The Bull Moose Party Or Progressives

1398 words - 6 pages

The election in 1912 brought a new Political Party to the ballot. Americans were used to Democrats and Republicans, but they now had the Bull Moose Party or Progressives. The Progressives were those who “firmly believed that they could change society for the better, and even come close to a state of perfection” (Bowles, M.D., 2011). The Progressives were “committed to the principle of government by a self-controlled democracy expressing its will through representatives of the people,” (Bull Moose Party, 1912). Theodore Roosevelt was and is the most famous of the Progressives and Woodrow Wilson who was a Progressive Democrat, would go head to head for election as President of the United States. Roosevelt had been President of the United States from 1900-1907. Each of them had their strong points and ideals of what needed to be accomplished to build a stronger nation, but what those ideals were and how to go about enacting them was very much different. Even though both were leaders of the Progressive Movement, Roosevelt and Wilson were very different men.
Theodore Roosevelt was well known by the people for being for the people and willing to stand shoulder to should with “anyone who had a forward-thinking vision of the future and intense convictions,” he called them Progressives (Bowles, M.D., 2011). In 1912 TR and his Progressive Party had already accepted that their chances of winning the Presidential Race were very small. "Although I expect to lose I believe that we are founding what really is a new movement, and that we may be able to give the right trend to our democracy,” (Kraig, R.A., 2000). TR’s hope was to get his message out to as many Americans as possible to lay the groundwork for the future of his political party. TR set out on the largest speaking campaign trail in American history; he planned 150 speeches in 32 states. His main focus during his campaign was the need for social and economic reform.
Large business reform was a major focal point for TR’s campaign. "We must protect the crushable elements at the base of our present industrial policy. The first charge on the industrial statesmanship of the day is to prevent human waste," (Kraig, R.A., 2000). TR clearly spoke out on how he felt the common workingman was mistreated and forced to work for wages that wouldn’t feed, cloth, or house a workingman’s family. He also saw that large industry that allowed their workers to live in filth, famine and made to starve were a burden on society itself, and that common man deserved much more than he got. Another focal point of the campaign was political reform. TR felt that America had lost its essence of its political structure, “Democracy for Roosevelt was not just mass rule but public-spirited rule in the interest of all,” (Kraig, R.A., 2000). He also made it clear that he felt that all Americans had to do their part and in turn look left and right and ensure that other Americans are doing their part. Roosevelt saw...

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