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306 Bull Moose
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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306 Bull Moose

In Ragtime the line states "Neither Theodore Roosevelt's son Quentin, who was to die in a dogfight over France, nor the old Bull Moose himself, who was to die in grief not long thereafter, would survive Wilson's abhorrence of war," (306). Woodrow Wilson was known as his qualities as a warrior. He had his moral views and Teddy Roosevelt accused him of finding war abhorrent, or loathsome. But it is Quentin and Bull Moose who would not survive Wilson's "abhorrence of war".

The official name of the Bull Moose Party is the Progressive Party of 1912. The party was nicknamed the Bull Moose Party from a quote by Theodore Roosevelt. When asked whether he was fit to be president, he responded that he was as fit as a "bull moose." Theodore Roosevelt was president of the United States until 1909. When he left office, William Howard Taft was chosen to run and won the presidency for the Republican Party. Roosevelt became disappointed by Taft's increasingly conservative policies. By 1912, the two were openly hostile, and Roosevelt decided to seek the presidency. The new party started by Roosevelt included a broad range of social and political reforms advocated by progressives. The platform of the party stayed true to Roosevelt's beliefs. It called for major reforms including women’s suffrage, social welfare assistance for women and children, farm relief, revisions in banking, and workers compensation. The party wanted an easier method to amend the constitution as well. In 1912, with Roosevelt unhappy with Taft's time in office, he put his name forward to become the Republican Party's nominee again. The Party chose to stick with Taft, and this angered Roosevelt who walked out and then formed his own party, the Progressive Party, in protest.

In 1912, voters could choose between William Howard Taft who was the last Republican president, Roosevelt who had previously been the Republican president, or Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic candidate. Roosevelt shared many of the progressive policies of Wilson yet his core support came from Republicans who defected from the party. Taft and Roosevelt came away with a combined popular vote of 50% whereas Wilson ended with 43% of the vote. Many historians believe that the Bull Moose Party split the Republican vote, therefore leading to Wilson's victory although there are some who believe he would have won anyway.

There were many cartoons made depicting Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party.  Ragtime states the fact of how not even the Bull Moose himself could stand in Woodrow Wilson's way, for that day in history Wilson won the presidency and the Bull Moose party dissolved not long after.

 

http://americanhistory.about.com/od/politicalparties/p/bull_moose.htm

http://x1.coalcity.k12.il.us/groups/trandtheprogressiveage/wiki/8292a/The_Bull_Moose_Party.html

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2011 10:20  

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