Dbq The Election Of 1912

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The Election of 1912
The 1912 election was a time in history that brought politics, social reform and economic supporters together to debate the future of America. These candidates would make history in the Progressive Era as they tried to convince voters they had the answers to change economic, political and the social needs of this country. Progressivism was established so that the government could help with the political and social reform needed for economic growth. Two specific candidates, Woodrow Wilson and William Howard Taft, both agreed that the United States did not need a direct democracy. This type of democracy, where the people, no elected officials, decide on the laws and policies was not a good plan for the country. Although …show more content…

In the speech that Wilson gave in Buffalo, New York he said, “the most fatal thing that we can do in politics is to imagine that we belong to a special class, and that we have an interest which isn’t the interest of the whole community.” (p.125, Document 23). Wilson clearly states his reason for why the United States should not concentrate on Direct Democracy but should direct their efforts to social reform. He passed laws regarding workers compensation, outlawed child labor and had limited railroad workers to working eight hours a day. He continued to focus on not dividing the United States into classes, but to treat the nation as one union. He stated, “looking at the country as a whole from one angle, from one point of view” (p.125, Document 23). In the speech that Taft gave in Nasua, New Hampshire, he states that he is also against Direct Democracy as well as popular government. He stated, “we are a government of the people…popular government is the most difficult kinds of government to carry on, because in some way or other we have to mass the opinions of individuals and apply that composite opinion to the operations of government” (p.141, Document 30). Taft expresses his thoughts on the fact that the government should be the deciding factor for making laws and policies and not the …show more content…

Wilson was asked, in an interview with Oswald Garrison Villard, about his thoughts on the “negro question”. Wilson stated, “of course, he should be President of all the people, that he would appoint no man to office because he was colored, any more than he would appoint one because he was a Jew or Catholic, but that he appoint him on his merit.” He also said, “he did not wish the colored people to get the impression that he could help them” (p.135, Document 27). Taft stressed that African Americans were people who were protected by the constitution, stating, “and where will our colored friends be with the 14th and 15th amendments, and those things that they rely upon to secure them” (p.153, Document 33). He did feel that government would protect the right of ALL people but he had nothing to give the African Americans as far as being able to promise anything more than what they have already

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