By 1912, candidates were encouraged to campaign actively before the convention during state primaries where a popular vote of the state's party members bound the delegates' votes in the national convention. During the 1932 Republican gathering, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first candidate to accept the nomination at a convention. Before this, nominees stayed in the background.
Franklin Roosevelt accepting his nomination at the 1932 Democratic National Convention. (CHS, DN104649)
Chicago was also the home for more than 24 third-party conventions. While the chances of a third-party candidate winning an election were slim, these parties provided a vital outlet for political activists and voters discontented with the leading parties. Third-party platforms are typically more radical than those of the main parties; they serve as national barometers for new ideas that frequently are adopted by mainstream parties. Since the development of the two-party system in the 1790s, dissenting factions have organized themselves into political parties and held their own national conventions to adopt platforms and nominate candidates. Third parties were on the rise in the 1880s, but many died out during the two world wars.
Third parties, like the Progressive Party, Woman's Party, and the Socialist Party were a strong presense in the early part of the 19th century. (CHS, ICHI-26257, ICHi-26348, ICHi-06478)
The Bull-Moose, or Progressive, Party was the most successful third party in history. Much of this support was really in favor of its 1912 nominee, former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt. He did not run for the Progressive Party in the next election season. After the 1950s, third parties began to reemerge and, with greater visibility through television, have been growing in number ever since.
Al Capone - Chicago Black Sox - A Century of Progress - Chicago Fire
The World's Columbian Exposition - Parades, Protests and Politics
The Pullman Era - The Stockyards
Fort Dearborn (Coming Soon!)
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