THE EMERGENCE OF the large corporation in the early 20th century created a dilemma. On the one hand, corporations were an efficient way to organize an industrial economy. They invented new goods and services and provided them on a large scale. They created jobs for millions of people, and moved America from an agricultural and rural economy to an urban manufacturing economy. On the other hand, those who controlled corporations wielded vast economic power. Corporations seemed to grow bigger and more concentrated year by year, giving them the potential to dominate politics as well as the economy. What was to prevent them from creating an industrial oligarchy?

Throughout American history, its citizens have resisted ...

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