Progressives were Americans who wanted to reform the country. They belonged to the middle class, they believed in science, industry, and capitalism. But they wanted to benefit all Americans, not just the wealthy. Between 1900 and 1920 Progressives used the power of the government to correct the problems of the industrial age. Some ways that Progressives improved American life were by Roosevelt’s “trustbusting”, Wilsonian Reform, and Amendments 16 through 19.
One way that Progressives improved American life was by Theodore Roosevelt’s “trustbusting”. Trustbusting was a way to break up monopolies or big businesses that Roosevelt believed took advantage of people. One example of how a trust was unfair was by lowering prices to drive competitors out of the market then taking advantage of lack of competition to rise prices higher. Roosevelt decided to take action when he sued the Northern Securities Company and in 1904 the Supreme Court dissolved it. Roosevelt broke some more monopolies after that as well.
Progressives also improved American life through Wilsonian Reform. Woodrow Wilson was a president who believed in progressive reform and passed many reform laws. A couple of his important reform laws were the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, which would prohibit corporations from acquiring the stock of another and if doing so would create a monopoly, if a company violated this law its officers could be prosecuted. Another law was the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, which set up the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This agency administered almost 400 cease-and-desist orders to companies engaged in illegal activity.
A third way the Progressives improved American life was with the Amendments 16 through 19. The 16th Amendment was called “Income Tax” and it was established in 1913 with a purpose to assign higher taxes to people with higher income. This was progressive because it gave the government more money for projects to...