularly aided by governmental implementations, thereby acheiving a great deal of success.
For the first time in American history the US government was responsive to public grievances regarding to the regulation of American corporations. This movement was fueled by influential journalists who were known as muckrakers. Among these muckrakers was Henry Lloyd, who exposed the corruption of the powerful monopolized company, Standard Oil. Other reformers, similar to Henry Lloyd, exposed the corruption of these companies to a large audience of citizens and furthermore put the politicians under great duress to serve the interests of the public in order to keep their popularity. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to defend the public against the powerful companies by participating in trust busting. The political cartoon (document A) displays Roosevelt standing upon a Bear that represented "bad trusts" which he had just hunted down. Roosevelt was the first president to enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Trust busting was continued by Taft, Roosevelt's successor, and was taken a step further by Wilson. Wilson's administration past the Clayton Anti-Trust Act which was similar to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, but, as stated in document E, "[forbid] the antitrust Acts [from being] construed to forbid the existence and operation of labor unions." These governmental changes, provoked by the influential reformers of the time are proof of a major
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