Arsifa Deliyana

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American History: The Election of 1912

In what ways was the election of 1912 significant?

The 1912 presidential campaign involved four candidates: Theodore Roosevelt as a Progressive, Eugene Debs run as a Socilialist, Wison and Taft represented two major parties. They all shared a fundamental presumption that the old idea of do-nothing government was bankrupt; present day conditions required dynamic measures to advance the general welfare. However, they contrasted in the nature and degree of their activism. After the Republicans renominated Taft, Roosevelt’s supporters shot the tradition, formed the Progressive party, and designated Roosevelt. Albeit some Democratic progressives bolstered Roosevelt, the split in the Republican party prompted Woodrow Wilson’s success. Having won a larger part in both places of congress and additionally the presidential election, the Democrats viably held national power surprisingly since the Civil War.

The 1912 election was important in four main ways: First, it was a high-water mark for Progressivism. In fact, the election was the first to include presidential primaries. The election brought fundamental changes in American politics suggesting the historical significance of the Progressive Party. High percentage of the the popular vote or as many electoral votes received by the third party on the American political scene in the 20th century was recognized as an extraordinary. Neither before nor after 1912, no third party for the presidency gained that large number of supporters and votes; Second, the election gave Democrats effective national power for the first time since the Civil War. Wilson’s winning in the election made Democrats became the majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Holding such a stable power in the house and senate, Democrats proved their ability to stand up from the fallen of power during the severe depression of the 1890s.

Third, the election of Wilson brought southerness back into the circle of national and international affairs in a significant way for the first time since the Civil War. During Wilson’s presidency, the name of the southerners had having its good reputation along with the Progressive legislation. Moreover, Five of Wilson’s ten cabinet members were born in the South, three still resided there, and William Jennings Bryan, the secretary of state, was an idol of the southern masses. Fourth, the election of 1912 had begun to alter the character of the Republican party. Although majority of professionals remained, the the defection of the Bull Moose Progressives had weakened the party’s progressive wing. The leaders of the Republican party that would return to power in the 1920s would be more conservative in tone and temperament. (Tindall, 2007).


The Election of 1912. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2017, from

Tindall, G. B., & Shi, D. E. (2007). America: a narrative history. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Why the Election of 1912 Changed America. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2017, from


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