The 1912 Election and the Power of Progressivism
First Edition   ©2003

The 1912 Election and the Power of Progressivism

A Brief History with Documents

Brett Flehinger (California State Univ. at San Bernardino)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-26029-6; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-26029-3; Format: Paper Text, 224 pages

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.
“I have used volumes in the Bedford Series in History and Culture in my classes to great effect. This is the best volume yet. This book may be set in 1912, but the question of how the public and government should best respond to the corporate economy remains an ongoing challenge. Flehinger’s vivid slice of American history will generate class discussions and easily do what only the very best texts are able to accomplish: facilitate students’ ability to use the burning debates of the past to illuminate the provocative issues of the present day.”

— Nancy Unger, Santa Clara University