Progressivism in the United States: Wikis

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Satirical political cartoon that appeared in Puck magazine, October 9, 1915. The caption "I did not raise my girl to be a voter" parodies the antiwar song "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier". A chorus of disreputable men, each of whom represents a social problem, support a lone anti-suffrage woman.

Progressivism in the United States is a broadly-based reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th century and is generally considered to be middle class and reformist in nature. It arose as a response to the vast changes brought by modernization, such as the growth of large corporations and railroads, and fears of corruption in American politics. In the 21st century self-styled progressives continue to embrace concepts such as environmentalism and social justice[1]. Social progressivism, which states that governmental practices ought to be adjusted as society evolves, forms the ideological basis for many American progressives.

One historian defined progressivism as the "political movement that addresses ideas, impulses, and issues stemming from modernization of American society. Emerging at the end of the nineteenth century, it established much of the tone of American politics throughout the first half of the century."[2]

Contents

Tenets

Many of the principles that were laid out by the Progressive Movement focused on the need for efficiency in all areas of society, plus the elimination of waste and corruption. Purification to eliminate waste and corruption was a powerful element.[3]

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Democracy

Progressives such as William U'Ren and Robert La Follette argued that the average person should have more control over their government. The Oregon System of "Initiative, Referendum, and Recall" was exported to many states, including Idaho, Washington, and Wisconsin.[4] Many progressives, such as George M. Forbes—president of Rochester's Board of Education—hoped to make government in the U.S. more responsive to the direct voice of the American people when he said:

"[W]e are now intensely occupied in forging the tools of democracy, the direct primary, the initiative, the referendum, the recall, the short ballot, commission government. But in our enthusiasm we do not seem to be aware that these tools will be worthless unless they are used by those who are aflame with the sense of brotherhood...The idea [of the social centers movement is] to establish in each community an institution having a direct and vital relation to the welfare of the neighborhood, ward, or district, and also to the city as a whole"[5]

Philip J. Ethington seconds this high view of direct democracy saying

"initiatives, referendums, and recalls, along with direct primaries and the direct election of US Senators, were the core achievements of 'direct democracy' by the Progressive generation during the first two decades of the twentieth century."[6]

Progressives also fought for women's suffrage[7] and the elimination of supposedly corrupt black voters from the election booth.[8]

While the ultimate significance of the progressive movement on today's politics is still up for debate, Alonzo L. Hamby asks:

"What were the central themes that emerged from the cacophony [of progressivism]? Democracy or elitism? Social justice or social control? Small entrepreneurship or concentrated capitalism? And what was the impact of American foreign policy? Were the progressives isolationists or interventionists? Imperialists or advocates of national self-determination? And whatever they were, what was their motivation? Moralistic uptopianism? Muddled relativistic pragmatism? Hegemonic capitalism? Not surprisingly many battered scholars began to shout 'no mas!' In 1970, Peter Filene tried declared that the term 'progressivism' had become meaningless".[9]

Municipal administration

The Progressives typically concentrated on city and state government, looking for waste and better ways to provide services as the cities grew rapidly. These changes led to a more structured system, power that had been centralized within the legislature would now be more locally focused. The changes were made to the system to effectively make legal processes, market transactions, bureaucratic administration, and democracy easier to manage, thus putting them under the classification of ‘Municipal Administration’. There was also a change in authority for this system; it was believed that the authority that was not properly organized had now given authority to professionals, experts, and bureaucrats for these services. These changes led to a more solid type of municipal administration compared to the old system that was underdeveloped and poorly constructed.[10][11][12][13][14]

Efficiency

Many progressives such as Louis Brandeis hoped to make American governments better able to serve the people's needs by making governmental operations and services more efficient and rational. Rather than making legal arguments against ten hour workdays for women, he used "scientific principles" and data produced by social scientists documenting the high costs of long working hours for both individuals and society.[15] The progressives' quest for efficiency was sometimes at odds with the progressives' quest for democracy. Taking power out of the hands of elected officials and placing that power in the hands of professional administrators reduced the voice of the politicians and in turn reduced the voice of the people. Centralized decision-making by trained experts and reduced power for local wards made government less corrupt but more distant and isolated from the people it served. Progressives who emphasized the need for efficiency typically argued that trained independent experts could make better decisions than the local politicians.

