The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 170
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
parently secured when his candidate, Oscar Branch Colquitt,
was elected governor, while the state Democratic executive
committee completely dominated by Bailey lieutenants held the
reins of Democratic power in Texas.4
It was altogether natural, then, that a large body of Texas
progressive Democrats should have looked to Woodrow Wilson
as their political deliverer. Wilson had in the fall of 1910 left
the cloistered halls of Princeton to accept from the hands of
the New Jersey Democratic bosses the gubernatorial nomina-
tion of his party. Before the gubernatorial campaign was ended
Wilson had repudiated the bosses who nominated him, had
assumed leadership of the progressive Democrats in New Jersey,
and by his spectacular campaign had definitely established him-
self as one of the leaders of the progressive wing of the na-
tional Democratic party. Even before he was inaugurated gov-
ernor, Wilson was forced to break openly with James Smith,
Jr., leader of the New Jersey Democratic machine, when the
Boss attempted to get himself elected to the United States
Senate. Wilson dealt Smith a resounding defeat and during the
early months of 1911 pushed through the New Jersey legisla-
ture a series of progressive reforms. Within the space of seven
brief months after his entrance into the political field Wilson
was perhaps the chief contender for the Democratic presi-
dential nomination in 1912.
Wilson's political and economic philosophy, later known as
the "New Freedom," was progressive in that it envisaged
greater popular control of the state and national governments,
destruction of financial and industrial monopolies in the inter-
ests of the people, and a low tariff; and in no section of the
country did it have a more powerful appeal than in the South.
During 1911 and 1912 the movement to make Wilson the Demo-
cratic presidential nominee swept over the South, and the
progressive character of this movement was emphasized by the
fact that in practically every Southern state the progressive
faction of the party rallied wholeheartedly to his support, while
the conservatives and reactionaries consistently opposed him.5
4Sam Hanna Acheson, Joe Bailey, the Last Democrat (New York, 1932),
is an entertaining and authoritative study.
5For a discussion of the Democratic pre-nomination in the several South-
ern states, see my "The South and the Democratic Campaign of 1912,"
unpublished Ph. D. dissertation in the Library of the, University of North
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/188/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.