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Muckraking or Muck-faking Former United States president Theodore Roosevelt first coined the term muckraking or as referred to today investigative reporting The president had intended the term to be disdainful but it became a badge of honor among journalist Magazines began to run lengthy explorations of abusive institutions in American society which in effect helped shape American policy One of the most infamous muckraking expose was by Ida Tarbell who wrote a nineteen part series for McClures on the Standard Oil monopoly The Standard Oil Trust developed out of a refinery run by American businessman John D Rockefeller was one of the richest and most powerful businesses in the world during the late 1800s and early 1900s The United States Supreme Court dissolved the company in 1911 charging it with unfair business practices Rockefeller and his business associates bought most of the refineries in Cleveland and many in other cities and built tank cars developed a pipeline system purchased oil-producing lands They then created an organization to market their products transferring the stock of all their companies to the newly formed Standard Oil Trust It controlled more than 90 percent of the countrys refining capacity and almost as much of its pipelines Since 1870 competitors journalists and government agencies had accused Rockefeller and Standard Oil of following illegal practices damaging to other companies In 1892 the Supreme Court of Ohio ordered Standard Oil Company of Ohio to separate from the trust The trustees broke up the combination However many of the same people stayed in control through their positions on the boards of directors of the corporations In 1906 the US government brought suit against the combination under the Sherman Antitrust Act In 1911 under the provisions of the act the US Supreme Court ordered the company to dissolve This ruling forced 33 subsidiaries of Standard Oil New Jersey to become separate companies They could have no business connections with one another
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