The Bull Moose Party, also known as the Progressive Party, was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in order to split the votes of Republican voters in the election of 1912 (see below for details). The nickname "Bull Moose" came about after Roosevelt remarked that he was "as strong as a bull moose." Also see Origins of Progressivism for more information.

The new party emerged before the Election of 1912 as a result of the Republican Party's refusal to nominate Theodore Roosevelt as a candidate for presidency. He split from the Republican Party and formed the Bull Moose Party so that William Taft, the official Republican candidate would not serve another term as president. Although Roosevelt did not win the election, he was successful in splitting the Republican vote enough so that the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson, won.

This map shows the effect of the addition of a new party during the election of 1912.

Its Platform
The Progressive Party's major support lied with the growth of democratic values and a shared belief in honest government and just laws. They believed that the human condition could be improved if simple moral and pragmatic (practical) approaches were taken to better the nation as a whole. Some of the other important aspects of the platform included women's suffrage (see 19th Amendment), easier amendment of the U.S. Constitution, social welfare legislation for women and children, workers' compensation, revision of banking to ensure elastic currency, limitation of naval armaments, inheritance and income taxes, and improvement of inland waterways among others.

Its Supportersbull-moose.jpg
Unlike the Populist Party, whose supporters were mainly poor, rural farmers and agricultural laborers, Progressive Party supporters were generally middle-class Americans who realized the need for change in government, economy, and civil rights who resided in cities. Throughout the late 1800s, the American middle-class had grown significantly. It now included doctors, lawyers, ministers, storekeepers, and many white-collar workers involved in business. They took their civic repsonsibilities seriously and it disturbed them to think of what might happen to the country's democracy if corruption, decline in morals, and unrest among the poor continued.

The Role of the Bull Moose Party in U.S. Politics and its Successes
Successes in the Progressive Reform Movement included the expansion and enforcement of the
Sherman Antitrust Act (and the passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act ), and the Interstate Commerce Act, which prevented railroad abuse and descrimination, among many other reforms.


Pictures and content:
The Amsco text
An American Survey (Alan Brinkley)