Which of the following correctly describes the election of 1912?
- The Democrats achieved effective national power for the first time in over half a century.
- The election signaled the return of Southerners to national and international affairs for the first time since the Civil War.
- It altered the character of the Republican party, making it more conservative.
- It focused on a debate between supporters of the "New Nationalism" and those who supported the "New Freedom."
- All of the above correctly describe the election of 1912.
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The correct answer here is 5 -- All of the above.
I wonder if your textbook is Tindall and Shi's America: A Narrative History. If so, you can find all of these effects of the 1912 election laid out in order at the end of the subsection devoted to that election (in the edition I have, it's called "The Election of 1912" and is in Ch. 24).
The election was the first time that Democrats had control of the presidency and both houses of Congress since the Civil War (except for a brief time in 1893-5 that Tindall and Shi say didn't really count).
Wilson was a Southerner. So were 5 of his 10 cabinet members. This put the South back in power for the first time in a long time.
The election split the Republican Party. The progressive Republicans went with Theodore Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party. The more conservative people stuck with Taft.
Finally, the major debate of the election was between Wilson's "New Freedom" and TR's "New Nationalism."
So -- all of those answers are right and therefore it is all of the above.
The election marked the first time Democrats returned to power for the first time in over half a century. All previous Presidents for the past several decades had been Republicans. The oddity of the election came from the fact that Theodore Roosevelt attempted to run as a third party candidate on the Progressive or Bull Moose party ticket. He did this after his successor to the Presidency, William Howard Taft, disappointed him. The end result of a divided Republican Party was to give the election to Woodrow Wilson, a Southerner who had been President of Princeton University and Governor of New Jersey. Although he was a Southerner and racist, as were most of his cabinet, it did not signal that great a return of Southerners to power. Although he was re-elected, the Presidents before and after him were both from the North.
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