Why did progressives work against monopolies

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  1. What was the biggest stumbling block to progressivism during the progressive era?

Why did progressives work against monopolies

Progressives were a group of people in the United States who were against the negative effects of urbanization and industrialization.  The progressive era occurred in the United States between the 1890s and 1920s. The progressives actively championed for reforms in the American industries and wanted the anti-trust laws to be legislated. Therefore, all the progressives wanted was [swpm_protected for=”4″]

to control the monopolies. The monopolies ran the government and controlled industrialization and urbanization. Therefore, progressives wanted to take down the corrupt representatives in office, their bosses, and other political machinery. Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft stand out as the two progressives who were at the forefront to control the monopolies.


The progressives developed the anti-trust laws which would help regulate monopolies and corporations. The antitrust laws were viewed as a way to help promote equal competition for the advantage of legitimate competitors. The main statutes of the anti-trust laws are the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914, and the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914.

The Progressives were against local bosses and hence supported prohibition as a way of destroying their power. The Women’s suffrage was being promoted at this same time to ensure that women participated fully in elections. These two issues led to the enactment of two significant reforms in favor of Progressives.

The first reform was the 18th Amendment which was passed in 1917. This amendment prohibited the manufacture, sell, and transportation of alcohol. The second amendment was the 19th Amendment passed in 1919. This amendment gave women the right to cast a vote. Therefore, monopolies lost control of some part of the market and political power.

Progressives also looked for things that were done by the monopolies in an old way and hence championed for changes to be made. This reform was termed the Efficiency Movement. The movement would ensure that monopolistic ways did not exist anymore. More scientific research was carried out, new ways of doing things were identified, and more people were involved in decision making as opposed to monopolistic ways where only the chosen few were involved.



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