The Sherman Antitrust Act: Getting Big Business Under Control
As big business trusts proliferated in the last 1800s, a number of state governments, especially those in the South and West, passed laws to regulate corporate behavior. Large corporations got around the regulations by establishing their businesses in states that did not have these laws. In an effort to put a stop to corporations circumventing the states' laws, the federal government passed the Sherman Antitrust Act, which was the first federal antitrust law, and called for federal action against any restraint of trade.
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