Chapter 18 Section 4 The Wilson Years Did you know? It took 46 ballots at the Democratic Convention before Woodrow Wilson became the Democratic Party’s candidate for the presidential election of 1912. Wilson went on to easily defeat his opponents- Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, and Eugene Debs.
The Election of 1912 • Republican conservatives supported William Taft in the election of 1912. • Progressives supported Theodore Roosevelt. • Taft gained the nomination for the republican ticket. • Roosevelt ran as an independent for the Progressive Party • Came down to two progressives • Roosevelt and Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson • Wilson was governor of NJ and made the state a model for progressivism
The Election of 1912 • Roosevelt’s New Nationalism was a complete line of reforms • favored legislation to protect women and children in the workforce • workers’ compensation for those injured on the job • Federal trade commission to regulate industry • Wilson’s plan New Freedom, supported free enterprise and criticized Roosevelt for a program that Wilson felt supported monopolies. • Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote • Gave Wilson the Electoral College win • First time since 1892 that a Democrat had been president of the US
Regulating the Economy • Wilson’s eight years as president • Issued reforms that affected tariffs, banking system, trusts and workers’ rights • 1913 Underwood Tariff reduced the average tariff on imported goods to about half of what it had been in the 1890s. • Provision for levying an income tax • No central bank since 1830’s • Wilson supported the Federal Reserve system where the banks would have to keep some of their deposits in a reserve to protect customers’ money
Regulating the Economy • 1914 Wilson asked Congress to create the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to monitor American business • Investigated companies and issued “cease and desist” orders against companies involved in unfair trade practices • Congress responded by passing the Clayton Antitrust Act that put a ban on tying agreements and price discrimination
Federal Aid and Social Welfare • Wilson stopped supporting reforms, believing that his New Freedom program was complete • Post election he began supporting reforms again • 1916 Wilson signed the Keating Owen Child Labor Act prohibited children under the age of 14 from working in factories • Adamson Act established as 8 hour workday for railroad workers • Federal Farm Loan Act provided farmers with long term loans at low interest rates
Progressivism Legacy • By the end- Americans looked to the government to play an active role in regulating the economy and solving social problems • 1905 African American leaders met to demand full political rights and responsibilities and an end to racial discrimination for African Americans. • 1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded
Founding group The NAACP was formed partly in response to the continuing horrific practice of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, the capital of Illinois and resting place of President Abraham Lincoln. Appalled at the violence that was committed against blacks, a group of white liberals that included Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard, both the descendants of abolitionists, William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moscowitz issued a call for a meeting to discuss racial justice. Some 60 people, seven of whom were African American (including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell), signed the call, which was released on the centennial of Lincoln's birth.
Echoing the focus of Du Bois' Niagara Movement began in 1905, the NAACP's stated goal was to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution, which promised an end to slavery, the equal protection of the law, and universal adult male suffrage, respectively.
Review Questions • Why did Roosevelt decide to run for president as an independent? • What made the Federal Reserve Act so significant? • Why did Wilson begin supporting reforms once again? • How did Progressive reform help change American society?