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com Chapter 29: Wilsonian Progressivism at Home and Abroad Democrats, being out of office since 1897, needed an outstanding reformist leader to take advantage of the Republican split, and Dr. Woodrow Wilson emerged as this leader. As the governor of New Jersey, Wilson waged a passionate reform campaign, in which he attacked predatory trusts and promised to return state government, making New Jersey one of the more liberal states. Now, he was widely mentioned for presidency. I) The “Bull Moose” Campaign of 1912 • With William Jennings Bryan’s switch to his side, Wilson was given a strong progressive platform under the “New Freedom” program ⇒ Called for stronger antitrust legislation, banking reform, and tariff reductions • Roosevelt set the stage for being a third-party Progressive Republican ⇒ A Pro-Roosevelt Progressive convention assembled in Chicago during August 1912 ⇒ Symbolizing the rising status of women as well as the Progressive support for the cause of social justice, settlement-house pioneer Jane Addams placed Roosevelt’s name in the nomination for presidency ⇒ Roosevelt and the Progressives are fired up and strong, but the split of the Republican votes between Roosevelt and Taft would lead to an virtually guaranteed Democrat victory • New nationalism vs. New Freedom ⇒ Both favored more government intervention in economics and social affairs in a broad term, but disagreed over specific strategies ⇒ New Nationalism (a) TR extoled the theories in The Promise of American Life (1910) written by progressive thinker Herbert Croly, which favored consolidation of trusts and labor unions with the growth of powerful federal-created regulatory agencies (b) Women’s suffrage (c) Wage laws (d) “socialistic” social insurance (e) These goals were ultimately made reality under FDR’s New Deal ⇒ New Freedom (a) Favored small enterprise and business (b) Unregulated and unmonopolized markets (c) Shunned social-welfare proposals such as social insurance (d) Had economic faith on competition (e) Fragmentation of trusts and monopolies by vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws • The uniqueness of the Election of 1912 is that it offered voters a choice of not merely policies but political and economic philosophies
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Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com • The heat of the campaign for Roosevelt cooled down when he was shot in the chest by a frantic in Milwaukee. Active campaigning was suspended for more than 2 weeks after delivering his scheduled speech
II) Woodrow Wilson: A Minority President • For the electoral and popular votes, Wilson came first, TR came second, and Taft came last • Wilson was a minority president; the real winner of the election was Progressivism • The Progressive Party had no political future since it was a one-man show. The Socialists had more state and local candidates than the Progressive Party ⇒ After Wilson is in officer, the progressives help to enact a lot of reforms of the Wilsonian Democrats • Republicans had a minority in Congress for the next 6 years; Taft became the chief justice of the Supreme Court III) Wilson: The Idealist in Politics • Wilson was the second Democrat president since 1861; 1st southern-born president from Virginia since Zachary Taylor, 64 years ago • His ideals for self-determination partly came from supporting the seceding Confederacy during the Civil War times • Shared Democratic ideals with Jefferson: had faith in the well-informed masses • Wilson was known for his reliance on sincerity and moral appeal. Being a moving orator, Wilson was also known for his moral righteousness and eloquence • Wilson believed in the power of the chief executive. He thought that Congress could not function properly without the leadership of the president • Wilson enjoyed dramatic success in appealing over the heads of legislators to the sovereign people • Despite his great intellectual equipment, he did not have the personality of TR. He is known to be most comfortable around scholars • So strong was Wilson’s moral righteousness that he was stubborn and often unwilling to compromise IV) Wilson Tackles the Tariff • Wilson established “the triple wall of privilege”, which were the tariff, the banks, and the trusts, and he reform on all of them • Wilson did the unprecedented when he delivered his presidential address to Congress in person early in 1913 • The Underwood Tariff Bill provided a substantial reduction of rates ⇒ The final approval of the bill late in 1913 was secured by Wilson arousing the public opinion • The recently ratified 16th Amendment enacted a graduated income tax ⇒ Began with a modest tax on incomes over $3000, which was the aboveaverage family income
