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Title:The fall of the House of Cannon: Uncle Joe and his enemies, 1903-1910
Author(s):Rager, Scott William
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sutton, Robert M.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
History, United States
Abstract:Joseph Gurney Cannon, known more commonly as "Uncle Joe" by friend and foe alike, was among the most powerful and controversial politicians in the United States during the first decade of the twentieth century. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, he wielded more power than had any of his predecessors. Cannon was second to the president alone in ability to influence national affairs. Only a change in the rules of the House brought about by the Republican Insurgents in March of 1910 finally broke the Speaker's sway.
While the Insurgents indeed led the uprising which stripped Speaker Cannon of his power, several other groups--the Democrats, the press, organized labor, and temperance advocates--also contributed to his downfall. One purpose of this study is to evaluate the role played by these other "enemies" as well as that of the Insurgents in bringing about the "unhorseing" of Speaker Cannon.
Also included are treatments of Speaker Cannon's relationships with presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft and an examination of his unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1908.
Another objective of this study is to provide a synthesis which will bring the scholarship on Joseph Cannon up to date. In recent years scholars have paid Uncle Joe little attention; the last major study on Cannon, William Rea Gwinn's Uncle Joe Cannon: Archfoe of Insurgency, was completed in the late 1950's. Since that time, a considerable body of work has been generated which involves the Progressive Era and the issues surrounding Cannon and Cannonism. In order to bridge that gap this dissertation combines past and current scholarship in a way which will bring Speaker Cannon's significance to both Progressive Era politics and to the development of the House of Representatives into clearer focus.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Rager, Scott William
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136706
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136706

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