Sample History Essay on American Election History

American Election History


Perhaps since it extends approximately over two hundred years ago, the history of American elections tends to be divided into relatively short eras, each in respect to its characteristic nature. The earlier period of the beginning of the 20th century has become, especially known and widely acknowledged perhaps because of its progressive movements. Leaders in this period sought to curb powers of large business interests, purify American political process, and to make the government more responsive. This paper seeks to assess the four candidates of 1912 election in relation to their positions on issues of the time and if there are important similarities and differences.  


The major issues at the time included civil rights and class conflict. A Harvard-educated scholar, Du Bois argued for immediate black equality as well as helped institute the NAACP.  However, Henry Grady tried with lots of efforts in order to unite all workers, both the black as well as white, in order for them to get better wages in addition to working conditions across all the sectors.  He insisted that equal rights for all were necessary. Despite the many movements, fighting for the black power insisted that black deserved to lead, the position taken by Washington was that these was impossible and urged the blacks to let go the political power, civil rights, as well as high education at the time, but said that patience and thrift could help achieve these things. Henry Grady argues;

“But what the negro? Have we solved the problem he presents or progressed in honor and equity towards solution? Let the record speak to the point. No section shows a more prosperous laboring population than the South, p.30’’

 In his speeches, Washington apologized for all the injustices that the blacks were facing, but did not perceive it as an urgent matter that need to be addressed at the time (Washington).  Ida B. Wells also sought to address the rights of blacks were at the time given inappropriate punishments for raping white women. Wells insisted that white women could be sexually attracted to black men. In fact, her support was that blacks were being mistreated as compared to whites (Wells-Barnett).  Well also argues that:

“In the South, lynching was considered to be a proper punishment for African-American me accused of raping white women, p.38).”

The significant similarities shared by the four candidates were civil rights stood as important, which had led to the division between the whites as well as men. The four candidates’ arguments largely resonated around the issues of class conflict as well as the creation of an equal society for all the people. However, there were no significant differences among the four candidates in respect to these issues, which faced the American society at the time.  However, Wessington had a slight difference that blacks had to wait for the moment and hope with patience that these issues could change later.


The period of the 1912 remained a very important era in the American history due to the manner in which the issues that faced the society were handled. The four candidates of the 1912 election were largely for the idea that segregation of blacks in America was a significant issue, which led to the formation of different organizations that sought to fight for equality in all fronts.

Works cited

Washington, Booker T. Atlanta Exposition Address. United States: Columbia Graphophone, 1895. Sound recording.

Wells-Barnett, Ida B. The Red Record – the Original Classic Edition. 1895.