Слике страница

where the Democrats are supreme, it is a waste of time for the Republicans to go to the polls, since they can nowhere secure a State majority, and are consequently entirely unrepresented in the electoral college.

A further effect of the system is that the popular vote rarely bears any recognizable relation to the electoral vote, since the party gaining a series of small majorities in populous States like New York or Pennsylvania or Illinois secures not merely a proportionate majority, but the whole State vote, in the electoral college. In the light of these facts the remarkable result of the 1912 election becomes intelligible. In every State Mr. Taft and Mr. Roosevelt split the Republican vote and the Democratic went to Mr. Wilson. As a result, in forty States out of the forty-eight the Democratic candidate headed the poll and secured the State vote in the electoral college, though the combined popular vote of his two opponents almost always exceeded his. The final result was declared as follows :

[blocks in formation]

Though the three other candidates who ran were of little importance, their record may be given for the sake of completeness :

[blocks in formation]

Only two States, Vermont and Utah, supported Mr. Taft, while Mr. Roosevelt carried Pennsylvania in the East, Michigan and Minnesota in the Middle West, and California, Washington, and South Dakota in the West. It was an astonishing triumph for Mr. Wilson.




The feelings with which we face this new age of right and opportunity sweep across our heartstrings like some air out of God's own presence, where justice and mercy are reconciled and the judge and the brother are one. We know our task to be no mere task of politics, but a task which shall search us through and through, whether we be able to understand our time and the need of our people, whether we be indeed their spokesmen and interpreters, whether we have the pure heart to comprehend and the rectified will to choose our high course of action. This is not a day of triumph ; it is a day of dedication. Here muster, not the forces of party, but the forces of humanity. Men's hearts wait upon us; men's lives hang in the balance; men's hopes call upon us to say what we will do. Who shall live up to the great trust? Who dares fail to try? I summon all honest men, all patriotic, all forward-looking men, to my side. God helping me, I will not fail them, if they will but counsel and sustain me.-First Inaugural, March 1913.

MR. WILSON'S position on his assumption of office in March 1913 was in one respect strong, in another equivocal. He was under the disadvantage, more apparent indeed than real, of being a minority President. Apart from the million odd votes divided between the Socialist and other minor candidates, he had polled a good million and a third less than the combined totals of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Taft. On the other hand, he found himself supported in the Sixty-third Congress, which succeeded to power simultaneously with himself, by a Democratic majority in both Houses. The importance of that backing lay in the fact that all Bills must be passed by both Houses and approved by the President, and a difference in political colour between President and Congress, or between the two branches of the latter, makes inevitably for legislative delay and friction.

There was only one precedent since the Civil War for the complete enthronement of the Democrats. Cleveland, the one Democratic President since Buchanan, had a Republican majority against him in the Senate in both Congresses (the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth) of his first term. In the first Congress of his second term (the Fifty-third) both Houses were Democratic, but the concurrence between executive and legislature was short-lived, for the Fifty-fourth Congress, 1895-7, was Republican in both branches. It was reserved for Mr. Wilson's administration to revive the unremembered spectacle of Democracy dominant both at the White House and at the Capitol through the whole of a Presidential term.

The announcement of the composition of the new Cabinet tended to confirm the President's hold over his party, and so over Congress. The two chief posts were filled by Mr. Bryan and Mr. W. G. McAdoo, of New York, who in 1914 married the President's youngest daughter. Mr. Bryan's selection as Secretary of State was a foregone conclusion in view of the part he had played in securing 'Mr. Wilson's nomination in the Demo

cratic Convention ; while Mr. McAdoo's claim to the Secretaryship of the Treasury was based largely on the impression he had created as a practical business man in carrying through the work of constructing the Hudson River tunnels. Mr. W. B. Wilson, the first Secretary of the newly constituted Department of Labour, was a miner and trade union leader of Scotch birth.1

In estimating the prospects of the incoming President at the beginning of 1913 three factors had to be taken into account : the personality of Mr. Wilson himself, the nature of the concrete issues that confronted him, and the trend of developing political thought in America. The importance of the first of these had been strikingly demonstrated during Mr. Roosevelt's tenure of office. The ex-President in his autobiography throws into contrast the two ideals of the Presidency represented respectively by the JacksonLincoln and the Buchanan-Taft schools. It need hardly be added that he neither disguises his contempt for administrators of the latter class nor conceals the assertion of his own claim to rank with the former. In the seven and a half years of his administration Mr. Roosevelt had con

The other places were filled as follows : Secretary of War

Lindley M. Garrison (New Jersey). Attorney-General ...

J. C. McReynolds (Tennessee). Postmaster-General ... ... Albert S. Burleson (Texas). Secretary of the Navy

Josephus Daniels (North Carolina) Secretary of the Interior

Franklin K. Lane (California). Secretary of Agriculture

W. F. Houston (Missouri). Secretary of Commerce

W.C. Redfield (New York).

« ПретходнаНастави »