Between 1890 and 1920, Progressives attempted to improve working conditions, urban life, and social conditions. Many demanded changes in the regulation of business, labor, and consumer safety. It is fair to say that the Progressives successfully accomplished their goals; hence, this era appears to be a success. Without these changes, workers would continue working for low wages, big businesses would monopolize over the entire industries and labor would be weak, or would we have regulated food and drug laws.
Scores of large businesses had complete control entire industries. Teddy Roosevelt stopped these types of monopolies. In 1902, Roosevelt proposed a "Square Deal," which called for enforcement of existing anti-trust laws as well as strict control of big businesses.(Tindall et al., page400) The Northern Securities Company was dissolved in 1904 by the Supreme Court and Swift and Company was subject to Federal Regulation. In 1906, The Hepburn Act allowed the ICC the right to set maximum freight rates and extend their reach beyond railroads.
(Tindall et al., page401) In 1906, the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act provided for regulations on meats, prepared foods, and medicines. (Tindall et al., page402) The Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) prohibited exclusive sales contracts, local price cutting to freeze out competitors, rebates, and interlocking directorates in corporations capitalized at $1 million or more in the same field of business, and inter-corporate stock holdings. (Tindall et al., page407)