Thus, both the populist and progressive movements sought to combat the negative effects of industrialization and economic expansion by focusing primarily on railroad regulation and the strengthening and enforcement of antitrust legislation.Nevertheless, some progressive reformers like Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot did pay significant attention to preventing further damage to the natural environment and helped to found the modern conservation movement.Through its clear thesis, the essay is also able to address the targeted skill of causation by dealing with the causes and effects of the events mentioned in the question, for which it earns both of the possible points.
While railroad regulation and antitrust actions attracted the most attention of reformers during the period 1880–1920, some efforts were made by reformers to mitigate the effects of industrialization and commercial expansion on the natural environment.
Although some reformers, such as Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot, were deeply worried about the consequences of economic development on the natural environment, the most influential, most effective reformers were primarily concerned with the impact of the rise of big business on small businesses, industrial workers, and consumers, and with corruption in government that reformers believed resulted from the economic power of large corporations.
Farmers were upset at what they regarded as arbitrary and excessive railroad rates and abuses such as rebates to big business like Standard Oil.
President Roosevelt also pushed for the establishment of the forest service and appointed a conservation-minded ally, Gifford Pinchot, to head that agency.
Finally, even after retiring from office, Roosevelt supported Pinchot in his efforts to prevent President Taft’s secretary of the interior, Richard Ballinger, from opening additional public lands to commercial exploitation.