Big business in the mid-1800s worked to eliminate competition by purchasing smaller businesses or undercutting their prices. They created trusts, or groups of businesses under one giant merging corporation, affecting both small businesses and farmers. As this book effectively addresses, there were calls for business reform by the 1890s. Laws like the Sherman Antitrust Act sought to redress the problems of big business, but it was through the efforts of President Theodore Roosevelt that the federal government went after these trusts; those actions earned Roosevelt the reputation as a ??trust buster.??