Questions to Answer

What is progressivism?

A political and social-reform movement that brought major changes to American politics and government during the first two decade of the 20th century.

What is the progressive party?

The Progressive party (not A progressive party) is a political party formed in the United States based on progress and social reform, specifically to hand the power of the government back to the people, rather than the special interests that held the gaze of the Republican and Democratic parties.

When was the Progressive Party Formed?

The progressive Party, informally called the Bull Moose Party, was formed in 1912 by Theodore Roosevelt. The party’s popular nickname of Bull Moose was derived from the characteristics of strength and vigour often used by Roosevelt to describe himself.

Where did the Progressive Party originate?

The first Progressive Party National Convention was held in Chicago after Theodore Roosevelt staged a walk-out of the Republican National Convention on June 17, 1912.

Who was involved in the creation of the Progressive Party?

The progressive movement was spurred into action by a largely diverse set of people. There were Republican Officials, disaffected Democrats, journalists, academics, social workers, union leaders and other activists for economic change. 

What brought about the need for the progressive party?

The unprecedented economic boom of the industrial revolution in the united states led to a population and immigration explosion during the late 1800s and early 1900s. After the creation of labor unions in the early 1800s and the civil war in the 1860s specifically, manufacturing production rose by more than 800% as there was a seek to automate labor since it was no longer free. This led to small industrial companies being overtaken by the first large national corporations who were able to invest in the new technology.

This economic growth and population boom quickly led to a host of social ills that challenged the government structure of the time. Homelessness, unemployment, crime

Why was the Progressive Party formed?

The progressive party was formed as an answer to the lack of connection to the people with the “old parties” (the Democrats and Republicans). Teddy Roosevelt helmed the first candidacy seeking a third term after his first successful two terms with the Republican party.

Because he sought a third term, as he walked up to the podium John Schrank shot him during a public campaign appearance in Milwaukee. TR survived due to his thick coat, campaign speech and glasses case slowed the bullet. He went on to speak for an hour with the bullet in his chest after Schrank, a saloon owner, was arrested and later committed to a mental hospital. TR was quoted as saying, “You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose.” Which is the animal representative of the party and TR himself. Schrank later said he shot TR because “no one should run for a third term”. When TR was finished speaking, they rushed him to the hospital and he walked away with a minor flesh wound.

This was before a term limit was set. Coincidentally, Franklin D Roosevelt, TR’s cousin, was the first to be elected to a third and fourth term (16 years). The 22nd Amendment was passed in 1947 to limit Presidential terms to two.

Why didn’t the party become a competitive party?

A lot of factors collided to keep the Progressive Party from being viable. Here’s a list of contributive events during the first 50 years of its existence:

  • Socialism and social work became a bad word
  • Their platform stood for:
    • Racial Equality
    • Women’s Equality
    • Voting Equality
  • World War I & II
  • The passage of women’s suffrage took a but of wind out of their sails in regards to popularity
  • Stock Market crash
  • The great depression

What is the biggest barrier to the progressive party, and other “third parties” being viable?

The term Third Party indicates that there are 2 main parties, and no others can compete.


The Old platforms:

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By Stella

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