Theodore Roosevelt Monopolies Research Paper

1060 Words 5 Pages
Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, both becoming presidents in an era dominated by private trusts and powerful businessmen, sought to revive American Democracy from its ashes. Theodore Roosevelt, having a semi-conservative perception of monopolies, believed strong American Capitalism could let America compete with the other great world powers. Roosevelt also believed that small businesses should be able to compete with the large trusts, as long as they are aware of the sheer power of the trusts. Above all, however, Roosevelt stressed the importance of government intervention in America’s economics. Redefining the power of the president, Roosevelt established many government agencies and commissions to combat the power of the large conglomerates. …show more content…
Whereas Roosevelt strove for “healthy competition” in American business by limiting the power economic and political power of the malignant trusts with increased presidential and governmental authority, Wilson worked towards equality between businesses by stressing the importance of producers and “American Brains” while weeding out the trusts and monopolies all together. Seeing both the benefits and the consequences of monopolies in the Progressive Era, Theodore Roosevelt emphasized the role of the president and government in exercising control over interstate commerce, various government-sponsored agencies, and the abolishment of corporate abuses. Unlike Wilson, Roosevelt saw that monopolies made economics more widespread, more efficient, and more organized (Ali). With widespread dissemination, efficiency, and organization, Roosevelt hoped to transform America into a major world power (Roosevelt). Adopted from Charles R. Van Hise, Roosevelt’s focus on “concentration, cooperation and control” reflected Roosevelt’s more lenient approach to monopolies (Roosevelt). “The concentration of …show more content…
Whereas Theodore Roosevelt tolerated corporate monopolies, Woodrow Wilson dissented monopolies, describing them “indefensible and intolerable” (Wilson). Specifically addressing monopolies on raw materials, Wilson declared that “independent development….[would be] absolutely impossible” if the trusts gained private control over the trusts (Wilson). Wilson’s ultimate goal, like Roosevelt, was to restore American Democracy; private control of anything, from natural resources to manufacturing industries, threatened any hope of a restored democracy. Because Wilson refused to tolerate monopolies, he did not advocate for the same level “healthy competition” that Roosevelt had advocated for. Instead, Wilson called for more equality…[as he believed] there must be no squeezing out of the beginner, no crippling his credit” (Wilson). In his proposed program New Freedom, Wilson called for a meritocracy; believing in the small entrepreneur, Wilson encouraged Americans to come up with “invention[s] which would improve the kind of machinery” being used (Wilson). A successful entrepreneur that created good for American society was described as having American “brains” (Wilson). Wilson used Andrew Carnegie as an example of American “brains;” while most leaders of big

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