Case Study – Who is a Progressive?


Option 2: Who is A Progressive?
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  • Link (website): Presidential Election of 1912: A Resource Guide 

Then, address the following:

  • According to Roosevelt, what are the characteristics of a progressive?
  • Explain and give examples of the characteristics of “anti-progressives.”
  • Trace what types of activities “anti-progressives” engaged in?
  • Analyze the goals of progressivism.
  • Explain what areas of society progressives addressed?
  • Analyze the progressive achievements Roosevelt highlights in his speech?

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Presidential Election of 1912: A Resource Guide

Col. Roosevelt on his tour thru New Jersey before the convention / Underwood & Underwood.
September 3, 1912.
1 photographic print.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1912, including photographs, political cartoons, broadsides, newspaper articles, sheet music, sound recordings, and films. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1912 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the 1912 election and a selected bibliography.
1912 Presidential Election Results [1]

Political Party
Presidential Nominee
VP Nominee
Electoral College
Popular Vote

Woodrow Wilson
Thomas R. Marshall


Theodore Roosevelt
Hiram W. Johnson

William Howard Taft
Nicholas M. Butler

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

Digital Collections

The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

The Songs of America presentation allows you to explore American history as documented in the work of some of our country’s greatest composers, poets, scholars, and performers. This collection includes the following sheet music from the 1912 presidential election:

President Taft, He’s All Right

The Song of Armageddon

Triplicity, or Donkey, Moose or Elephant

Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910

This collection includes the autobiography of Robert La Follette (1855-1925), which traces the political life and accomplishments of this eminent Republican politician from his election as district attorney for Dane County, Wisconsin in 1880 to the presidential campaign of 1912, when his bid to dislodge President William Howard Taft was pushed aside by former president Theodore Roosevelt on the Progressive Party’s national ticket.

Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The Printed Ephemera collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. While the broadside format represents the bulk of the collection, there are a significant number of leaflets and some pamphlets.
A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Biographical sketches of presidential candidates of the Democratic party at the presidential primary election to be held throughout the state of California on Tuesday, May 14, 1912. Woodrow Wilson. Champ Clark.

Biographical sketches of presidential candidates of the Republican party at the presidential primary election to be held throughout the state of California on Tuesday, May 14, 1912. Theodore Roosevelt. William Howard Taft. Robert Marion La Folle.

Democratic National Convention. [Guest ticket]. Baltimore, Md. 1912.

State platform. National progressive party of the State of New York. Adopted by the State convention, Syracuse, N. Y., Sept. 5, 1912. New York 1912.

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film

This presentation features 104 films which record events in Roosevelt’s life from the Spanish-American War in 1898 to his death in 1919. Besides containing scenes of Roosevelt, these films include views of world figures, politicians, monarchs, and friends and family members of Roosevelt who influenced his life and the era in which he lived. Four sound recordings made by Roosevelt while running as a Progressive (Bull Moose) candidate for president of the United States in 1912 are also included.

TR at Fargo, N.D., during Progressive campaign, 1912

TR speaking at [Pueblo] Colorado, 1912

Theodore Roosevelt Papers

The papers of Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), public official, author, decorated veteran of the Spanish-American War, governor of New York, and president of the United States (1901-1909), consist of approximately 276,000 documents (roughly 461,000 images), most of which were digitized from 485 reels of previously reproduced microfilm.
A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Progressive Party campaign speech, Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y., 1912

Theodore Roosevelt, speech, September 2, 1912, delivered in Hartford Connecticut, while campaigning for president on the Progressive Party ticket

Theodore Roosevelt, campaign speech, Memphis, Tennessee, September 26, 1912.