One example of progressive reform was the rise of the city manager system, in which paid, professional administrators ran the day-to-day affairs of city governments under guidelines established by elected city councils.

After in-depth surveys, local and even state governments were reorganized to reduce the number of officials and to eliminate overlapping areas of authority between departments. City governments were reorganized to reduce the power of local ward bosses and to increase the powers of the city council. Governments at every level began developing budgets to help them plan their expenditures (rather than spending money haphazardly as needs arose and revenue became available). The drive for centralization was often associated with the rise of professional administrators.

Movements to eliminate governmental corruption

Corruption represented a source of waste and inefficiency in government. William U'Ren in Oregon, and LaFolette in Wisconsin, and others worked to clean up state and local governments by passing laws to weaken the power of machine politicians and political bosses. The Oregon System, which included a "Corrupt Practices Act", a public referendum, and a state-funded voter's pamphlet among other reforms was exported to other states in the northwest and Midwest. Its high point was in 1912, after which they detoured into a disastrous third party status.[16].

Education

Early progressive thinkers such as John Dewey and Lester Ward placed a universal and comprehensive system of education at the top of the progressive agenda, reasoning that if a democracy was to be successful, its leaders, the general public, needed a good education. [17] Progressives worked hard to expand and improve public and private education at all levels. Modernization of society, they believed, necessitated the compulsory education of all children, even if the parents objected. Progressives turned to educational researchers to evaluate the reform agenda by measuring numerous aspects of education, later leading to standardized testing. Many educational reforms and innovations generated during this period continued to influence debates and initiatives in American education for the remainder of the 20th century. One of the most apparent legacies of the Progressive Era left to American education was the perennial drive to reform schools and curricula, often as the product of energetic grass-roots movements in the city.[18]

Since progressivism was and continues to be 'in the eyes of the beholder,' progressive education encompasses very diverse and sometimes conflicting directions in educational policy. Such enduring legacies of the Progressive Era continue to interest historians. Progressive Era reformers stressed 'object teaching,' meeting the needs of particular constituencies within the school district, equal educational opportunity for boys and girls, and avoiding corporal punishment.[19]

Gamson (2003) examines the implementation of progressive reforms in three city school districts - Seattle, Washington; Oakland, California; and Denver, Colorado - during 1900-28. Historians of educational reform during the Progressive Era tend to highlight the fact that many progressive policies and reforms were very different and, at times, even contradictory. At the school district level, contradictory reform policies were often especially apparent, though there is little evidence of confusion among progressive school leaders in Seattle, Oakland, and Denver. District leaders in these cities, including Frank B. Cooper in Seattle and Fred M. Hunter in Oakland, often employed a seemingly contradictory set of reforms: local progressive educators consciously sought to operate independently of national progressive movements; they preferred reforms that were easy to implement; and they were encouraged to mix and blend diverse reforms that had been shown to work in other cities.[20]

The reformers emphasized professionalization and bureaucratization. The old system whereby ward politicians selected school employees was dropped in the case of teachers and replaced by a merit system requiring a college-level education in a normal school (teacher's college).[21] The rapid growth in size and complexity the large urban school systems facilitated stable employment for women teachers and provided senior teachers greater opportunities to mentor younger teachers. By 1900 in Providence, Rhode Island, most women remained as teachers for at least 17.5 years, indicating teaching had become a significant and desirable career path for women.[22]

Regulation of large corporations and monopolies

Many progressives hoped that by regulating large corporations they could liberate human energies from the restrictions imposed by industrial capitalism. Yet the progressive movement was split over which of the following solutions should be used to regulate corporations:

Trust busting

Pro labor progressives such as Samuel Gompers argued that industrial monopolies were unnatural economic institutions which suppressed the competition which was necessary for progress and improvement [23]. The federal government should intervene by breaking up monopolies into smaller companies, thereby restoring competition. The government should then withdraw and allow marketplace forces once again to regulate the economy. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft supported trust-busting.

