Monopoly

The history of the US monopolies goes back to the colonies, when huge numbers of people (workforce) worked on the land, granting the income and rise of capital to the few people in charge. Companies that worked on such terms, as well as their owners, remained powerful enough generation through generation, controlling certain resources, e.g. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil, American Tobacco, US Steel, etc. Monopolies were controlling either the entire market share in their field or dominating their competitors so badly that other companies could not grow and develop at all.

Rockefeller managed to make Standard Oil one of the US biggest companies and monopolies of all times. Taking into consideration the natural lack of oil, as the main resource, and his control over it, made the process even easier, allowing Rockefeller to develop successfully without exterior investments and bank loans. The nationwide expansion of Standard Oil played a positive role in the later development of the industry, as it guaranteed relatively cheap and independent delivery of oil-derived products all over the country. Due to the high economic growth of the company, it served as a driver of national economy, taking it to the industrial direction. A successful monopoly could become a country within a country, setting up its own rules and laws of the game.

The Progressives arose from social into political power, representing a class of  citizens, college-educated individuals, who were seeking for justice. They did not recognize monopolies as a power, opposed to democracy and concentrating wealth and influence (power) in single hands, being the opponents of the democratically elected government. Theodore Roosevelt did not oppose monopolies directly as an entity but rather like a form of business. He supported free competition, working on the principle of fair play, without using black technologies. Thus he commenced working against monopolies during his presidential term, led the antitrust movement, and continued this activity afterwards. He passed a few regulatory laws, aimed at monopolies and helped to pass the Federal Reserve Act during the presidency of Wilson, guaranteeing the possibility of financial independence of the US citizens from the monopolies. 

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