The United States of America experienced a remarkable year of constructive politics in 1912. The year 1912 was an election year in America. Due to numerous changes in the American constitution, the election attracted four candidates to run for the top seat. Remarkably, this was an election where a third party participated in elections, besides the Republican and Democratic parties.
The four candidates were William Howard Taft, running for a second term on a Republican ticket, Eugene Debs of Socialist Party, Theodore Roosevelt of Progressive Party, and Woodrow Wilson running on a Democratic ticket and later won in that election.
Most historians remark the election of 1912 as a beacon of revolution in American politics. The emergence of Progressive Party under Roosevelt challenged the conversant, Republic and Democratic parties. In fact, the outcome of the elections indicated that, the Progressive Party garnered an outstanding percentage of both popular and electoral votes.
Today, not even single third party is able to break this history. Of great importance in 1912 elections, was the hot debate on American fundamentals. (Davidson, DeLay, & Heyrman, 2008, PP.204-238).
Progressive Party came into the limelight due to its candidate centered and unique governance forms-forms that later applied in American politics. The elections of 1912 focused on the combination of social and political reforms in anchoring American governance. The Progressive Party championed an era of progressivism to give Americans new aspirations and confidentialities. (Davidson et al., 2008, pp.242-283).
Unlike other political parties, Theodore Roosevelt led progressive party rallied behind regulating federal powers, which had been monopolistic in the past regimes. Through the celebrated Progressive Party democratic policies, initiative, referendum and direct primary reforms took place to realize an expanded federal government that Americans enjoy today.
The Progressive Party chose New Nationalism. Roosevelt depicted that new nationalism is meant to embrace “civil rights, exercise trade commissioning, and create new policies” so as to unite all Americans. Therefore, he urged for constitutional amendment to reflect this idea of ‘New Nationalism’. (The Claremont Institute, 2002, Para. 3-6).
On American constitution, Roosevelt and Taft disagreed on judiciary rulings. William Taft believed in the current American constitution. Therefore, any constitutional amendment according to Taft will be popularity seeking and not serving Americans. It was William Taft’s role to defend the constitution as the sitting president.
William Taft and Roosevelt had a debate where Taft noted, “Any amendment on the constitution would result in being an enemy of American people”. It is clear to note that, in the eyes of Taft, constitutional sobriety ought to carry the elections of 1912. (The Claremont Institute, 2002, Para. 14-21).
Woodrow Wilson of Democratic Party who later won the election as a result of Roosevelt dividing republicans thought of pure democracy as the future of Americans. Woodrow wanted to embrace ‘New Freedom buttering the cornerstones of democracy’. Moreover, Woodrow wanted to apply new measures non- partisan with bureaucracy or centralizations of political allies so as to achieve great economy.
On his part, Woodrow supported “Sherman Act” so as to retrieve competition and the application of law rather than creation of tribunals to investigate any matter from business to politics to culture. (The Claremont Institute, 2002, Para. 6-10).
On the other hand, there came the socialist party under Eugene Debs thought that, creating a centralized state was dangerous to Americans. Instead, she advocated for the empowerment of national powers to address the demands of Americans.
For example, she noted that, “Americans should be handed over legislation powers to do any changes they feel necessary for a better federal state. The changes should not be products of government centralizations mechanisms, but arise from only American citizens through legislation.” (The Claremont Institute, 2002, Para. 24-26).
Though Progressive reform agendas of the Progressive Party never melted to fruition, Americans achieved a new deal in their political dispensation. Evidently, Americans demanded democracy whether from sociological pure. All these four candidates had their campaign theatrics geared towards achieving a democratic federal state government that valued human rights and serving its citizens.
Clearly, these progressive reforms reflected the wish of Americans in addressing conservatism and democracy. The triumph of Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who in the view of Americans was a symbol of progressive reforms, was a clear indication of their demands and political wishes. Nevertheless, America achieved progressive reforms based on pure democracy; a system that is in place even up to today.
Davidson, J., DeLay, B., Heyrman, C., Lytle, M. & Stoff, M. (2008). Nation of Nations. (Volume II: Since 1865). New York: McGraw Hill.
The Claremont Institute. (2002). Why the Election of 1912 Changed America. Retrieved 03 March, 2010, from