As the Progressive Party candidate for President in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt continued to seek reform with his Square Deal policies. Roosevelt was a true Progressive and fought consistently for reform throughout his political career. His address made during the campaign was entitled "The Struggle for Social Justice" from Progressive Principles: Selections from Addresses Made during the Presidential Campaign of 1912, ed. Elmer H. Youngman (New York: Progressive National Service, 1913), 199-207. Theodore Roosevelt's main argument in this article was that privilege should be eliminated from industrial life and lose its power in political life. He claimed that the boss system thrives on injustice and calls his fight that he was engaged in a fight for human rights. In 1912, Roosevelt fought forcefully for the Republican presidential nomination. When he failed and Taft got the nomination, Roosevelt headed the Progressive party and ran in the election as the Progressive, or Bull Moose, candidate. The Republican vote was split, and the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, won. Though Roosevelt's address did not lead to him winning the presidency, his progressive ideas about social justice, and representative democracy have significantly shaped our national character. His desires displayed in the article were all for the bettering of American society, and he really recognized no one could prosper permanently if there were large amounts of people who were debased and degraded.
Although Theodore Roosevelt was a member of the Republican Party for the majority of his life, he is best described as a Progressive. Progressives were politicians and activists who sought change in government and society. The article gives an abundance of evidence that shows Roosevelt's desire for change. He no longer wanted the rich men of Wall Street to have so much power, he claimed that they were not loyal to the cause of human rights, human justice, or human liberty. These jabs he made at...
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