will in time force its way into all the commonwealths.
For many years after the Civil War, the State seemed in
danger of sinking into a disused organ a sort of vermiform
684 "MORE DIRECT DEMOCRACY [ 824
appendix in the body politic. But now the State has re
awakened, and, with it, new hope for democracy. In 1900,
after years of splendid conflict under the leadership of Robert
La Follette, Wisconsin began to shake off the rule of bosses and
machine politics, to control railroads, and to build a truly
democratic commonwealth, with her great university for her
training school in politics and in nobler living. Then, led by
William Uren, Oregon adopted democratic machinery that
outran anything before known in America. Oklahoma began
its statehood with most of the democratic devices known at
the time, and with some novel experiments, in its first consti
tution. And the State elections of 1910 and 1911 witnessed
brilliant democratic progress all the way from the redemption
of corporation-ridden New Jersey by Woodrow Wilson ( 793)
to the redemption of Southem-Pacific-ridden California by
Hiram W. Johnson, with the adoption of nearly all the reforms
indicated above in several States. A true democratic machinery
is the contribution of the early twentieth century to democracy.
824. The Australian Ballot l was the first of these reforms to
win general acceptance. Under earlier practice, the parties
and candidates printed tickets in any form they liked, often
with deceptive labels or with fraudulent changes of one or
more names. Thoughtful voters, who wished to vote inde
pendently of party labels, found it difficult to do so ; and a
purchased voter received his ballot from the bribe-giver, who
watched him deposit it. Now in all but two States, there is
an official ballot printed by the State. No other can be used.
The names of all candidates appear on this ballot ; and spaces
are left for the voter to write in others if he so wishes. The
ballot is given out only by the judge of election at the polling
place and at the time of voting ; and the process of voting is
in general as follows : (1) The voter gives his name to the
judges of election, and they verify it from the " registration "
1 The system is essentially the English ballot system of 1870, which had been
improved in some measure in some of the Australian States.
825] THE AUSTRALIAN BALLOT 685
lists l as the name of a legal voter in that precinct. (2) The
voter then receives from the judge one ballot (and if he mis-
marks this, so as to require another, the first one must be de
livered to the judges and destroyed). (3) He takes this ballot
into a screened booth, where he finds a shelf and a pencil, and
marks his choice for each office. (4) He then folds the ballot,
and it is deposited in the ballot box by an election official
under his eyes. This process insures secrecy, and discourages
buying votes : the buyer finds it hard to make sure that the
voter " delivers the goods."
Henry George ( 820) began the American agitation for the Australian
ballot in 1886 in New York. In 1887, a bill for the reform was defeated
in the legislature ; and three years later, when public opinion compelled
the old parties to grant the reform, they managed for a while to deceive
the people with a sham. The New York ballot of 1890 did secure secrecy;
but it encouraged straight party voting by arranging that one mark at the
head of a ticket should stand for all the candidates of the party selected.
Five years later, however, New York secured the true reform ballot.
One of the chief advantages of the Australian ballot is that it requires
the voter to designate his choice for each office, and so encourages inde
Some States permit voting machines. Such a machine combines all
the advantages of the Australian ballot with certain others. The count is
automatic, obviating errors and corruption by clerks ; and the fact that
the count is complete (except for copying, the results) when the last vote
is cast saves much time and expense. The machine has the full ballot
upon it, with a key opposite each name or each question, and the candi
date votes his choice by pressing certain keys.
825. Good election machinery, however, is not enough.
Good nomination machinery is quite as important. The people
must have a fair chance to express their will in selecting the
candidates between whom the final choice must be made. This is
the aim of a movement for " direct primaries."
1 Most States now require that every voter shall " register " some time be
fore election, and no one can vote on election day whose name does not appear
on the registration list. This device prevents " repeating " and the importing
of voters from other precincts. The registration lists are published before
election, so that errors or frauds may be detected.
686 MORE DIRECT DEMOCRACY [ 826
Under the old system of nominating caucuses and conventions
( 569) rarely did a tenth of the voters take any part in nomi
nations. The matter was left to the political "machines."
