In around the 1890's to early 1900's, the populists and the progressive movements were going on. These were people who were out to solve specific problems during their time.
The populist consisted of farmers, ranchers, and people who live out in the country. Their goal was to defend themselves against things that would hurt their businesses.
One of the larger things that the populist fought against was railroads. Railroads, at the time were unregulated, allowing them to be monopolies; they overpriced the farmers, whom depended on the railroads.