He believed wall Street financiers and an effective trust titans to be acting foolishly. When they were eating off an intricate china on mahogany tables in marble dining rooms, the masses were roughing it. There appeared to it is in no border to greed. If docking earnings would boost profits, it was done. If higher railroad rates put an ext gold in your coffers, it was done. How much was enough, Roosevelt wondered?

The Sherman Anti-Trust Act

Although he himself was a man of means, he criticize the wealthy class of american on 2 counts. First, continued exploitation of the public could an outcome in a violent uprising that could destroy the whole system. Second, the captains of market were arrogant sufficient to believe themselves superior to the elected government. Currently that he to be President, Roosevelt went on the attack.

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The President"s weapon to be the Sherman Antitrust Act, pass by conference in 1890. This law asserted illegal every combinations "in restraint of trade." because that the very first twelve year of that is existence, the Sherman Act was a document tiger. United claims courts regularly sided with service when any enforcement the the Act to be attempted.

For example, the American sugar Refining firm controlled 98 percent of the street industry. In spite of this online monopoly, the can be fried Court refused to dissolve the copy, group in one 1895 ruling. The only time an organization was considered in restraint of profession was when the court ruled versus a labor union

Roosevelt knew that no brand-new legislation was necessary. As soon as he sensed the he had actually a sorry Court, the sprung into action.

Teddy vs. J.P.

Theodore Roosevelt was no the form to initiate major changes timidly. The first trust giant to fall victim come Roosevelt"s attack was none various other than the most powerful industrialist in the nation — J. Pierpont Morgan.


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This 1912 cartoon reflects trusts wrecking consumers with the tariff hammer in really hopes of increasing profits.

Morgan regulated a railroad agency known as north Securities. In mix with railroad moguls James J. Hill and E. H. Harriman, Morgan managed the bulk of rail shipping throughout the northern United States.

Morgan to be enjoying a peaceful dinner at his brand-new York house on February 19, 1902, when his telephone rang. He was furious to learn that Roosevelt"s Attorney basic was happen suit against the north Securities Company. Stunned, he muttered to his same shocked dinner guests around how crude oil it to be to record such a suit without warning.

Four days later, Morgan to be at the White home with the President. Morgan bellowed the he to be being treated prefer a common criminal. The President educated Morgan the no compromise could be reached, and the issue would be cleared up by the courts. Morgan inquired if his various other interests to be at risk, too. Roosevelt called him only the persons that had done noþeles wrong would be prosecuted.

The Good, the Bad, and the Bully

This was the main point of Theodore Roosevelt"s leadership. That boiled whatever down to a instance of right versus not correct and an excellent versus bad. If a trust controlled whole industry however provided great service at reasonable rates, it was a "good" to trust to be left alone. Just the "bad" trusts the jacked increase rates and also exploited consumers would come under attack. Who would decide the difference between right and wrong? The occupant that the White home trusted just himself to make this decision in the understanding of the people.

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The American public cheered Roosevelt"s brand-new offensive. The can be fried Court, in a small 5 come 4 decision, agreed and also dissolved the north Securities Company. Roosevelt said confidently that no man, no matter exactly how powerful, was over the law. As he landed blows on various other "bad" trusts, his popularity grew and also grew.