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Explain the different attitudes Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, & Eugene Debs had toward trusts.


During the Progressive movement one of the main targets of reformers was the trusts that controlled many sectors of the economy.  However, not all reformers looked at these trusts in the same way.

Theodore Roosevelt believed that trusts were not inherently evil.  He believed that some trusts were okay and only the ones that worked against the public good should be "busted."

Woodrow Wilson was much more aggressive about trust-busting.  Under his presidency, both the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Anti-Trust Act were passed by Congress. He believed that trusts, along with tariffs and the banking system, were part of a "triple wall of privilege."

Eugene Debs, though a socialist, did not believe in trust-busting.  He believed that trusts were inevitable in a capitalist system.  Therefore, he said, the only remedy was to change from capitalism to socialism.

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