Why Was the Bull Moose Party Formed?

The Bull Moose Party formed as a splinter group within the Republican Party owing to significant unhappiness among a number of members regarding the renomination of President William Howard Taft, who they didn't believe represented the party's broader interests. Also know as the Progressive Party, the group chose Theodore Roosevelt, the nation's 26th president, to serve as its official presidential nominee.

According to the History Channel, the Bull Moose Party platform called for women's suffrage, the direct election of U.S. senators, a decreased tariff and a host of social reforms. The party was most active from 1901 through 1909. It touted Roosevelt's "Square Deal," the notion of a society based on adequate financial support for the needy and fair competition among businesses.

An anarchist named William Schrenk shot Roosevelt at close range in 1912, later telling authorities he didn't believe he should be seeking a third term as president. Although Roosevelt survived the incident, he was defeated in his bid for the presidency. According to the History Channel, Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic candidate, won based on the division within the Republican Party. The Bull Moose Party fell apart shortly after the election, with most members returning to the Republican Party fold.