Regulation

Progressives such as Benjamin Parke De Witt argued that in a modern economy, large corporations and even monopolies were both inevitable and desirable [24]. With their massive resources and economies of scale, large corporations offered the U.S. advantages which smaller companies could not offer. Yet, these large corporations might abuse their great power. The federal government should allow these companies to exist but regulate them for the public interest. President Theodore Roosevelt generally supported this idea.

Social work

Progressives set up training programs to ensure that welfare and charity work would be undertaken by trained professionals rather than warm-hearted amateurs.[25]

Jane Addams of Chicago's Hull House typified the leadership of residential, community centers operated by social workers and volunteers and located in inner city slums. The purpose of the settlement houses was to raise the standard of living of urbanites by providing adult education and cultural enrichment programs.[26]

Enactment of child labor laws

Child labor laws were designed to prevent the overworking of children in the newly emerging industries. The goal of these laws was to give working class children the opportunity to go to school and to mature more naturally, thereby liberating the potential of humanity and encouraging the advancement of humanity [27][28]

Support for the goals of organized labor

The American Federation of Labor under Samuel Gompers after 1907 moved to demand legal reforms that would support labor unions. Most of the support came from Democrats but Theodore Roosevelt and his third party also supported such goals as the eight-hour work day, improved safety and health conditions in factories, workers' compensation laws, and minimum wage laws for women.[29]

Prohibition

Susan B. Anthony was one of the many progressives who adopted the cause of prohibition. They claimed the consumption of alcohol limited mankind's potential for advancement. Progressives achieved success in this area with the enactment of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1919. However, this was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1933.

Conservationism

During the term of the progressive President Theodore Roosevelt (1901 – 1909), and influenced by the ideas of 'philosopher-scientists' such as, George Perkins Marsh, John Wesley Powell, Lester Frank Ward and W J McGee [30], the largest government-funded conservation-related projects in U.S. history were undertaken:

National parks and wildlife refuges

On March 14, 1903, President Roosevelt created the first National Bird Preserve, (the beginning of the Wildlife Refuge system), on Pelican Island, Florida. In all, by 1909, the Roosevelt administration had created an unprecedented 42 million acres (170,000 km²) of United States National Forests, 53 National Wildlife Refuges and 18 areas of "special interest", such as the Grand Canyon.

Reclamation

In addition, Roosevelt approved the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902, which gave subsidies for irrigation in sixteen western states. Another conservation-oriented bill was the Antiquities Act of 1906 that protected large areas of land. The Inland Waterways Commission was established in 1907 to control the United States' streams and waterways.[31]

Politics

In the early 20th century, politicians of the Democratic and Republican parties, Bull-Moose Republicans, Lincoln-Roosevelt League Republicans (in California) and the United States Progressive Party began to pursue social, environmental, political, and economic reforms. Chief among these aims was the pursuit of trustbusting (breaking up very large monopolies), support for labor unions, public health programs, decreased corruption in politics, and environmental conservation[32]

The Progressive Movement enlisted support from both major parties (and from minor parties as well). One leader, Bryan, had been linked to the Populist movement of the 1890s, while the other major leaders were opposed to Populism. When Roosevelt left the Republican party in 1912, he took with him many of the intellectual leaders of progressivism, but very few political leaders[33] The Republican party then became notably more committed to business-oriented and efficiency oriented progressivism, typified by Taft and Herbert Hoover.[34]

A social attitude underlying some forms of Progressivism has been populism, which can range from the political left to the political right. Populism has often manifested itself as a distrust of concentrations of power in the hands of politicians, corporations, families, and special interest groups, generating calls for purification and the rejection of rule by elites.[35]

