History 416

Wilsonian Agenda at Home

September 12, 2005



I.                     1912


1.      Dilemmas of William Howard Taft (Taft and party system; Taft and TR; Canadian trade agreement and question of competence)


2. The Law and Progressive Foreign Policy (limits of international law; customs receivership and alternatives to intervention)


3. The Election (Republican split; Wilson nomination, interpreting Socialists and Progressives)


II. Wilson as President


1.      Wilson Background (WW as political scientist: Constitutional Government and critique of American constitutional system; New Jersey governorship; caucus and party system; demise of Progressives; role of third parties, Southern Democrats, and narrowness of control)


2.      The Agenda (progressivism and the regulatory impulse; ICC and origins of regulation; Bureau of Corporations, Food and Drug Act; enforcing Sherman Anti-Trust Act—from Northern Securities Co. v. U.S. (1904) to Standard Oil v. U.S. (1911) and “rule of reason” test; legislative solution: FTC and Clayton Act; Federal Reserve Board; new issues ahead of law: utilities, energy, electricity, mass transit; how to regulate?)


III. Domestic Reform and the Law


1.      Changing the Courts (the nature of progressivism; Lochner and the court system; limited scope of reform—Muller v. Oregon; La Follette and roll call reporting; TR and Bull Moose campaign—role of judicial recall; Norris and progressive reformers in Congress; Wilson and liberalizing the Court: role of appointments processes; McReynolds and the dangers of hasty nominees; Brandeis nomination and the Senate fight; Clarke and 1916 election)


2.      Changing the Constitution (Bristow and progressive constitutional reformers; the Pollack controversy—White wording, political outcry; Democratic gains and path to 16th amendment; direct election—attraction of campaign finance reform and open government; House pushes issue; Southern concerns; 17th amendment)



3.      Civil Liberties (Civil Liberties (contradictions of progressivism: social control or civil liberties; legacy of Comstock Act (1873); freedom of speech and press—censorship laws, limited freedom of press—Paterson v. Colorado (1907), Fox v. Washington (1915), Holmes and 1st amendment jurisprudence; AAUP and academic freedom; 1903 immigration law and bar on anarchists)