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The Progressive Era, 1890-1920
Guide: Regulating Business

These resources explain how 18th-century business practices were viewed as controversial and corrupt. Use these resources to help students understand how the federal government addressed the controversial business practices of the 18th century. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Labor unions developed as social and political movements
  • Rural and urban areas have distinct needs that shape political and economic concerns
  • Racial and ethnic groups have fought to obtain civil rights and liberties
  • Government accountability relies on a politically engaged populace
  • Society's idea of morality changes over time
  • A balance between public safety and economic growth is desirable
  • A nation's diplomatic powers rest in its ability to have a foreign presence
  • There are multiple factors that a nation must consider when deciding to go to war
  • The U.S. has gone through periods where it feels it is in its best interest to remain detached from certain global events
  • Negotiating a peace involves compromises and consensus and can extend well beyond the end of hostilities

Key Questions

  • How did antitrust laws limit the power of businesses? Why were they created?
  • What acts did the federal government pass regarding food and drugs? Why were these acts created?
  • Analyze the reforms made relating to business practices. Did the reforms achieve their intended outcome?


  1. Overview: Regulating Business
  2. Outline: Outline
  3. Lesson: Introduction
  4. Key Question: The Jungle and Progressive Era Reforms
  5. Photos & Illustrations: Child factory worker
  6. Photos & Illustrations: Meat packing plant in Chicago, ca. 1909
  7. Reference Articles: antitrust laws
  8. Reference Articles: child labor
  9. Reference Articles: Federal Trade Commission
  10. Reference Articles: Standard Oil Company
  11. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Political cartoon: Standard Oil: monopoly
  12. Cultural Documents: Riis, Jacob: How the Other Half Lives (1890)
  13. Cultural Documents: Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle (1906)
  14. Speeches: Roosevelt, Theodore: Controlling the Trusts speech (1901)

MLA Citation

"Regulating Business." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2153041. Accessed 25 Aug. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2153041

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