Municipal reform

The Progressives were very active in reforming local government to introduce efficiency and weed out corruption. Many felt the saloon was the power base for corruption, so they tried to get rid of it. Other (like Jane Addams) promoted Settlement Houses.[36]. Many cities created municipal research bureaus, and did in-depth studies of budgets and the schools. Early municipal reformers included Hazen S. Pingree (mayor of Detroit in the 1890s)[37] and Tom L. Johnson in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1901, Johnson won election as mayor of Cleveland on a platform of just taxation, home rule for Ohio cities, and a 3-cent streetcar fare.[38]. Columbia University President Seth Low was elected mayor of New York City in 1901 on a reform ticket.[39]

Cultural progressivism

The foundation of the progressive tendency was rooted in the uniquely American philosophy of pragmatism, which was primarily developed by John Dewey and William James[40] [41]

Equally significant to progressive-era reform were the crusading journalists, known as muckrakers. These journalists revealed to middle class readers the evils of economic privilege, political corruption, and social injustice[citation needed]. Their articles appeared in McClure's Magazine and other reform periodicals. Some muckrakers focused on corporate abuses. Ida Tarbell, for instance, exposed the activities of the Standard Oil Company. In The Shame of the Cities (1904), Lincoln Steffens dissected corruption in city government. In Following the Color Line (1908), Ray Stannard Baker criticized race relations. Other muckrakers assailed the U.S. Senate, railroad practices, insurance companies, and fraud in patent medicine.

Novelists, too, revealed corporate injustices. Theodore Dreiser drew harsh portraits of a type of ruthless businessman in The Financier (1912) and The Titan (1914). In The Jungle (1906), Socialist Upton Sinclair repelled readers with descriptions of Chicago’s meatpacking plants, and his work led to support for remedial food safety legislation.

Leading intellectuals also shaped the progressive mentality. In Dynamic Sociology (1883) Lester Frank Ward laid out the philosophical foundations of the Progressive movement and attacked the laissez-faire policies advocated by Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner.[42] In The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), Thorstein Veblen attacked the “conspicuous consumption” of the wealthy. Educator John Dewey emphasized a child-centered philosophy of pedagogy, known as progressive education, which affected schoolrooms for three generations.[43]

Other progressive movements

Following the first progressive movement of the early 20th century, later groups have also used the term "progressive".

Second progressive movement

The second progressive movement got underway in 1924. This time the key leadership role was fulfilled by Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette. La Follette campaigned for such things as direct elections in primaries, fairer taxation, conservation of natural resources, control of lobbyists, and banking reform. He vigorously opposed both oligarchy -- government by a tiny elite—and plutocracy (government of, by, and for the wealthy).

Third progressive movement

The third progressive movement was initiated in 1947 by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, who ran for president in 1948, attracting support from voters who were disillusioned by the Cold War policies of Democrat Harry S. Truman. Many progressives were uncomfortable with Wallace's religiosity, but were nonetheless admirers of his call for a sort of global "New Deal" and his advocacy of better relations with the Soviet Union.

Contemporary progressivism

The fourth and current liberal Progressive movement grew out of social activism movements, Naderite and populist left political movements in conjunction with the civil rights, GLBT (Gay rights), women's or feminist, and environmental movements of the 1960s-1980s.[44] This exists as a cluster of political, activist, and media organizations ranging in outlook from centrism (eg. Reform Party of the United States of America) to left-liberalism to social democracy (like the Green Party) and sometimes even democratic socialism (like the Socialist Party USA).

