Saturday, June 25, 2016

Progressive Teddy Roosevelt

I'm learning a lot about US political history from reading People Get Ready. Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican President (1901-09), initiated the Progressive Era and much of the infrastructure necessary for an effective democracy. After his successor (Taft) made a mess of things Teddy once again competed in the 1912 Republican primary as a challenge to Taft. But like today, "the final credentials of the state delegates at the national convention were determined by the national committee, which was controlled by the party leaders, headed by the incumbent president" (Wikipedia).

Hence he lost the primary and then ran for President on the Progressive Party he and others formed. He got 27% of the vote compared to Taft's 23%, while the Democrat Wilson won with 42%. Even though he lost he defeated Taft and kept the progressive agenda on the map which Wilson embraced, and set the stage for further progressive reforms later under FDR.

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