1912 ElectionThe election of 1912 was a four-way race with a voting outcome the US has not seen since. The race began when William Howard Taft received the Republican nomination for re-election over Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt had previously been President from 1901-1909; his first term inherited due to the in-office death of William McKinley. Upon election into his second term (first full term), Roosevelt vowed to not run for office again. Fast forward to 1912, the end of the first term of Roosevelt’s hand picked successor William Howard taft, and Teddy was back in the race. After losing the Rebuplican nomination to Taft, who received more support from the conservative side of the party, Roosevelt had a convention of his own and started the Progressive Party. Naturally, Roosevelt got the nomination. With Woodrow Wilson receiving the Democrat’s nomination for election, and Eugene V. Debs running under the increasingly loud Socialist umbrella, the stage was set for the 1912 Presidential Election.
“The four way contest between Taft, Roosevelt, Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and Socialist Eugene V. Debs became a national debate on the relationship between political and economic freedom in the age of big business. On one end of the political spectrum stood Taft, who stressed that economic individualism could remian the foundation of the solial order so long as government and private entreprenuers cooperated in addressing social ills. At the other end was Debs. Relatively few Americans supported the Socialist Party’s goal of aboloshing the “capitalistic system” altogether, but its immediage demands – including public ownership of the railroads and banking systems, governemtn aid to the unemployed, and laws establishing shorter working hours and a minimum wage – summarized forward looking Progressive thought.”
At the outset of the 1912 election was the battle between William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt for the Republican nomination. With Roosevelt stepping down from...