Or, if a popular contest did take place, the result was often
determined by fraud or trickery or by absolute violence. In
1897 the young Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin, smarting
under undeserved defeat in boss-owned nominating conven
tions, worked out a complete system of " direct primaries "
for State and Nation, and began to agitate for its adoption.
In 1901, Minnesota adopted the plan, and it is now (1917) in
force in nearly half the States.
826. More significant than choice of officials is direct control
by the people over the laws which officials are to carry out. As
a rule, even in " democracies," the people have governed them
selves only indirectly. They have chosen representatives ;
and these delegated individuals have made the laws, some
times with little response to popular desires. Radical demo
crats demand that the people take a more direct and effective
part in lawmaking by the referendum and the initiative.
The referendum is the older device. It consists merely in
referring to a popular vote for final confirmation a law which
has already passed the legislature or the State convention.
The practice originated in Massachusetts in the ratification of
the State constitution, in 1778 and 1780 ( 265). Since 1820
it has been used almost always in our States for the ratifica
tion of new constitutions or constitutional amendments ; and
there has been a growing tendency to submit to popular vote
also, in State or city, questions of liquor licensing, bond issues,
and public ownership. For more than a half century, Switzer
land l has carried the practice much further. There a certain
number of voters by petition may compel the legislature to
submit any law to popular decision.
Switzerland also developed the true complement to the ref
erendum ; namely, the initiative. By 1870, in nearly all the
i Modern World, 854.
826] REFERENDUM, INITIATIVE, AND RECALL 687
cantons (States), a small number of voters could frame any
law they desired, which the legislature then was compelled to
submit to a popular vote ; l and in 1891 this principle was
adopted for the Swiss federal government.
The profitable working of these devices in Switzerland led
to a new enthusiasm for them in America ; and by 1905 they
had become among the most prominent matters on progressive
platforms. In many Western States they are already in force.
Mr. William Uren ( 823), in an address before the City Club
of Chicago in 1909, described their working in Oregon as
" By the initiative . . . eight per cent of the voters are authorized to
file with the secretary of state, not less than four months before a general
election, their petition demanding the reference to the people of any
measure. . . . The full text of the measure must be included in the
petition, and one petition will take only one measure.
" The referendum provides that five per cent of the voters, at anytime
within ninety days after the close of a session of the legislature, may file
their petition demanding the submission of any measure passed by that
legislature. The law is thereby held up until the next election. It does
not take effect until it has been voted on and affirmed by the people ; and
the vote required is a majority of those who vote on the question.
" Our law for the operation of the initiative and referendum was
amended in 1907, providing that the secretary of state should order to be
printed and distributed by mail to every registered voter, about three
months before the election, a copy of all the measures that were sub
mitted, and all the arguments that were offered for and against them,
principally at the expense of the State. Those offering arguments are
required to pay the actual cost of the paper, printing, and press work used
for their arguments, but not for the measure, so that it costs [the State]
about seventy-five dollars a printed page for argument. It made a book
of a hundred and twenty pages last year, and the people read it."
This feature of the " Oregon plan " affords the best political
education yet offered any great people. California adopted it
in full in 1911.
1 This device also originated in America in Revolutionary days, in a pro
vision for amending the constitution of Georgia, but it took no real root at
688 MORE DEMOCRACY [ 827
827. The " recall " provides that a certain percentage of
voters, on petition, can at any time force any official to stand
for election again in opposition to some new candidate. 1
The advantage of the arrangement over waiting for a new election in
one or two years, or several years, in case of judicial officers, is that it
concentrates attention upon the one official. At a regular election, the
matter is complicated by party issues and by the distractions due to choos
ing many other officials. Opponents of the recall fear that the people
will use the power hastily, especially in pique toward judicial officers
without due understanding of the technical points involved in judicial
decisions that have offended. The reply, of course, is that if the people
are fit to choose untried men to decide such technical points, they must
be fit to choose whether they will keep such men after trial. Presumably,
when the people possess this power, it will not have to be invoked often.
