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1914 Federal Trade Act

Woodrow Wilson

1914 Federal Trade Act: Woodrow Wilson was the 28th American President who served in office from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921. One of the important  New Freedom progressive reforms, attacks against unfair business practices and laws passed during his presidency was the 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act.

Definition and Summary of the 1914 Federal Trade Act
Summary and definition:
The 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act was a federal law passed during the era of the Progressive Movement that created the 1914 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as his antitrust action to monitor American companies and investigate unfair business practices.

The Federal Trade Commission (FCC) had the power to investigate companies and issue "cease and desist" notices against corporations engaging in unfair trade practices, or those companies that damaged competition. The Federal Trade Commission was created on September 26, 1914 the date when the law was passed.

Wilson's New Freedom Reforms for kids: 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act)
President Woodrow Wilson, like his predecessors Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft, was a firm supporter of the Progressive Movement and Progressive reforms. His New Freedom polices included the passing of the federal law known as the Federal Trade Commission Act as part of his economic reform legislation program.

Federal Trade Commission Act for kids: Why was the amendment to the law passed? What was its Purpose?
The purpose of the Federal Trade Commission Act was to establish the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) to protect consumers and maintain competition. It was as part of the 'trust-busting' battle and designed to prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and prevent anti-competitive mergers and other anti-competitive business practices in the marketplace.

Who lobbied the Federal Trade Commission Act?
Lawyer George Rublee was a standard-bearer for the Progressive Party and lobbied for the Federal Trade Commission Act and was instrumental in the creation of Section 5 of the FTC Act, which gave the Commission prosecutorial authority to challenge unfair methods of competition.

What did the Federal Trade Commission Act do?
The Federal Trade Commission Act gave the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) authority to:

  • Protect consumers from greedy or unfair business practices

  • Provided a forum for American citizens to complain about unfair business practices of a company

  • Investigate corporate conduct

  • Issue cease and desist orders to companies engaging in unfair practices

Federal Trade Commission Act for kids: Related Subjects
In a 1938 amendment, the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) was given expanded powers in halting merger activities. For additional information refer to the
Clayton Antitrust Act that revised the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act and banned monopolistic practices by business and affirmed the right of workers to go on strike.

US American History
1913-1928: WW1 & Prohibition

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