Tempest Trust Striker

President Theodore Roosevelt

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Teddy is Ready to Thrust the Trusts!

Emergence of the the Phantom Army of Trusts

    • Monopoly
      • One of the things that he did was monopolizing on industry. This was an evil action that put numerous consumers in difficult situation. Trusts can increase the price to a ridiculous amount. Consumers, having no option to purchase the desired product at any other place, must pay the full price that the trusts imposed.
    • Rebate
      • Other evil action that the trusts did was the rebate policy. It was the method of charging lower rates to the larger shippers. Such action is surely unethical and earned complaints from many laborers. Many famous companies such as John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil were later caught receiving rebates. Certainly, rebate policy was unfair for smaller companies who were not favored by the railroad company. Rebate policy represented the corrupted alliance between Railroad Company and trusts.
    • Weak power of the Interstate Commerce Commission
      • Trusts dramatically weakened the power of the ICC. Although its function is to regulate railroad rates, eliminate rate barriers, and regulate other carriers, it clearly did not have sufficient power to enforce its authority. Many unethical business practices were done by the trusts because of the useless regulatory agency.
    • Mounting antagonism between capital and labor
      • Trusts developed hostile relationship with laborers. Laborers were deeply irritated since they were not able to get desired wage and had to work for long hours. Since laborers were deeply discontented, works were not done efficiently. The corporations unfairly took benefits for all the hard works that the laborers did.
    • Public interest was being threatened.
      • During the Progressive Era, corporations were gaining more power than ever before. They only cared about their interest instead of serving the people’s interest. Consumer’s rights were threatened. Monopolizing on industries and engaging in illegal business practices, corruption of the trusts amplified which naturally translated into the plight of the public.

Help! Ida M. Tarbell the Pusher

During the Progressive Era, many people were seeking to weaken and possibly outlaw the trusts which produced the working environment that was unfair for the laborers. One of the main problems was that the trusts monopolized on an industry; therefore, trusts could set unreasonably high price, but consumers have no choice but to purchase from the trusts since no other corporations offer the desired products. Ida Minerva Tarbell was one of the leading muckrakers who mainly focused on exposing the evil acts by the trusts. For instance, she published a devastating but factual depiction of the Standard Oil Company owned by John D. Rockefeller, known as The History of The Standard Oil Company in 1904. Hers words changed the fate of the Rockefeller’s powerful industry since they divulged the corruption in business and political lawlessness. She chose that particular company since her father was ruined by the oil interests. Her investigative articles were thorough and meticulous; she researched public records such as court testimony, newspaper articles, and federal reports. The book discussed unethical tactics that Rockefeller used and the plight of the oil workers. Her works inspired many other muckrakers to take a lead in outlawing trusts.

Teddy's Super Tools

  • Elkins Act of 1903.
    • This act was passed by the President Roosevelt. He used this legislation to stem the rebate practice. The act imposed heavy fines on the railroads and the shippers that accepted rebates.
  • Hepburn Act of 1906.
    • This act was passed by the President Roosevelt to strengthen the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission. He expanded its authority to cover express companies, sleeping-car companies, and pipelines. It was also authorized to nullify existing rates and stipulate maximum rates.
  • Bureau of Corporation.
    • He established this cabinet body to regulate the power of the trusts. Part of the Department of the Commerce and Labor, Bureau of Corporation had power to probe businesses engaged in interstate commerce. It can even break the monopoly if it wants to. It facilitated the trust-busting scheme.
  • Square Deal.
    • It was a plan that Roosevelt developed to protect the public interest. It included control of corporation, consumer protection, and conservation of natural resources.
  • Anti-trust suit against The Northern Securities.
    • The Northern Securities was the railroad company that virtually monopolized on the railroad in Northwest area. To stop it, Roosevelt sued the company in the Supreme Court and eventually dissolved it.

Works Cited

"American Experience: TV's Most-watched History Series." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 02 Mar.

2014. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/biography/rockefellers-tarbell/>.


Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey. The American Pageant: A History of the Republic. 12th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.


"The Railroad Builders by John Moody,1919." The Railroad Builders by John Moody,1919.

N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2014.

<http://cprr.org/Museum/Railroad_Builders/Railroad_Builders_12.html>.