All in favor of the nomination will say aye! - Jun 15, 1904
At end of his first term, President Theodore Roosevelt's popularity enabled him to dominate the Republican National Convention despite opposition from conservatives.
Time! - July 20, 1904
TR and the Democratic nominee, Alton Parker, shake hands at the start of the 1904 presidential campaign, caricatured as a boxing match refereed by Uncle Sam.
Keeping Cool - Aug. 6, 1904
TR's dour running mate, Charles Fairbanks, was mockingly called the "Indiana icicle."
The Badger State - Oct. 20, 1904
Senator John Spooner, a Wisconsin conservative, was horrified when progressive pioneer Governor Robert La Follette took control of the Wisconsin Republican Party.
Putting the Screws on Him - Nov. 2, 1904
Industrialists bankrolled TR's campaign despite his trustbusting. Here, his campaign manager, George Cortelyou, squeezes money from a bloated man labeled "The Trusts."
Stand Pat Is Good Enough for Your Uncle Joe - 1900-1906
"Uncle Joe" Cannon, the iron-fisted Speaker of the House, used his authority to stifle political reform. He and his conservative Republican allies were known as Standpatters.
No sir! Mr. TR, I haven't seen anything of any tariff revision sentiment - Jan. 17, 1905
In 1905, TR quietly approached Uncle Joe about reforming the corrupt tariff system, but Cannon rebuffed him.
At the Keyboard - Mar. 15, 1905
Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, the Republican "boss of the Senate," defended the interests of powerful industrialists like J. D. Rockefeller, caricatured here.
A Herculean Task - April 5, 1905
TR's relations with conservative Senate leaders deteriorated during his second term.
The Tariff Tots - Aug. 23, 1905
Trust companies benefited from high tariffs, which stifled competition. Here, Uncle Joe presses TR to abandon tariff reform: "Oh, Sir, you would not turn these helpless, half-grown babes out into a cruel world, would you?"
The Making of a Senator - Nov. 15, 1905
Senate elections were notoriously corrupt before the 17th Amendment. Senator Aldrich worked his way to the top with the help of powerful Republican bosses, wealthy benefactors, and corrupt Rhode Island legislators.
To a Finish - Nov. 25, 1905
In 1905, TR tried to convince reluctant Republican congressmen to regulate the powerful railroad industry.
The American Samson - Dec. 13, 1905
Delilah (TR) wants to cut the hair of Samson (railroad corporations) but has trouble with the scissors (Congress). Caption: "I must get these shears to work together before I can do any hair-cutting."
For Any Old Trust - 1906
"Fighting Bob" La Follette, the progressive Republican insurgent from Wisconsin, went to the Senate in 1906 carrying a "big stick" for the trusts.
The Recent Flurry in the Senate - Mar. 21, 1906
TR's railroad bill triggered a battle royal in Congress.
An Eruption of Mount Teddy - May 2, 1906
TR radicalized during his second term, much to the chagrin of Republican leaders. A snow-covered Vice President Fairbanks is depicted in the background.
Heburn Rate Bill - May 15, 1906
Even though Congress watered down the railroad bill with amendments, TR declared his satisfaction with the compromised legislation.
Killed in Committee - May 16, 1906
Nelson Aldrich exploited his control of Senate committees to quietly kill progressive legislation.
The Crown Prince - Aug. 1, 1906
Vowing not to serve a third term, TR championed his friend, Secretary of War William Taft, for President.
On to Washington! - Oct. 10, 1906
Republicans capitalized on TR's popularity at the midterms. Union leader Samuel Gompers, depicted here with a sling-shot, tried unsuccessfully to defeat Uncle Joe.
The One Best Belle of the Ball - Jan. 23, 1907
More mockery of TR's preference for Taft over Cannon, Fairbanks, and other presidential hopefuls.
The Bigger Stick - July 17, 1907
The illustration satirizes TR's retreat on tariff reform, which he abandoned to avoid divisions in the Republican Party.
A Pretty High Bar to Clear - Oct. 30, 1907
Many voters blamed Republicans for supporting high tariffs, which contributed to the rising the cost of living. Republican leaders worried about losing seats in the 1908 election.
How the diabolo can I keep this going till nomination day? - Dec. 11, 1907
Many Republicans were unenthusiastic about Taft. TR encouraged the party rank-and-file to support Taft's nomination by rewarding loyalists with federal jobs.
The House in Session - Apr. 16, 1908
Uncle Joe Cannon, the autocratic House Speaker, only permitted loyal congressmen to offer motions. Each morning, they lined up at his office to request the opportunity to speak on the House floor.
The Leader of the Minority - Apr. 28, 1908
Here, Uncle Sam futilely cries for recognition while "Big Interests" keep Speaker Cannon under the thumb.
Back! - June 24, 1908
Republican "Standpatters" attempt to ward off a tidal wave of anti-tariff sentiment.
Drifting Match - July 6, 1908
Republican presidential hopefuls, including Taft, Cannon, and Fairbanks, drift toward the nomination as TR looks on.
The Rake's Progress - July 8, 1908
Speaker Cannon and Senator Aldrich pour "Stand Pat Dope" into Uncle Sam's drink while land speculators and corrupt politicians exploit America's natural resources.
After the Blow - Nov. 4, 1908
Despite growing public hostility, Republicans survived the 1908 election with minimal losses. Caption: "All right now, boys. You can come out."