So far, it has not been abused (1917), and in several cases its use has done
In 1906 Oregon adopted a constitutional amendment making
every elective officer in the State subject to " recall." In 1908,
when Arizona applied for Statehood, she placed a like provision
in her constitution. Statehood was delayed for some time on
this account. Finally in the summer of 1911 a bill for ad
mission passed Congress with a provision requiring the territory
first to Tfote once more upon this clause of the proposed consti
tution. President Taft vetoed this bill, and, at his insistence,
Statehood was offered only on condition that the people of
Arizona should first vote down the recall provision. This
was done in December, 1911 ; but, at the same time, all the
political leaders of the territory proclaimed in advance that,
Statehood once secured, they would work to restore the recall
to the constitution. This threat was made good in 1912.
Meantime, President Taft's attempt to force a whole people
into stultifying itself awoke wide popular indignation, espe
cially in the progressive West. In the fall of 1911, Washington
placed the recall in its constitution for all officers except the
judiciary, and California, by a vote of three to one, adopted an
amendment for the recall, including application to judges.
1 An early example of a true " recall " in America is mentioned in 302.
829] WOMAN SUFFRAGE 689
828. For many years there was an unmistakable demand by
a great majority of the people for an amendment to the
National Constitution to provide for direct election of Senators.
Time after time the necessary resolution passed the Rep
resentatives, only to be smothered or voted down in the upper
House, which had no desire to be brought closer to the people.
Then the people began to reach their end, indirectly, by State
action. Again Oregon led the way. In 1904 (and again in
1908 by a vote of 4 to 1), that State (1) provided that when a
United States Senator was to be chosen, the people, at the elec
tion of the legislature, might express their choice for Senator ;
and (2) ordered all members of the legislature to obey the
choice so indicated. This plan spread swiftly, and by 1911 it
was in force in nearly half the States. Then the people turned
again, and this time successfully, to Congress for nation-wide
and more direct action ( 839, 840).
829. Woman suffrage, like most of these democratic reforms,
has always been strongest in the West. The first State to
grant the ballot to women on full equality 1 with men was
Wyoming at its admission in 1890. (The Territory of
Wyoming had had equal suffrage since 1869.) Colorado estab
lished the reform by constitutional amendment in 1893. In
1896 Utah became the third suffrage State, " completing the
trinity of true Republics at the summit of the Rockies " ; and
Idaho followed, the same year.
For fifteen years no new commonwealth was won to the
cause, but none the less the " woman movement " was making
rapid progress in politics, in industry, and in social recogni
tion. Then, in 1910, Washington gave women the full ballot.
California did so in her reform year, 1911. The democratic
year, 1912 ( 842 ff.), and its aftermath in 1913-14, raised the
total number of suffrage States to twelve by adding Arizona,
Kansas, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, and Illinois. In 1916
some 4,000,000 women voted for President and Congressmen.
1 Many States have long allowed a modified form of suffrage to women in
local elections, especially in school elections.
690 THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT [ 830
Illinois had been the only State so far east of the Mississippi
to give the vote to women ; and there the result was reached by
legislative action, not by constitutional amendment, and so
could not extend to State officers. In 1917 this " Presidential
suffrage " was won for women in Indiana, South Dakota, North
Dakota, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Nebraska; and at the
November election a constitutional amendment gave women
the complete suffrage in the great State of New York. The
overwhelming weight of that State in the National government
gave peculiar importance to this last victory spite of defeats
at the same election in Ohio and Maine and many former
opponents, like the Outlook, at once announced that they laid
down their arms in obedience to the pronounced will of the
In many of the suffrage States, women have held some of
the most important offices. Recently they have sat as delegates
in National Conventions ; and in 1916 Montana sent the first
Woman Representative to Congress.
830. The States, renovated by this democratic machinery, have
turned promptly to the uplift of the common life by a long series of social
reforms. No one of these has been more spectacular in its rapid victory
than the new Temperance movement of the last ten years (1916). A
union of various Anti-saloon forces (largely independent of the regular
Prohibition party) has made half the States "dry," and has set up
" county option v in half the rest.
