The Antitrust Act Of Woodrow Wilson

1532 Words May 28th, 2015 7 Pages
When Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated in 1913, he stated in his address that, “We shall deal with our economic system as it is and as it may be modified, not as it might be if we had a clean sheet of paper to write upon” (First Inaugural Address, online). He did just that when he passed the Clayton Antitrust Act in October 1914. The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed in 1890, but it was very vague in the way it described monopolies (Clayton Antitrust Act, online). Big business took advantage of the loopholes, which diminished competition (Clayton Antitrust Act, online). Although Roosevelt and Taft successfully busted about 150 trusts, big businesses continued to grow and our entire economic system remained in the hands of a few men (Taft Biography, online; T. Roosevelt – Section 8, online; Clayton Antitrust, online). Wilson requested Congress to modify the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the Clayton Antitrust Act was born (Clayton Antitrust, online). It is “An Act To supplement existing laws against unlawful restraints and monopolies, and for other purposes” (HR 15657, online). The Sherman Act simply declared monopolies illegal, while the Clayton Act declared activities linked with monopolies to be illegal (Clayton Antitrust Act, online). Such activities include mergers and acquisitions that are intended “substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly” (HR 15657, online). The Federal Trade Commission Act, passed about a month before the Clayton Act, banned…

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