Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt The progressive believed that by applying a more uncorrupt form of democracy they could in fact fix the already corrupt democracy especially at the state and city levels. The progressives believed that if given a chance the majority of voters would elect honest respectable officials unlike those elected by the corrupt political machine but to do this they needed people to vote. So they compiled numerous methods for increasing the participation of the average citizen in political decisions. The secret ballot box, by using the method adopted by the Australians the voter would not be manipulated by the political party that would affect a voters decision by standing next to a ballot box and intimidating him or her. This method was first accepted by Massachusetts in 1888 and proved to be really popular by 1910 all voting states adopted this method.

The progressive governor of Wisconsin Robert La Follete introduced the method of direct primaries in which the majority vote would elect the party candidates for the state and federal offices. This method was used to try to minimize the power of political bosses to try to keep the corrupt officials from gaining office once again. The direct election of state senators was also a plus for the progressives for many years the senators had been selected by the vote of the state legislature. The corrupt state legislature would then of course vote for the corrupt official for senate. After a while the senate begun to look like a club for the rich man. In 1913 the seventeenth amendment required all that all U.S senators be elected by the popular vote.

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By calling for Initiative, referendum, and recall the Progressives allowed by initiative to take part in the process of having a legislature pass a bill, to allow voters to vote on proposed laws on their ballots by way of referendum, and finally recall which allowed voters to remove an unsatisfactory politician from office by majority vote before the end of his or her term. Such people as New York’s Charles Evans Hughes, California’s Hiram Johnson, and Wisconsin’s Robert La Follete put the initiative, referendum, and recall to use so that they could win back their government for the people from the big businesses, and corrupt bosses. With the new reforms the political machine was left out to rust and Progressives cured democracy by using or making more of it. Political Issues.