What role did Hiram Johnson, a California progressive, play in the 1912 Republican primary and presidential election?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Hiram Johnson served as a progressive governor of California (first winning office in 1910), and he instituted several election reforms to make the state more democratic, including the initiative, referendum, and recall. He founded the Progressive Party in 1912 and was the vice-presidential candidate that ran with Teddy Roosevelt. This...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Hiram Johnson served as a progressive governor of California (first winning office in 1910), and he instituted several election reforms to make the state more democratic, including the initiative, referendum, and recall. He founded the Progressive Party in 1912 and was the vice-presidential candidate that ran with Teddy Roosevelt. This party was nicknamed the Bull Moose Party. The Progressive Party platform of 1912 called for the "Rule of the People," and was "committed to the principle of government by a self-controlled democracy expressing its will through representatives of the people." The party also sought to institute an eight-hour work day (as the work day for many industrial workers was much longer), to curtail labor by children, and to establish minimum wages. It won only eight states, including California, in the election, and Woodrow Wilson, the Democrat, was elected. After Teddy Roosevelt died in 1919, Johnson was the assumed leader of the Progressive Party, but he ran in the 1920 presidential election as a Republican. He lost that primary to Warren Harding, another Republican. None of the Republican primary candidates had enough votes, so Harding was chosen as the Presidential candidate in a compromise at the Republican National Convention. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team