What steps did President Theodore Roosevelt take to regulate big business?
He had a series of laws passed
During Roosevelt's presidency the breaking up of corportations was made through the passing of many laws that weakened their hegemony.
" When Roosevelt became president in 1901 he shifted the Republican Party to a more populist direction by increasing anti-trust prosecutions.
One of Roosevelt's acts as president was to deliver a 20,000-word address to Congress asking it to curb the power of large corporations (called "trusts"). He also spoke in support of organized labor to further chagrin big business, but to their delight, he endorsed the gold standard, protective tariffs and lower taxes. For his aggressive use of 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act, compared to his predecessors, he became mythologized as the "trust-buster"; but in reality he was more of a trust regulator.
Roosevelt viewed big business as a necessary part of the American economy, and sought only to prosecute the "bad trusts" that restrained trade and charged unfair prices.He brought 44 antitrust suits, breaking up the Northern Securities Company, the largest railroad monopoly; and regulating Standard Oil, the largest oil and refinery company.Presidents Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, and William McKinley combined only prosecuted 18 anti-trust violations under the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Bolstered by his party's success in the 1902 elections, Roosevelt proposed the creation of the United States Department of Commerce and Labor, which would include the Bureau of Corporations. While Congress was receptive to Department of Commerce and Labor, it was more skeptical of the anti-trust powers that Roosevelt sought to endow within the Bureau of Corporations. Roosevelt successfully appealed to the public to pressure Congress, and Congress overwhelmingly voted to pass Roosevelt's version of the bill."