Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Louis G. Geiger


The election of 1912 was one of the most colorful of all the elections held in America. This contest was more than just an election to elect a President of the United States; it was a struggle between certain elements -- progressive and conservative -- within the political parties themselves. While appreciating the nationwide contest between the parties, I have attempted to show how the national political picture influenced the political life in North Dakota. I chose this subject because I wished to find now the National Progressive Party, established by Theodore Roosevelt, affected North Dakota, the Rough Rider's adopted state, and a region with a strong, well-developed, progressive tradition.

The basis for the material used in this study has been the North Dakota newspapers, supplemented by some interviews and magazines, and, of course, various general works, published and unpublished. In the selection of newspapers I attempted to find the most representative papers of each of the state's political factions and of its regions. Because they were dailies and carried a more complete picture of the story, the publications of the larger cities in North Dakota were chosen. As it worked out, these papers fairly represented the sentiment of the different factions. Of the weekly newspapers, I chose the publications which typified the opinion of various sections of the state, hoping to find any sectional issues which were involved in this election. In the use of the newspapers, I have, for expediency, designated their affiliation or bias by the following method:

(R) -- Republican

(D) -- Democrat

(prog-Rep) progressive-Republican

(P) -- Progressive

(Ind) -- Independent

Because the terms 'progressive,' 'Progressive,' 'stalwart' and 'conservative' are used throughout this manuscript, I have, for clarity, capitalized 'Progressive' to indicate that this was the Progressive Party, or its members; the term 'progressive' which is not capitalized, refers to the progressive element of the Republican Party. 'Stalwart' and 'conservative' are synonymous terms, standing for the reactionary wing of the Republican Party.

In writing this monograph I hope to have contributed something of value to the history of our state.


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