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1912 Republican National Convention

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1912 Republican National Convention
1912 presidential election
Taft and Sherman
Date(s)June 18–22, 1912
CityChicago, Illinois
VenueChicago Coliseum
Presidential nomineeWilliam H. Taft of Ohio
Vice presidential nomineeJames S. Sherman of New York
‹ 1908 · 1916 ›

The 1912 Republican National Convention was held at the Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois, from June 18 to June 22, 1912. The party nominated President William H. Taft and Vice President James S. Sherman for re-election for the 1912 United States presidential election.

Sherman died days before the election, and was replaced as Republican vice-presidential nominee by Nicholas M. Butler of New York. The ticket went on to place 3rd in the November election behind former president Theodore Roosevelt, who ran under the banner of the new Progressive or "Bull Moose" Party, and Democratic Governor Woodrow Wilson.

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This convention marked the climax of a split in the party, resulting from a power struggle between incumbent Taft and former president Theodore Roosevelt that started in 1910. Politically liberal states for the first time were holding Republican primaries. Though Roosevelt had endorsed Taft as his successor, Taft's drift to the right had alienated Roosevelt, who launched a challenge to Taft's re-nomination. Roosevelt overwhelmingly won the primaries — winning 9 out of 13 states. Both Taft and Roosevelt lost their home states to each other. Senator Robert M. La Follette, a reformer, won two states, including his home state of Wisconsin. Through the primaries, Senator La Follette won a total of 36 delegates; President Taft won 48 delegates; and Roosevelt won 278 delegates. However 36 more conservative states did not hold primaries, but instead selected delegates via state conventions. For years Roosevelt had tried to attract Southern white Democrats to the Republican Party, and he tried to win delegates there in 1912. However Taft had the support of black Republicans in the South, and defeated Roosevelt there.[1]


Crowd outside the convention hall

Entering the convention, the Roosevelt and Taft forces seemed evenly matched, and a compromise candidate seemed possible. Taft was willing to compromise with Missouri Governor Herbert S. Hadley as presidential nominee; Roosevelt said no.[2][3]

The Taft and Roosevelt camps engaged in a fight for the delegations of various states, with Taft emerging victorious, and Roosevelt claiming that several delegations were fraudulently seated because of the machinations of conservative party leaders including William Barnes Jr. and Boies Penrose.[4] Roosevelt then accused Taft of steamroller tactics and ordered his supporters to take no further part in the convention. Following the seating of the anti-Roosevelt delegations, California Governor Hiram Johnson proclaimed that progressives would form a new party to nominate Roosevelt.[4] Roosevelt ultimately ran a third party campaign as part of the Progressive Party (nicknamed the "Bull Moose Party"). Taft and Roosevelt both lost the 1912 election to the Democratic nominee, Woodrow Wilson.

Presidential nomination

Presidential candidates

The 1912 Republican National Convention in session

Though many of Roosevelt's delegates remained at the convention, most refused to take part in the presidential ballot in protest of the contested delegates.[5] Additionally, Roosevelt's name was not placed in nomination. Thus, Taft was re-nominated handily on the first ballot.

Presidential Balloting[6][7][8]
Candidate 1st
Taft 561
Roosevelt 107
La Follette 41
Cummins 17
Hughes 2
Not Voting 344
Absent 6

Presidential Balloting / 5th Day of Convention (June 22, 1912)

The balloting by states was as follows:[9]

Vice Presidential nomination

Vice Presidential candidates

Like Taft, Vice President James S. Sherman of New York was renominated by the party.[10] Though Taft and Sherman did not get along early in their tenure, the two became closer allies as Taft's split with Roosevelt deepened, and Taft did not object to the re-nomination of Sherman.[10] Taft's allies sought progressive leaders such as Idaho Senator William E. Borah or Vermont Governor John A. Mead to join the ticket, but both declined to be considered.[10] Missouri Governor Herbert S. Hadley and former Vice President Charles Fairbanks were also mentioned as possibilities.[10] Sherman died shortly before the election, and was not replaced on the ticket.[11] In January, after the election had already been decided, Republican leaders appointed Columbia University president Nicholas Butler to fill out the ticket for the purposes of receiving electoral votes.[11]

