The Harvest Year: The Campaign of 1912
Let us make this our year! Let us make the numerals 1912 appear in flaming red in the calendar of the century.
Eugene V. Debs, 1912
On a freezing March day in 1909, Theodore Roosevelt handed the reins of government to his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. The weather that greeted the new chief executive was symbolic of the stormy times that lay ahead for him and for America. The progressive sentiment that had gathered since the turn of the century rose during Taft's administration to new heights, crashing against many accepted institutions, leaving in its wake changes that many thought impossible. In the years of Taft's misfortune, with Theodore Roosevelt gone, the Socialist Party profited more and more from his successor's mistakes and lack of color.
As Taft entered his administration full of hope and good intentions, and as most Americans awaited the continuation of political reform so closely identified with Roosevelt and the Republican Party, all was not well with the American socialists. The party's poor showing in 1908 after so spectacular an effort reflected what many feared was an