A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 32: “Wilsonian Progressivism at Home and
~ 1912 – 1916 ~
The Emergence of Dr. Thomas Woodrow Wilson
With the Republican Party split wide open, the Democrats sensed that they could win the
presidency for the first time in 16 years.
One possible candidate was Dr.
, a once-mild conservative but
now militant progressive who had been the president of
governor of New Jersey (where he didn’t permit himself to be controlled by the
bosses, and had attacked trusts and passed liberal measures.
In 1912, in Baltimore, the Democrats nominated Wilson on the 46
William Jennings Bryan
swung his support over to Wilson’s side.
The Democratic ticket would run under a platform called “
,” which would include many progressive reforms.
The “Bull Moose” Campaign of 1912
At the Progressive convention,
’s name on the
nomination, and as TR spoke, he ignited an almost-religious spirit in the crowd.
TR got the Progressive nomination, and entering the campaign, TR said that he
felt “as strong as a bull moose,” making that animal the unofficial Progressive
and TR tore into each other, as the former friends now ripped
every aspect of each other’s platforms and personalities.
and Wilson’s New Freedom became the key issues.
Roosevelt’s New Nationalism was inspired by
The Promise of
(1910), and it stated that the government should control the bad
trusts, leaving the good trusts alone and free to operate.
TR also campaigned for woman suffrage and a broad program of social
welfare, such as minimum-wage laws and “socialistic” social insurance.
Wilson’s New Freedom favored small enterprise, desired to break up all
not just the bad ones—and basically shunned social-welfare proposals.
The campaign was stopped when Roosevelt was shot in the chest in Milwaukee, but he
delivered his speech anyway, was rushed to the hospital, and recovered in two weeks.
Woodrow Wilson: Minority President
Woodrow Wilson easily won with 435 Electoral votes, while TR had 88 and Taft only had
8, but the Democrat did not receive the majority of the popular vote (only 41%)!
Eugene V. Debs
racked up over 900,000 popular votes, while the combined
popular totals of TR and Taft exceeded Wilson!!!
Had the Republican Party not been split in 1910, it still could have won!
William Taft would later become the only U.S. president to be appointed Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court as well, when he did so in 1921.