Progressivism on a National Level Essay

This essay has a total of 466 words and 2 pages.

Progressivism on a National Level

Reform of corrupt businesses and government first drew attention at local and state
levels. Big businesses in the late 1800s preferred profit over patriotism, credit over
honor, individual gain over national prosperity, and trade and dickering over principles.
It was not until 1901, when Theodore Roosevelt became president, that progressivism was
brought to the national level. During Roosevelt's presidency, he would push reform as much
as possible by strengthening the power of the federal government.

The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was an early attempt to try to control abuses by large
combinations of businesses called trusts. The Act was weakened by the Supreme Court used
against labor unions rather than against monopolies. Roosevelt's first push for reform on
the national level began with a secret antitrust investigation of the J. P. Morgan's
Northern Securities Company whom monopolized railroad traffic. After successfully using
his powers in government to control businesses, Roosevelt used the Sherman Antitrust Act
against forty-three "bad" trusts that broke the law and left the "good" trusts alone.

When united mine workers went on strike demanding less hours, more money, and recognition
as a union, the price of coal went from $2.50 to $6.00 a ton. With the nation's high
dependence on coal during the winter, Roosevelt arranged a meeting with representatives
from both sides to meet. He threatened to seize the mines and run them with federal troops
and eventually settled it by giving them a reduction in the workday and wage increases,
but no recognition as a union.
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