III
The Rising Tide: The Campaign of 1904

Viewed from any intelligent standpoint the outlook of the Socialist movement is full of promise to the workers of coming freedom.

Eugene V. Debs, 1904

Late in the summer of 1901, President William McKinley was shot by an anarchist at Buffalo. On September 14, the President died and Theodore Roosevelt inherited his mantle. The Rough Rider's rapid rise in national politics was but symptomatic of the times. McKinley's death marked the end of the old order in politics and presaged the rise of new forces, the sharpening of reform tendencies, and the development of a sentiment for change that permeated the entire fabric of American life. Clearly these were times in which socialism might prosper, borne upward on the appeal of its own doctrine and leaders while benefiting greatly from increased public interest in political, social and economic reform.

The socialists fulfilled the promise of unity which the campaign of 1900 had fostered in the early summer of 1901 when delegates from both the SDP and Kangaroo factions, as well as independent socialists, met in Indianapolis to found the new Socialist Party of America.1 The

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