Woodrow Wilson Papers

The papers of Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), scholar, president of Princeton University, governor of New Jersey, and president of the United States (1913-1921), consist of approximately 280,000 documents, including many related to the 1912 presidential election.
A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

National Democratic Platform adopted by the Democratic Convention at Baltimore, July 2, 1912

Woodrow Wilson’s speech of acceptance, August 7, 1912

Campaign speech in Montclair, New Jersey, October 29, 1912

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Chronicling America

This site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1789-1924. Search this collection to find hundreds of newspaper articles about the presidential election of 1912.
A selection of articles on the 1912 presidential election includes:
“My Hat is Still in the Ring–Only it’s a Bigger Ring, Says Roosevelt,” The Washington Times. (Washington [D.C.]), June 22, 1912.
“Republicans Renominate William H. Taft for Presidency, while Col. Roosevelt is Placed at Head of New Party,” The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), June 23, 1912.
“Woodrow Wilson is the Choice of the Democrats,” El Paso Herald. (El Paso, Tex.), July 02, 1912.
“Roosevelt and Johnson are Named; Progressive Party Nominates Colonel for Third Term at Chicago, with California Governor as Running Mate,” New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]), August 08, 1912.
“Theodore Roosevelt, Shot by Lunatic, Resting Easily at Mercy Hospital,” The Day Book. (Chicago, Ill.), October 15, 1912.
“Wilson Elected,” The San Francisco Call. (San Francisco [Calif.]), November 06, 1912.
“Wilson Chosen President Roosevelt Leads Taft,” New-York Tribune. (New York [N.Y.]), November 06, 1912.

In addition, the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room has created a series of topics guides to the newspapers included in Chronicling America, including the presidential election of 1912.

National Jukebox

The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. Recordings in the Jukebox were issued on record labels now owned by Sony Music Entertainment, which has granted the Library of Congress a gratis license to stream acoustical recordings. The National Jukebox contains sound recordings of speeches delivered by Wilson, Taft, and Roosevelt during the 1912 presidential campaign.

Prints & Photographs Division

Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC to find prints and photographs related to the 1912 presidential election.
A selection of images from the 1912 presidential election includes:

Ex-President Roosevelt in the campaign of 1912

National Progressive Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912

Roosevelt speaking in convention hall, Chicago [August 1912]

Taft voting 1912

Visit of Democratic Members of House of Representatives to Gov. Woodrow Wilson, Sea Girt, N.J., July 20, 1912

Where Teddy’s announcement caused joy Scene in any newspaper’s cartoon factory.

Woodrow Wilson a few hours after nomination, July 2, 1912

Today in History

June 9

On June 9, 1902, Woodrow Wilson was unanimously elected president of Princeton University, a position he held until he resigned in 1910 to run for governor of New Jersey. In 1910, he received an unsolicited nomination for the governorship of New Jersey, which he eagerly accepted. As governor, he developed a platform of progressive liberalism in matters of domestic political economy. In 1912, the Democratic Party nominated him as their presidential candidate.

June 22

On the evening of June 22, 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt asked his supporters to leave the floor of the Republican National Convention in Chicago. Republican progressives reconvened in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and endorsed the formation of a national progressive party. When formally launched later that summer, the new Progressive Party chose Roosevelt as its presidential nominee.

September 15

William Howard Taft served as both president of the United States and chief justice of the Supreme Court. He was born on September 15, 1857, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Progressive Republicans openly challenged Taft in the Congressional elections of 1910 and in the Republican presidential primaries of 1912. When Taft won the Republican nomination from a party in disarray, the Progressives organized a rival party and selected Theodore Roosevelt to run against Taft in the general election. Roosevelt’s Bull Moose candidacy split the Republican vote and helped to elect Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

External Web Sites

The American Presidency Project: Election of 1912

The American Presidency Project Web site presents election results from the 1912 presidential election. This site also contains the Democratic Party Platform, and the Republican Party Platform, and the Progressive Party Platform of 1912.

HarpWeek: The Presidential Elections 1860-1912

This HarpWeek Web site features political cartoons from Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, Vanity Fair, Puck, Judge, and American Political Prints, 1766-1876: A Catalog of the Collections in the Library of Congress. It provides explanations of the historical context and images of each cartoon, campaign overviews, biographical sketches, a review of the era’s major issues, and other valuable information related to the 1864 presidential election.