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Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com ⇒ By 1917, federal revenue from the income tax exceeded the ones from the tariff, and this gap has since been vastly widened V) Wilson Battles the Bankers • The country’s financial structure still under the Civil War National Banking Act revealed significant defects • The most serious shortcoming, as exposed by the panic of 1907, was the inelasticity of the currency ⇒ Banking reserves were heavily concentrated in a handful of large cities and could not be mobilized in time of depression • Republican senator Aldrich was authorized to do a banking investigation for Congress and his special commission recommended a gigantic bank with numerous branches, like the third Bank of the U.S • Democratic banking reformers investigating group was headed by Congressman Arsene Pujo • Wilson’s progressive-minded attorney Louis D. Brandeis boosted reform efforts with his book Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use It (1914) • Wilson again personally appeared in both houses of the Congress in June 1913, addressing his proposals for a decentralized bank • Appealing again to the sovereign people, Wilson signed the Federal Reserve act in 1913, the most important piece of economic legislation between the Civil War and the New Deal ⇒ The Federal Reserve Board, appointed by the president, administrates a national system of twelve regional reserve banks, each with its own central bank ⇒ The regional banks are private owned, but under the authority of the Federal Reserve Board ⇒ The Board was empowered to issue paper money, the Federal Reserve Notes, backed up by commercial paper. Therefore, the amount of money in circulation could be manipulated and increased if needed ⇒ This act carried the economic progress of the nation and the financial crises of the First World War VI) The President Tames the Trusts • Early in 1914, The president again went to Congress in person for an address • 9 month later, Congress responded with the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 ⇒ Empowered a commission appointed by the president to regulate interstate commerce, and the commission were to crush monopoly and unlawful competition • The Clayton Anti-Trust Act of 1914 defined more business practices that is considered objectionable under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, including price discrimination and interlocking directorates; the Clayton Act also specifically legalized strikes, unions, and peaceful picketing ⇒ This act lifted out labor as “a commodity or article of commerce”, and Union leader Samuel Gompers hailed the act as the Magna Carta of labor, although ©2009 cliftonhonors.com All rights reserved. 3| Page
Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com conservative judges in years later continues to clip the wings of union movement VII)Wilsonian Progressivism at High Tide • With tariff, banking, and business reform in the same year, Wilson demonstrated vigorous presidential leadership and progress • Wilson made laws that were long demanded by the Populists ⇒ The Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 made credit available to farmers at low rates of interest ⇒ The Warehouse act of 1916 authorized loans on the security of stable crops ⇒ Other laws benefited rural America by providing for highway construction and the establishment of agricultural extension work in the state colleges • La Follette Seamen’s Act of 1915 required decent treatment and a living wage on American merchant ships; this also drove the rates of transportation up • The workingmen’s Compensation Act of 1916 granted assistance to federal civilservice employees during periods of disability • In the same year, Wilson approved an act restricting child labor on products of interstate commerce, but the Supreme Court soon invalidated the law • The Adamson Act of 1916 established an 8-hour workday for all employees of trains in interstate commerce with extra pay for overtime • Wilson nominated for the Supreme court in 1916 Louis D. Brandeis, the 1st Jew to be called to the high bench • Wilson’s progressive limits were shown when he accelerated segregation in the federal bureaucracy ⇒ When a delegation of black leaders protested, they were shunned out of his office • Wilson knew that to be reelected in 1916, he need to appeal himself as the candidate of progressivism; he appealed to the business people by making conservative appointments to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Trade commission, but he devoted most of his efforts toward progressivism VIII)New Directions in Foreign Policy • Wilson is against imperialism, the big stick, and dollar diplomacy ⇒ Wilson disabled special support to American foreign investors ⇒ Persuaded Congress to repeal the Panama Canal Tolls Act of 1912, which waived Panama canal tolls for American coastwise shipping, causing hostilities with Britain • Wilson signed the Jones Act in 1916, which gave Philippines territorial status and promised its independence as long as a stable government could be established, which turned out to be 30 years later • Wilson defused hostilities with Japan by sending Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan to plead with the California legislature to loosen up its law prohibiting Japanese settlers from owning land • Political turmoil in Haiti forced Wilson to betray his own ideals
