How did Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson differ in their approaches to regulating and controlling big business in the U.S.?

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dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Roosevelt and Wilson understood that the industrialized United States was here to stay.They realized American industry had both positive and negative effects on America and Americans.The monopolistic tendenices that many of America's large corporations began exploiting combined with the vast amounts of wealth accumulated by a select few struck fear into the hearts of many Americans.Their approach differed, but the policies not very different. Roosevelt believed that the federal government could and should act as the mediator between industry and the American public. He saw himself as the liasion between the two. Roosevelt was dubbed 'the trustbuster' when in actuality he was more of a trust regulator, however 'trustbusting' sells more newspapers! Roosevelt recognized the dangers that economic concentration could have on a capitalist society, but understood corporate America was permanent in American society.Roosevelt sought regulation to level the 'playing field' between big business and the abuses they were responsible for.He wanted to create balance, compromise. Wilson took a different approach. Wilson flat out denounced big business. He argued big business' only concern was consolidation (monopoly) and as such should be destroyed.Wilson never destroyed big business,he too regulated it with The Federal Trade commission and Clayton Antitrust Act.Their personalities differed more than their policies.