The 1912 Election And The Power Of Progressivism: A Brief History With Documents

Paperback | November 27, 2002

byBrett Flehinger

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Faced with the challenge of adapting America’s political and social order to the rise of corporate capitalism, in 1912 four presidential candidates — Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Eugene Debs — shaped Americans’ thoughts about their public futures. Their positions would come to frame national conversation over the role of corporations in American life, determine the relation between the state and society that still controls our thinking about market regulation, and usher in a period of Progressive reform. Connecting the debates of 1912 to some of the most pressing issues of the Progressive Era, this volume presents selected sensational speeches, correspondence between these important figures and their allies and opponents, and 12 lively political cartoons. The documents are supported by an interpretive essay, a chronology, a bibliography, and a series of questions for student consideration, including ideas for a classroom debate.

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Faced with the challenge of adapting America’s political and social order to the rise of corporate capitalism, in 1912 four presidential candidates — Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Eugene Debs — shaped Americans’ thoughts about their public futures. Their positions would come to frame national conversation...

Brett Flehinger received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and is an assistant professor of history at California State University, San Bernardino. He is currently working on a study of the democratic ideology of the La Follette family and has written articles and reviews on Progressive Era and New Deal political and econom...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.2 × 5.68 × 0.4 inPublished:November 27, 2002Publisher:Bedford/St. Martin'sLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312260296

ISBN - 13:9780312260293

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Table of Contents

Contents
    
  Foreword
  Preface
    
PART ONE
INTRODUCTION: THE STORY OF 1912:

"A YEAR SUPREME WITH POSSIBILITIES"
    
  1. "Progressive," the Popular Label
    Republican Chaos
    The Trouble with Taft
    "My Hat Is in the Ring": Roosevelt Returns
    Democracy Redefined: The Republican Nomination
    "Standing at Armageddon": Roosevelt and the Progressive Party
    An Almost Certain Victory: The Democratic Convention
    Socialism at High Tide: Eugene V. Debs and the Socialist Party
    
  2. The Problem of the Progressive Era
    From Greenbackers to Populists: The Response to Change
    The Progressive Response
    The Problem of Corporate Capitalism

    Organized Efficiency: The Modern Corporation
    Two Responses to Corporate Growth
    A "Machine for Making Money": The Corporation and American Society
    
  3. The Candidates Debate
    The Procorporatists: Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Van Hise
       
    The Anticorporatists: Robert La Follette, Louis Brandeis, and Woodrow Wilson
       
    The Best of a Bad Lot: African American Options in 1912


    Neither a "Flubdub" nor Second Rate: William Howard Taft
       
    Socialism as Progressivism: Eugene V. Debs and the Socialist Party
       
    Epilogue: The Debate Continued
           
PART TWO
THE DOCUMENTS

4. The Procorporatists: Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Van Hise
    1. Theodore Roosevelt, The New Nationalism, August 31, 1910
    2. Detroit News, Making a New Platform, September 10, 1910
    3. Theodore Roosevelt, Letters from Roosevelt to Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Benjamin Barr Lindsey, and Chase Osborn

August 22, 1911, December 15, 1911, January 18, 1912
    4. Theodore Roosevelt, A Charter of Democracy, February 12, 1912
    5. Charles McCarthy and Theodore Roosevelt, Letters, October 21, 1911, and October 27, 1911
    6. Chicago Daily Tribune, For Chairman of the Convention, June 18, 1912
    7. Theodore Roosevelt, A Confession of Faith, August 6, 1912
    8. St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Senior Partner, September 8, 1912
    9. Theodore Roosevelt, Letters to Mary Ella Lyon Swift, Florence Kelley, and Jane Addams, March 7, 1911, January 9, 1912, and ca. August 8, 1912
    10. Theodore Roosevelt, Letter to Julian La Rose Harris, August 1, 1912
    11. Charles Van Hise, Letters to Senator Robert M. La Follette, October 30, 1911, and November 21, 1911
    12. Theodore Roosevelt, Letter to Charles R. Van Hise, June 4, 1912, and Charles R. Van Hise, from Concentration and Control, 1912

    
 5. The Anticorporatists: Robert La Follette, Louis Brandeis, and Woodrow Wilson
    13. Robert M. La Follette, Speech at Jamestown, North Dakota, March 14, 1912
    14. Robert M. La Follette, Speech at Bismarck, North Dakota, March 14, 1912
    15. Theodore Roosevelt, Letter to Senator Jonathan Bourne, January 2, 1911
    16. Gilbert Roe, Letter to Blanche Morse, March 28, 1912
    17. St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Only Way, September 17, 1912, and Pay Day, September 7, 1912
    18. Louis D. Brandeis, Letter to Norman Hapgood, July 3, 1912
    19. Louis D. Brandeis, Letter to Alfred Brandeis, August 28, 1912
    20. Woodrow Wilson and Louis D. Brandeis, Correspondence, September 27, 1912, and September 30, 1912
    21. Louis D. Brandeis, Letter to Arthur Norman Holcombe, September 11, 1912
    22. Louis D. Brandeis, Trusts, Efficiency, and the New Party, September 14, 1912
    23. Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Buffalo, New York, September 2, 1912
    24. Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Sioux City, Iowa, September 17, 1912
    25. Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Pueblo, Colorado, October 7, 1912
    26. St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Biggest Monopolies, October 9, 1912
    27. Oswald Garrison Villard, Diary, August 14, 1912
    28. New York Times, Maud Malone Halts Wilson, October 20, 1912
    29. Chicago Daily Tribune, The Time the Place and the Girl, June 25, 1912
    
  6. Neither a "Flubdub" nor Second Rate: William Howard Taft
    30. William Howard Taft, Speech at Nashua, New Hampshire, March 19, 1912
    31. William Howard Taft, Speech at the American Academy of Political and Social Science, March 30, 1912
    32. William Howard Taft, Letters to Horace D. Taft and Charles F. Brooker, March 1, 1912, and March 5, 1912
    33. William Howard Taft, Speech at Elkton, Maryland, May 4, 1912
    34. Cleveland Press, He Eats ‘Em Up-and Grows! September 19, 1910
    35. St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Presidency, September, 29, 1912
    36. Chicago Daily News, Progressive: The Popular Label, October 6, 1912
    
  7. Socialism as Progressivism: Eugene V. Debs
    37. Eugene V. Debs, Socialism Gives Only Cure for Trust Evils, November 25, 1911
    38. Appeal to Reason, A Study of Competition, May 28, 1910
    39. Eugene V. Debs, Acceptance Speech, Undated
    40. Eugene V. Debs, Opening Speech of the Campaign, August 10, 1912
    41. Socialist Party, Platform, May 25, 1912
    42. Appeal to Reason, Mr. Voter Beware..., November 2, 1912
    43. Appeal to Reason, The Woman Question, January 13, 1912, and What Socialism Offers, September 28, 1912
    44. Fred D. Warren, Letter to Eugene V. Debs, August 8, 1912
    45. Chicago World, Eugene V. Debs Says Moose Party Stole Socialist Planks, August 15, 1912, and Appeal to Reason, The Acid Test, September 21, 1912
    
  Appendixes
    A 1912 Election Chronology (1877-1930)
    Questions for Consideration
    Selected Bibliography
    
  Index

Editorial Reviews

"The 1912 Election is an excellent analysis and evocation of one of the most fascinating elections in American history and a reminder that politics can be not only a great game, but concerned with great issues. Brett Flehinger clearly put a great deal of thought into what would most clearly serve the needs of students. I would happily adopt this book."