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Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com ⇒ When an uprising of people revolted against the Haitian president, the Wilson administration dispatched marines to protect American lives and properties in 1915 and remained there for 19 years ⇒ Troops were also sent to the Dominican Republic to quell riots, and they were left there for the next 8 years ⇒ Wilson purchased the Virgin Islands in the West Indies from Denmark in 1917 to tighten up the grips of the Caribbean IX) Moralistic Diplomacy in Mexico • Mexico were highly invested by American investors • The Mexican people revolted against their government ⇒ The revolution took an ugly turn in 1913 as the new revolutionary president was murdered and General Victoriano Huerta, an Indian, was placed for president (a) Caused massive immigration to the U.S; often segregated into Spanishspeaking societies, and formed a unique borderland culture ⇒ The revolution urged American jingoes to chant for intervention (a) Yellow journalist William Randolph Hearst, having his ownership of a Mexican Ranch, were among those chanting for war • Wilson thought it was not justified to intervene with material interests • Wilson also refused to recognize Huerta as president; he provided weapons to Huerta’s rival, Venustiano Carranza and Francisco (“Pancho”) Villa • When a small party of American sailors was arrested at the Atlantic seaport of Tampico in April 1914, Wilson ordered the navy to seize the Mexican port of Vera Cruz before asking Congress for the authority to use force against Mexico, after the Mexicans failed to conform American admiral’s demand for a salute of 21 guns • Huerta collapsed in July 1914 and Venustiano Carranza succeeded him ⇒ Pancho Villa turned on Carranza, whom Wilson now supported. After Villa’s men brutally hunt down Americans to kill, General John J. Pershing’s forces chased down Villa but failed to capture Villa himself X) Thunder Across the Sea • Followed by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by a Serbian patriot in Sarajevo, an explosive chain reaction was caused by the strong alliance system ⇒ Russia, the protectorate of Serbia menaced Germany on the east while France confronted Germany on the west ⇒ Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, and later Turkey and Bulgaria ⇒ Allies: France Britain Russia, and later Japan and Italy • America is not going to stay out of the war for long XI) A Precarious Neutrality • Wilson’s grief at the war in Europe was compounded by the death of his wife • While the British fed America with their side of the war story, there were large numbers of Germans and Austro-Hungarians in the U.S who had natural sympathy for their country ©2009 cliftonhonors.com All rights reserved. 5| Page
Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com Most Americans were anti-German because of their hatred of Kaiser Wilhelm’s autocracy and their ruthless strike against Belgium ⇒ The image of the Central Powers was worsened when German and Austrian agents committed violence in American factories and ports, and when plans for industrial sabotage were discovered and publicized • Despite the one-sided opinion of American people, the majority of Americans wanted to stay out of war XII)America Earns Blood Money • British and French war orders pulled the American economy from recession to prosperity ⇒ J.P Morgan was among the noted bankers that financed this boom • Central Powers protested against the immense trade between U.S and the Allies, but this did not violate any laws of neutrality ⇒ Germans could not trade with the U.S mainly because of the British blockade on Germany • In February 1915 Berlin announced a submarine warfare area around the British Isles • Sinking of the British passenger liner Lusitania on May 7, 1915, including the loss of 128 American lives, changed the nature of the submarine issue ⇒ Although the Lusitania was carrying 4,200 cases of small-arms ammunition, America was swept by a wave of shock and anger ⇒ Wilson attempt to talk to the German warlords, and afraid of going to war, Secretary of State Bryan resigned • After the sinking of another British liner, the Arabic, in August 1915, with the loss of 2 American lives. Berlin agreed not to sink unarmed and unresisting passenger ships without warning • Germans violated their own pledge when they sank a French passenger steamer, the Sussex, in March 1916 ⇒ Wilson threatened to break diplomatic relations with Germany, usually a prelude to war ⇒ Germany agreed with Wilson not to sink passenger ships without warning again, under the terms that the U.S having to persuade the Allies to break off what the Germans called an illegal blockade of Britain. Wilson accepted these terms without any action of persuasion XIII)Wilson Wins Reelection • Roosevelt quit the nomination, giving end to the Progressive party • Republicans nominated Supreme Court justice Charles Evans Hughes, and condemned the Democrats of their tariff reduction and assaults on trusts. They also criticized Wilson’s actions on Mexico and Germany • Wilson was reelected under the slogan “he kept us out of war” ⇒ Hughes swept the east while Wilson had the rest of the country ⇒ Received strong support from the working class ⇒ Many voters voted Wilson to keep the nation out of war, but their expectations were soon shattered ©2009 cliftonhonors.com All rights reserved. 6| Page •
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