What were the key issues of the 1912 Presidential election and the basic principles of Wilsonian progressivism?

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The 1912 Presidential election was composed of three candidates, Teddy Roosevelt, Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson. Each candidate's political platform was filled with reform credentials. Roosevelt ran on the new Bull Moose Party ticket, Taft on the Republican, and Wilson on the Democrat ticket. However, Roosevelt was a Republican but because he did not get the nomination he simply ran on the new 'third party' ticket. This caused the Republican vote to be split between Roosevelt and Taft, essentially making it impossible for either of them the gain the electoral votes necessary to win the election. This of course was a great help for the Democrats, Wilson won the electoral votes and the Presidency.

The major issues of his election were;

1. The passage of the Underwood Tariff- (federal income tax) which was progressive in nature...tax rate increased as income increased

2. The ratification of the 16th Amendment- gave Congress the authority to tax personal and corporate income

3. The Clayton Antitrust Act- which created the Federal Trade Commission- strengthening the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890

4. The Federal Reserve Act 1913- created the Federal Reserve System- this reform was designed to regulate the monetary system allowing it to expand or contract as needed throughout the economy

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