The Political election Of 1912
History 104 12
February 26, 2013
The Election of 1912
Progressivism was the leading movement for the Election of 1912. The four presidential candidates Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs all fought to prove to the people that they were more of a forward Progressive thinker than their competition. Progressives believed that " the Declaration of Independence to be a merely practical document, to be understood as a specific, timebound response to a set of specific historical conditions. Once the circumstances change, so too must our conception of government. ” (" American Progressivism”, accessed February 25, 2013. http://www.nlnrac.org/critics/americanprogressivism#_ednref2) With the evolution of the American life after the growth of industries and urban communities, the government needed to make changes to keep the people moving forward, instead of stuck within the same boundaries the founding fathers had set over 100 years previously. Progressivism founded around six main tenets regulation of business, moral revival, consumer protection, conservation of natural resources, educational improvement, and tax reform and each candidate had ideas to solve the needs of these. In his April 1912 speech " Who Is A Progressive? ”, Theodore Roosevelt, the " Bull Moose” candidate, defined Progressives as above all wanting to " to give the people real control, and to have the
people exercise this control in a spirit of the broadest sympathy and broadest desire to secure social and industrial justice for every man and woman, so that the work of all of us may be done and the lives of all of us lived under conditions which will tend to increase the dignity, the worth, and the efficiency of each individual. ” (" Who is a Progressive? by Theodore Roosevelt, ” accessed February 25, 2013, http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=1199.) His plan for the nation if he was to be elected presidency was what he branded " The New Nationalism”. The New Nationalism was a plan for the judiciary to care first and foremost on human welfare rather than property, and representation for all people rather than just the wealthy. He believed that if the people of the United States acted the best they could be for their government, through hard work, moral decency and exercising their right to vote, the government would in turn help the people. In his August 31, 1910 speech " The New Nationalism” in Osawatomie, Kansas, Roosevelt spoke about moral revival. He said, " We must have the right kind of character character that makes a man, first of all, a good man in the home, a good father, a good husband that makes a man a good neighbor. You must have that, and, then simply, in addition, you must have the kind of law and the kind of administration of the law which will give to those qualities in the private citizen the best possible chance for development. ” (" The New Nationalism”, accessed February 25, 2013,
http://www.theodoreroosevelt.com/images/research/speeches/trnationalismspeech.pdf.) He also speaks about regulation of business, believing it is necessary that laws " should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or more indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. ” (" The New Nationalism”) He is showing the American people that he wants to end the corruption and spoils system that exists between large corporations and
politicians, which would lead to a more honest country that would benefit it's people. Finally he talks about conservation of natural resources, but he believes in development of resources as much as protection of the resources we already have. He stresses the importance of his generation to leave " this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us, and training them into a better race to...