Teaching With Documents: Political Cartoons Illustrating Progressivism and the Election of 1912

This National Archives Web site contains political cartoons from the 1912 presidential election and teaching activities correlated to the National History Standards and National Standards for Civics and Government.

Selected Bibliography

Primary Sources
The Democratic Text-Book. 1912 / Issued by the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Committee. New York: Democratic National Committee; Washington, D.C.: Democratic Congressional Committee, 1912. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

National Democratic Platform: Progress in Every Plank, Adopted by the Democratic Convention at Baltimore, July 2, 1912, for President Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey, for Vice-President Thomas Marshall of Indiana, Issued by the Democratic National Committee. New York: Democratic National Committee, 1912. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Official Report of the Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention, Held in Baltimore, Maryland, June 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and July 1 and 2, 1912, Resulting in the Nomination of Hon. Woodrow Wilson (of New Jersey) for President and Hon. Thomas Riley Marshall (of Indiana) for Vice-President, Comp. by Urey Woodson. Milton W. Blumenberg, Official Reporter. Chicago: The Peterson Linotyping Company, 1912. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Official Report of the Proceedings of the Sixteenth Republican National Convention, Held in Chicago, Illinois, June 7, 8, 9 and 10, 1916, Resulting in the Nomination of Charles Evans Hughes, of New York, for President and the Nomination of Charles Warren Fairbanks, of Indiana, for Vice-President; Reported by George L. Hart, Official Reporter, Pub. Under the Supervision of the General Secretary of the Convention. New York: The Tenny Press, 1916. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Republican Campaign Text-Book, 1912; Issued by the Republican National Committee. Philadelphia: Press of Dunlap Printing Company, 1912. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Bryan, William Jennings. A Tale of Two Conventions; Being an Account of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions of June, 1912, With an Outline of the Progressive National Convention of August in the Same Year, by William Jennings Bryan, with Selections of Notable Speeches, Including Those of Theodore Roosevelt, Mr. Bryan, Elihu Root and Alton B. Parker. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1912. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Payne, George Henry. The Birth of the New Party; or, Progressive Democracy. A Complete Official Account of the Formation and Organization of the Progressive Party. The Candidates, the Platform, the Principles and the Political, Moral and Industrial Issues Fully Discussed; by George Henry Payne. With Special Contributions by a Dozen Great Americans, Including Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, ex-Senator Beveridge, etc., etc., on Conservation, Woman Suffrage, Country Life Improvement, High Cost of Living, the Tariff, the Trusts, the Initiative, the Referendum, the Recall, Direct Primaries, etc., etc. Introduction by Senator Joseph M. Dixon. Naperville, Ill.: J.L. Nichols & Company, 1912. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Roosevelt, Theodore. Progressive Principles: Selections from Addresses Made During the Presidential Campaign of 1912. New York: Progressive National Service, 1913. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Secondary Sources
Broderick, Francis L. Progressivism at Risk: Electing a President in 1912. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.
LC Call Number: E765 .B76 1989 [Catalog Record]
Bryan, William Jennings. A Tale of Two Conventions; Being an Account of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions of June, 1912, with an Outline of the Progressive National Convention of August in the Same Year. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1912.
LC Call Number: JK2263.1912 .B7 [Catalog Record] [Full Text]
Chace, James. 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft & Debs– The Election that Changed the Country. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
LC Call Number: E765 .C47 2004 [Catalog Record]
Flehinger, Brett. The 1912 Election and the Power of Progressivism: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.
LC Call Number: E765 .F58 2003 [Catalog Record]
Gable, John A. The Bull Moose Years: Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1978.
LC Call Number: E766 .G3 [Catalog Record]
Gould, Lewis L., ed. Bull Moose on the Stump: The 1912 Campaign Speeches of Theodore Roosevelt. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008.
LC Call Number: E765 .R66 2008 [Catalog Record]
—–. Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008.
LC Call Number: E765 .G68 2008 [Catalog Record]
Milkis, Sidney M. Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2009.
LC Call Number: E757 .M65 2009 [Catalog Record]

1. Presidential Elections, 1789-2008. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 147, 237.


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