Modern American progressivism includes political figures such as Barack Obama who calls himself a progressive, as do Joe Biden[45], Hillary Clinton[46], John Kerry[47] Bernie Sanders, Russ Feingold, Al Franken, Debbie Stabenow, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Cynthia McKinney, John Edwards, Sherrod Brown, Kathleen Sebelius, David McReynolds, Ralph Nader, Howard Dean, Peter Camejo, Al Gore, and the late Paul Wellstone and Ted Kennedy. Also in this category are many leaders in the women's movement, cosmopolitanism, the labor movement, the American civil rights movement, the environmental movement, the immigrant rights movement, and the gay and lesbian rights movement. Other well-known progressives include Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, George Lakoff, Michael Lerner, and Urvashi Vaid.

Significant publications include The Progressive magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Huffington Post, Mother Jones, In These Times, CounterPunch, and AlterNet.org. Broadcasting outlets include Air America Radio, the Pacifica Radio network, Democracy Now!, and certain community radio stations. Notable media voices include Cenk Uygur, Alexander Cockburn, Barbara Ehrenreich, Juan Gonzalez, Amy Goodman, Thom Hartmann, Arianna Huffington, Jim Hightower, the late Molly Ivins, Ron Reagan, Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher, Stephanie Miller, Mike Malloy, Keith Olbermann, Greg Palast, Randi Rhodes, Betsy Rosenberg, Ed Schultz, David Sirota, and The Young Turks (talk show).

Modern issues for progressives can include[citation needed]: electoral reform (including instant runoff voting, proportional representation and fusion candidates), environmental conservation, pollution control and environmentalism, same-sex marriage, easy access to abortion, universal health care, abolition of the death penalty, affordable housing, a viable Social Security System, renewable energy, smart growth urban development, a living wage and pro-union policies, among many others.

Examples of the broad range of progressive texts include: New Age Politics by Mark Satin; Why Americans Hate Politics by E.J. Dionne, Jr.; Community Building: Renewing Spirit & Learning in Business edited by Kazimierz Gozdz; Ecopolitics: Building a Green Society by Daniel Coleman; and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.

The main current national progressive parties are the Democratic Party and the Green Party of the United States. The Democratic Party has major-party status in all fifty States, while there are state Green Parties or affiliates with the national Green Party in most states. The most successful non-major state-level progressive party is the Vermont Progressive Party. However, progressives often shy away from parties and align within more community-oriented activist groups, coalitions and networks, such as the Maine People's Alliance and Northeast Action.

