Demand For Direct Vote At Primaries

From Our Collections Print and Picture Cartoon Collection
Demand For Direct Vote At Primaries

Item Info

Item No: PIXC00047
Title: Demand For Direct Vote At Primaries
Creation Date: 3/17/1912
Publication Date: 3/17/1912
Media Type: Cartoons (Commentary)
Source: Print and Picture Collection

The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1913 and gave the citizens the responsibility of directly electing U.S. Senators. Prior to this amendment, state legislatures chose which candidates would run for the office. This often resulted in undue influence by special interests and corrupt political machines.
Drawn a month before the amendment's passage, this cartoon depicts the demand for direct elections as a hungry alligator or crocodile. It has chased Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Boies Penrose and then President William Howard Taft up a tree to escape. Both politicians were considered enmeshed in the machine politics that direct elections would not benefit.

Our Documents: 100 Milestone Documents from the National Archives. (n.d.). 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Direct Election of U.S. Senators (1913). Retrieved from:

Country: Country:United States

Creator Name: Bradford, Walter R. (1872-1925) - Artist