But was Baum a Bryan Democrat? In the summer of 1888, Baum moved his family to Aberdeen, South Dakota, where he opened a dry goods store. In January 1890, after the business failed, he bought a local newspaper, renaming it the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer . The Pioneer was obviously a Republican paper. During the municipal elections that spring, Baum editorialized in support of the Republican candidates; after they won, he wrote that "Aberdeen has redeemed herself . . [a]fter suffering for nearly a year from the incompetence of a democratic administration." Later that year, Baum urged unity against the growing Independent movement: "We are all members of one great family, the family which saved the Union, the family which stands together as the emblem of prosperity among the nations--Republicanism!" Not only did Baum speak for the Republican party; he spoke against the movement that would soon evolve into the Populists. (18)
Although Roosevelt was known as a trust buster, his ultimate goal was not the destruction of big business but its regulation. For Roosevelt the concentration of industry in ever fewer hands represented not just a threat to fair markets but also to democracy as wealthy industrialists consolidated power in their own hands. He turned to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to challenge business monopolies, bringing suit against the Northern Securities Company (a railroad trust) in 1902. The Justice Department initiated forty-two additional anti-trust cases during his presidency. During Roosevelt’s second term, regulating business became increasingly important. Roosevelt had always believed big business was an inevitable economic development; regulation was a means to level the playing field and provide the “square deal” to citizens, as Roosevelt had promised in his re-election campaign. He supported laws like the 1906 Hepburn Act, which regulated the railroads, and the same year’s Pure Food and Drug and Meat Inspection Acts, which controlled the drug and food industries.