Bringing in the Teddy-turk - Nov. 18, 1908
Standpatters and business leaders prepare to devour the "Teddy-Turk" as he enters the lame-duck period of his presidency.
The Runaway - Jan. 13, 1909
In 1909, Republican leaders reluctantly bowed to popular pressure for tariff revision.
Baby, kiss papa good-by - Feb. 24, 1909
TR left for Africa believing that Taft would continue to promote his progressive reforms.
Bled - Mar. 17, 1909
Standpatters continued to resist anti-trust legislation on the grounds that it would hurt industry. Caption: "Uncle Sam: They say he needs it, but he doesn't look sick to me"
The Teddyfication of the White House - Feb. 24, 1909
TR remodeled the White House during his first term, stuffing it with hunting trophies. As president, Taft had trouble escaping TR's shadow.
Another Saint Patrick? - Mar. 17, 1909
Taft promised to continue TR's policies, raising expectations that he would take on Aldrich, Cannon, and the trusts, depicted here as snakes and lizards.
The Minority - Apr. 14, 1909
After fifteen years in the minority, the Democratic Party was powerless and riven by infighting.
Try Your Strength, Gents! - May 12, 1909
Tariffs benefitted trust companies by stifling competition and raising prices at consumers' expense. Here, Uncle Joe Cannon shows the trusts where to strike for maximal profit.
The Building of the Ark - July 28, 1909
Senator La Follette and a small band of Republican insurgents defied their party by demanding lower tariffs.
The Honest Bartender's Bracer - July 7, 1909
Aldrich proposed higher tariffs to reduce the federal deficit. Here, he is depicted as a devilish bartender feeding Uncle Sam's tariff addiction. Caption: "Quit nothin'! Why, a little more of the same'll make you feel O.K."
Saved - 1909
Taft worked closely with Cannon and Aldrich to expedite the tariff bill, ignoring the complaints of Republican insurgents.
Discharged as Cured - Aug. 25, 1909
Though the revisions were mostly cosmetic, Taft praised the legislation as the best tariff bill ever passed.
“En Tour” - Oct. 2, 1909
Taft further antagonized progressives by publicly praising Senator Aldrich.
A Bad Outlook for Harmony - Dec. 22, 1909
Taft had promised "harmony" during his campaign, but by the end of his first year, the Republicans stood at the brink of civil war. Caption: "Pity the poor leader of the Washington Symphony Orchestra."
New Wine in Old Bottles - Dec. 25, 1909
Taft tries to pour "Roosevelt Progressive Policies" into cracked bottles labeled Aldrich and Cannon.
Uncle Sam: "Don't Let Up, Little One, This Must Be to a Finish!" - Feb. 26, 1910
La Follette, the "Progressive Champion," fights Aldrich, the "Machine Champion," for control of the Senate. Caption: "Don't let up, little one, this must be to a finish!"
Empty Desk - Mar. 20, 1910
On March 19th, 1910, a coalition of Democrats and Republican insurgents voted to reduce Speaker Cannon's powers.
Uncle Joe - Mar. 20, 1910?
Uncle Joe Cannon, battered and bruised after the insurgents curtailed his authority.
Republican Voters' Revolt - Apr. 20, 1910
A wave labeled "Republican Voters' Revolt" crashes into a ship's dining room where the Standpatters are feasting.
The Coming Lava - May 11, 1910
As Taft's popularity plummeted, some Republicans looked to TR for salvation.
A Ticklish Feat - Aug. 31, 1910
Taft struggled to deal with the Ballinger affair, Republican infighting, and unpopular legislation.
The Walls of Jericho - Oct. 5, 1910
As the midterm election neared, Democrats and Republican insurgents hoped to wrest control of Congress from the Standpatters.
Mr. La Follette's Strongest Card - Dec. 29, 1911
La Follette, running for the Republican presidential nomination, highlights his progressive achievements in Wisconsin.
“The Little Fellow” - Jan. 6, 1912
The illustration satirizes La Follette's long-shot campaign to defeat Taft.
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore" - Jan. 24, 1912
TR was unhappy with Taft's leadership. As their relationship deteriorated, Taft feared that TR would challenge him for the Republican presidential nomination.
Progressive Fallacies - Mar. 18, 1912
When TR announced his candidacy, he abruptly siphoned off La Follette's progressive supporters, infuriating La Follette.
For Auld Lang Syne - May, 1912
As Taft and TR fought for the Republican nomination, their friendship shattered. Taft called TR a “dangerous egotist,” a “demagogue,” and a “flatterer of the people.” TR called Taft a “puzzlewit” and a “fathead” with the intellect of a guinea pig. The epithets escalated—“honeyfugler,” “hypocrite,” “apostate,” “Jacobin,” “brawler.”
The Confusion of Tongues - June 12, 1912
By 1912, the once unified Republican Party was splintered by ideological factions and personal feuds. Caption: "Sad finish of the Republican Tower of Babel."
The Latest Arrival at the Political Zoo - July 20, 1912
After losing the nomination to Taft, TR bolted the Republican convention to start a new progressive party popularly known by its nickname, the Bull Moose party.
The Great American Bull-Fight - Aug. 21, 1912
TR drew fire from enemies in both parties as Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson launched his campaign. Caption: "When the picadors sufficiently puncture him, the matador will finish him."
How They're Acting and How They Feel - Nov. 5, 1912
On the eve of the 1912 election, Wilson, TR, and Taft each publicly expressed confidence, but without reliable election polling, the outcome was uncertain.