BIG STEEL AND THE NEW FREEDOM
T HE ELECTION OF WOODROW WILSON IMPOSED UPON both the steel industry and the government a new set of alternative courses of conduct. Where Theodore Roosevelt had been friendly to the growth of big businesses, the goal of the New Freedom -- the re-establishment of a small-unit economy -- represented all that Gary and other adherents of the New Competition believed outmoded and useless in the American economy. Wilson and his followers, on the other hand, feared what would happen to the political and social life of the country unless the march toward consolidation and monopolization of the economy were stopped.
Essentially, Wilson spoke for a middle class which believed itself being squeezed out by big business, for young men on the make confronted by monopolized markets.1 To re-establish business opportunities for this group, he proposed a three-pronged attack on the citadels of corporate and financial power. Through____________________