One factor in this amazing victory calls for explanation . The Brewery
Combine went into politics. Everywhere it fought Woman Suffrage
because it knew women would fight the saloon. It fought the referendum
and initiative, because it feared the people, and trusted to its power to
corrupt legislators. It fought every attempt to check or abolish Special
Privilege, from a lively expectation of political help to be received in
return. It fought the election of "reformers" of all sorts, to protect
itself or its allies. And finally reformers of all sorts learned that they
must fight the Liquor power as a step toward any other reform.
B. IN THE NATION
831. During the closing twenty years of the nineteenth
century, a group of aggressive young reformers appeared in
832] IN NATIONAL POLITICS 691
public life ( 733). The most picturesque among them was
Theodore Roosevelt of New York, police commissioner of
New York City, Civil Service Commissioner ( 742), Colonel of
the " Rough Riders in the Spanish War ( 760). In 1898, he
was overwhelmingly elected governor of New York, and had
begun to loom up as a possible presidential candidate, to the
dread of the Republican machine. In the Republican Con
vention of 1900 the bosses joined forces to shelve him by
nominating him for the figurehead vice-presidency, against
his vehement protest. A few months later, the assassination
of McKinley made him President. For the first time in our
history, an "accidental President" took place at once as a
popular leader, and in 1904 he was triumphantly reflected. 1
832. The seven and a half years of the Roosevelt adminis
trations mark an epoch. In public addresses the strenuous
President denounced in startling terms the insolence and
criminal greed of aggregated capital, and so roused the whole
people to the need of action. The actual achievements of the
administration, in its professed work of curbing the trusts and
monopolies were less significant. Still the " classified list "
under the " civil service reform " law was extended to include
even the smallest country postmasters in the more settled half
of the country ; the Interstate Commerce Commission was re
vived by the Hepburn Amendment ( 786) ; suits were pressed
vigorously against many trusts under the Sherman Act and
Interstate Commerce law ; 2 the scandalous conditions in the
Chicago stockyards were investigated ; a Pure Food law
forbade Interstate Commerce in adulterated foods ; 3 and,
1 The Democratic party in 1904 was believed to be controlled mainly by the
Eastern and conservative faction, represented by the candidate, Judge Alton
B. Parker. The radicals were not satisfied with either candidate ; but, on the
whole, the Republican was understood to promise most for social progress.
2 During the preceding administrations of Harrison, Cleveland, and
McKinley, there had been in all 16 prosecutions ; in Roosevelt's seven years
there were 44, though little actual check to the trusts resulted.
8 State laws had already begun a long-needed war upon noxious adultera
tions. Said Roosevelt, in one of his catchy phrases, " No man may poison the
public for private gain."
THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT
most important of all, new emphasis was given to the " conserva
tion 1 of National resources " a doctrine formulated by Gifford
Pinchot, and popularized by the President.
833. President Roosevelt was attacked by certain of the " in
terests" as a disturber of "prosperity " ; but he had a hold upon
the nation such as no other Presidents had approached, with
the exception of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, and Lincoln.
THE ARROW KOCK DAM (Idaho), still building in 1918: part of one of the
most famous of all the government's projects to irrigate arid lands. This
dam is 67 feet higher than the great Roosevelt Dam in Arizona.
At the same time, extreme radicals disliked his aggressive
foreign policy ( 722) and his inclination to paternalistic des
potism at home. Such critics pointed out (1) that he used
his tremendous personal and official power to aid no other real
"progressive" in any of the many State contests with Privi
lege ; (2) that his trust prosecutions had not hurt any money
iRead Overton Price's The Land We Live In, "The Boy's Book of
836] IN NATIONAL POLITICS 693
king ; (3) that he had intimate personal relations with some
of the trust magnates, heads of what he chose to call "good
trusts " ; (4) that during his seven years the number of trusts
had greatly multiplied and their capitalization vastly increased
( 792), along with the new device of concentrating power by the
system of interlocking directorates ( 791) ; and (5) that he had
as yet taken no stand to reform the tariff, in which his " good
trusts " were deeply interested.