See also

References

  1. ^<"Progressivism". The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05.. http://www.bartleby.com/65/pr/progrsvsm.html. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  2. ^ Alonzo L. Harriby, "Progressivism: A Century of Change and Rebirth," in Progressivism and the New Democracy," ed. Sidney M. Milkis and Jerome M. Mileur (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999), 40 also notes that "a plethora of scholarship in the last half of the 1950s left the old consensus [about progressives] in shreds while producing a plethora of alternative views that defy rational synthesis."
  3. ^ Link maintains that the majority of progressive wanted to wanted to purify politics. Link (1954); The "progressives strove to purify politics," concludes Vincent P. De Santis, The shaping of modern America, 1877-1920 (1999) p. 171. In the South, "purification" meant taking the vote away from blacks according to Jimmie Franklin, "Blacks and the Progressive Movement: Emergence of a New Synthesis," Organization of American Historians online.
  4. ^ See the Wisconsin Historical Society's early documents from La Follette's campaign at<Turning Points In Wisconsin History - La Follette campaign literature, 2. To the People of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Historical Society Digital Collection where the literature argued that, "La Follette has ever sought to give the people greater power over their affairs. He has favored and now favors the direct election of senators...">
  5. ^ Quoted in Sidney M. Milkis and Jerome M. Mileur, "Progressivism and the New Democracy," (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999) 19-20
  6. ^ Philip J. Ethington, "The Metropolis and Multicultural Ethics: Direct Democracy versus Deliberative Democracy in the Progressive Era," in Progressivism and the New Democracy, ed. Sidney M. Milkis and Jerome M. Mileur (Amherst: Massachusetts University Press, 1999), 193
  7. ^ Aileen Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement (1965)
  8. ^ Michael Perman.Struggle for Mastery: Disfranchisement in the South, 1888-1908. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001, Introduction pp 185, 223, 298
  9. ^ Quoted in Sidney M. Milkis and Jerome M. Mileur, "Progressivism and the New Democracy," (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999) 42
  10. ^ Joseph L. Tropea, "Rational Capitalism and Municipal Government: The Progressive Era." Social Science History (1989): 137-158
  11. ^ Michael H. Ebner and Eugene M. Tobin, eds., The Age of Urban Reform, (1977)
  12. ^ Bradley Robert Rice, Progressive cities: the commission government movement in America, 1901-1920‎ (1977)
  13. ^ Martin J. Schiesl, The politics of efficiency: municipal reform in the Progressive Era 1880-1920‎ (1972)
  14. ^ Kenneth Fox, Better city government: innovation in American urban politics, 1850-1937‎ (1977)
  15. ^ The Americans: Reconstruction to the 21st Century (Evanston: McDougall Littell, 2006), 308
  16. ^ Schwantes, Carlos (1996). ""The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive Anthology"". University of Nebraska Press. http://books.google.com/books?id=JImlIbueaXcC&pg=PA347&dq=progressive+u%27ren+oregon. 
  17. ^ Ravitch, Diane; Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms; Simon & Schuster
  18. ^ William J. Reese, Power and the Promise of School Reform: Grassroots Movements during the Progressive Era (1986)
  19. ^ Kathleen A. Murphey, "Common School or 'One Best System'? Tracking School Reform in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1853-75" Historical Studies in Education 1999 11(2): 188-211
  20. ^ David A. Gamson, "District Progressivism: Rethinking Reform in Urban School Systems, 1900-1928," Paedagogica Historica 2003 39(4): 417-434
  21. ^ The politicians still picked the school janitors.
  22. ^ Victoria-María Macdonald, "The Paradox of Bureaucratization: New Views on Progressive Era Teachers and the Development of a Woman's Profession," History of Education Quarterly 1999 39(4): 427-453
  23. ^ The American federationist, Samuel Gompers, John McBride, William Green, AFL-CIO., American Federation of Labor
  24. ^ The American federationist, Samuel Gompers, John McBride, William Green, AFL-CIO., American Federation of Labor
  25. ^ Mina Carson, Settlement Folk: Social Thought and the American Settlement Movement, 1885-1930 (1990)
  26. ^ Judith Ann Trolander, "Hull-House and the Settlement House Movement: A Centennial Reassessment," Journal of Urban History 1991 17(4): 410-420
  27. ^ Walter I. Trattner, Crusade for the Children: A History of the National Child Labor Committee and Child Labor Reform in America (1970)
  28. ^ Hugh D. Hindman, Child Labor: An American History (2002). 431 pp
  29. ^ Julie Greene, Pure and Simple Politics: The American Federation of Labor and Political Activism, 1881-1917 (1998)
  30. ^ Ross, John R.; Man Over Nature - Origins of the Conservation Movement [1]
  31. ^ ""Conservationist - Life of Theodore Roosevelt"". Theodore Roosevelt Association. http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/life/conservation.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  32. ^ Buenker and Burnham (2006)
  33. ^ Lewis Gould, Four hats in the ring: the 1912 election and the birth of modern American Politics (2008)
  34. ^ Joan Hoff Wilson, Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive (1975)
  35. ^ Michael Kazin, The Populist Persuasion: An American History‎ (1998)
  36. ^ John D. Buenker, ed. Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (2005)
  37. ^ Melvin G. Holli, Reform in Detroit: Hazen S. Pingree and Urban Politics (1969)
  38. ^ Eugene C. Murdock, Tom Johnson in Cleveland (1994)
  39. ^ L. E. Fredman, "Seth Low: Theorist of Municipal Reform," Journal of American Studies 1972 6(1): 19-39,
  40. ^ Robert Brett Westbrook, John Dewey and American democracy‎ (1991)
  41. ^ Henry Steele Commager, The American Mind (1952)
  42. ^ Henry Steele Commager, The American Mind (1952)
  43. ^ United States History - MSN Encarta
  44. ^ A Brief history of American Progressivism
  45. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/opinion/20biden.html?_r=3
  46. ^ Clift, Eleanor (2009-03-13). "A Progressive Moment". Newsweek (Newsweek, Inc.). http://www.newsweek.com/id/189122. Retrieved 2009-06-12. ""Obama calls himself a progressive..."" 
  47. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-kerry/why-this-progressive-is-s_b_414968.html

