Statement by Jane Addams on Woodrow Wilson, ca. October 25, 1916


<Not to be used, taken from abandoned statement. J. A.>

In 1912 many of us became members of the Progressive Party, not only because we believed that the correction of abuses inevitably developed by uncontrolled industrialism should become a vital issue in federal politics, but also because we were convinced that this modern type of remedial legislation could be accomplished only through a new Party. We predicted the sacrifice of federal legislation and the control of local issues if the Democratic Party were elected; the sacrifice of the popular control of government and the ascendency of business interests if the Republican Party were placed in power.

Because of these beliefs, I, at least, was quite unprepared for the distinctive period in American politics developed under the brilliant Party leadership of President Wilson, when important federal measures were constantly passed for the national adjustment of nationwide problems by a Party whose political inheritance had tended hitherto to the State isolation of such problems.

The federal Child Labor Bill, for instance, striving to utilize the Interstate Commerce regulations for the protection of children in industry, which had been before Congress for ten years, was one of these measures. To my mind, believing as I do that the "inner consent" of the electorate is the crux of self-government, quite as important [page 2] as the passage of the Bill itself was the fact that it was enacted by a Party in power largely representing that section of the country from which the opposition had been most persistent.