834. In October, 1907, the Knickerbocker Trust Company
in New York failed, from speculation and dishonest manage
ment, and brought down with it a group of banks supposed to
be strong. This began the " panic of 1907." Wall Street, and
"Big Business' 7 generally, attributed the panic to "Theodore
the Meddler," who, they asserted, had destroyed public con
fidence by his attacks upon the commercial interests. Many
radicals, on the other hand, claimed that Big Business had
" manufactured " the panic, so as to intimidate the President
and the other reformers into keeping hands off. In any case,
for once, the cry " It hurts business " failed to check the
current for reform.
835. Eoosevelt thought his Secretary of War, William H.
Taft, especially fitted to carry on his reforms. Accord
ingly in 1908, he forced Taft upon the Kepublicans as his
successor. The Democrats nominated Bryan for the third
time. Between the Eoosevelt Eepublicans of that time and
the Bryan Democrats there were many points of sympathy ;
while within each party a large class was bitterly opposed to
these reform policies, and desired a return to the older attitude
of the government as a promoter of business prosperity rather
than of human welfare. Owing to the general confidence of
large masses in Eoosevelt, and to the aid given the Eepublicans
by aggregated wealth, Taft was elected overwhelmingly.
836. As Eoosevelt's Secretary of War, Mr. Taft had been a
loyal subordinate ; but now it soon appeared that he did not
himself believe in the "Eoosevelt policies." Instead, he be
longed distinctly in the conservative ranks.
694 THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT [ 837
A group of capitalists had been trying to engross the
mineral wealth of Alaska, in part by fraudulent entries.
Roosevelt had checked the proceeding by temporarily with
drawing the lands from entry. Richard Ballinger had been
the attorney of the grasping ring of capitalists, and previously
had served them with information even while in the service of
the government. President Taft was induced to appoint this
man his Secretary of the Interior, and it seemed as though
the grab would then go through under his sanction. The
President even dismissed both Pinchot (a devoted public
servant and a man of high standing in the nation) and also
Louis Glavis, a subordinate of Ballinger, who had gallantly
exposed the treacherous designs of his chief with necessary
disregard for official etiquette. 1 Happily, the sacrifice of
Glavis, the war waged month after month by Collier's Weekly,
and the consequent Congressional investigation, even though by
a packed committee, compelled Ballinger to resign, and saved
the Alaskan wealth for the nation. No one suspected the
President of corrupt motives ; but it was plain that the corrupt
interests had his ear. Other events made his position clear.
He did not scruple to use his vast power of patronage to injure
progressive Congressmen in their home districts.
837. Another public clash between President Taft and the
Progressives came on the tariff question. The Republican plat
form of 1908 had declared for a thoroughgoing revision of the
Dingley Tariff ( 747), asserting that duties ought only to
" equal the difference between the cost of production at home
and abroad, together with a reasonable profit for American
industries." 2 Mr. Taft, too, had waged his campaign largely
on definite pledges for tariff reduction. Shrewd observers
1 Glavis' "insubordination" consisted in a noble patriotism which led him
to show fealty to the American people rather than to a traitorous superior in
office. Such patriotism, more needed than courage on the battlefield, cannot
be praised too highly.
2 Somewhat more definitely, the Democratic platform declared for im
mediate reduction of duties on necessaries and for placing on the " free list "
all " articles entering into competition with trust-controlled products."
838] AND THE ALDRICH TARIFF 695
doubted somewhat whether the politicians of the party were
not too thoroughly in the grip of the trusts to make any real
inroad upon the protected interests ; and the result justified
the skeptical prophecies that any revision by the Republican
machine of that day would be a revision upward. Tlie Payne-
Aldrich Tariff of 1910, while making improvements at a few
points, actually aggravated the evils which the nation had
expected to have remedied. It was a brazen defiance of party