Vice Presidential Ballot
Candidate 1st
Sherman 596
Borah 21
Merriam 20
Hadley 14
Beveridge 2
Gillette 1
Not Voting 352
Absent 72

Vice Presidential Balloting / 5th Day of Convention (June 22, 1912)

See also


  1. ^ Adam Burns, "Courting white southerners: Theodore Roosevelt’s quest for the heart of the South." American Nineteenth Century History 20.1 (2019): 1-18.
  2. ^ Harlan Hahn "The Republican Party Convention of 1912 and the Role of Herbert S. Hadley in National Politics." Missouri Historical Review 59.4 (1965): 407-423.
  3. ^ "Taft Victory in the First Clash; Root Chosen Chairman, 558 to 502". The New York Times. 19 June 1912. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Roosevelt, Beaten, to Bolt Today; Gives the Word in Early Morning; Taft's Nomination Seems Assured". The New York Times. 20 June 1912. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Taft Renominated by the Republican Convention; Roosevelt Named as Candidate by Bolters". The New York Times. 23 June 1912. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Taft Is Nominated On First Ballot". Santa Cruz News. Santa Cruz, CA. June 22, 1912. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "Taft Wins With 561". The Courier. Harrisburg, PA. June 23, 1912. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  8. ^ Pietrusza, David (2007). 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents. New York: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 978-0-7867-1622-7.
  9. ^ "Vote That Renominated President Taft". The New York Times. New York, NY. June 23, 1912. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d "Plan is to Nominate Taft Tonight; Roosevelt Orders Name Withheld; He Shifts on Third Party Plans". The New York Times. 22 June 1912. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  11. ^ a b "James S. Sherman, 27th Vice President (1909-1912)". US Senate. US Senate. Retrieved 9 October 2015.

Further reading

  • Broderick, Francis L. Progressivism at risk: Electing a president in 1912 (Praeger, 1989).
  • Chace, James (2004). 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft, and Debs—The Election That Changed the Country. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0394-1.
  • Delahaye, Claire. "The New Nationalism and Progressive Issues: The Break with Taft and the 1912 Campaign," in Serge Ricard, ed., A Companion to Theodore Roosevelt (2011) pp 452–67. online
  • Felt, Thomas E. "Organizing A National Convention: A Lesson From Senator Dick." Ohio Historical Quarterly (1958) 87#1 pp 50–62.
  • Gable, John A. The Bullmoose Years: Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1978.
  • Gould, Lewis L. Four hats in the ring: The 1912 election and the birth of modern American politics (Univ Pr of Kansas, 2008).
  • Gould, Lewis L. "Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Disputed Delegates in 1912: Texas as a Test Case." Southwestern Historical Quarterly 80.1 (1976): 33-56 online.
  • Pinchot, Amos. History of the Progressive Party, 1912–1916. Introduction by Helene Maxwell Hooker. (New York University Press, 1958).
  • Selmi, Patrick. "Jane Addams and the Progressive Party Campaign for President in 1912." Journal of Progressive Human Services 22.2 (2011): 160–190.
  • Wilensky, Norman N. (1965). Conservatives in the Progressive Era: The Taft Republicans of 1912. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.

Primary sources

  • Bryan, William Jennings. A Tale of Two Conventions: Being an Account of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions of June, 1912, with an Outline of the Progressive National Convention of August in the Same Year. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1912. online
  • Roosevelt, Theodore. Theodore Roosevelt's Confession of Faith Before the Progressive National Convention, August 6, 1912 (Progressive Party, 1912) online.

External links

External links

Preceded by
Chicago, Illinois
Republican National Conventions Succeeded by
Chicago, Illinois
This page was last edited on 21 September 2023, at 01:36
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