Further reading

Overviews of Progressive Movement

  • Buenker, John D., John C. Burnham, and Robert M. Crunden. Progressivism (1986) short overview
  • Buenker, John D. and Joseph Buenker, Eds. Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. (2005) 1290 pp. in three volumes. . 900 articles by 200 scholars
  • Buenker, John D. ed. Dictionary of the Progressive Era (1980), short articles by scholars
  • Chambers, John Whiteclay, II. The Tyranny of Change: America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1920 (2000), textbook excerpt and text search
  • Crunden, Robert M. Ministers of Reform: The Progressives' Achievement in American Civilization, 1889-1920 (1982) excerpt and text search
  • Diner, Steven J. A Very Different Age: Americans of the Progressive Era (1998) excerpt and text search
  • Flanagan, Maureen. America Reformed: Progressives and Progressivisms, 1890s-1920s (2007).
  • Gilmore, Glenda Elizabeth. Who Were the Progressives? (2002)
  • Gould Lewis L. America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1914" (2000) excerpt and text search
  • Gould Lewis L. ed., The Progressive Era (1974), essays by scholars
  • Hays, Samuel P. The Response to Industrialism, 1885-1914 (1957), old but influential short survey
  • Hofstadter, Richard The Age of Reform (1954), Pulitzer Prize, but now sadly outdated
  • Jensen, Richard. "Democracy, Republicanism and Efficiency: The Values of American Politics, 1885-1930," in Byron Shafer and Anthony Badger, eds, Contesting Democracy: Substance and Structure in American Political History, 1775-2000 (U of Kansas Press, 2001) pp 149-180; online version
  • Kennedy, David M. ed., Progressivism: The Critical Issues (1971), readings
  • Kloppenberg, James T. Uncertain victory: social democracy and progressivism in European and American thought, 1870-1920 1986 online at ACLS e-books
  • Leuchtenburg, William E. "Progressivism and Imperialism: The Progressive Movement and American Foreign Policy, 1898-1916," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 39, No. 3. (Dec., 1952), pp. 483-504. JSTOR
  • Link, Arthur S. Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era: 1913-1917 (1954), standard scholarly survey
  • Link, Arthur S. Wilson: The Road to the White House (1947), first volume of standard biography (to 1917); Wilson: The New Freedom (1956); Wilson: The Struggle for Neutrality: 1914-1915 (1960); Wilson: Confusions and Crises: 1915-1916 (1964); Wilson: Campaigns for Progressivism and Peace: 1916-1917 (1965), the last volume of standard biography. all 5 volumes are online free (if you have a account) at ACLS e-books
  • Mann, Arthur. ed., The Progressive Era (1975), readings from scholars
  • Lasch, Christopher. The True and Only Heaven: Progress and its Critics (1991) excerpt and text search
  • McGerr, Michael. A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920 (2003)
  • Mowry, George. The Era of Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of Modern America, 1900-1912. (1954) general survey of era
  • Noggle, Burl. "The Twenties: A New Historiographical Frontier," The Journal of American History, Vol. 53, No. 2. (Sep., 1966), pp. 299-314. in JSTOR
  • Perry, Elisabeth Israels and Karen Manners Smith, eds. The Gilded Age & Progressive Era: A Student Companion (2006)
  • Piott, Steven. American Reformers 1870-1920 (2006). 240 pp. biographies of 12 leaders online review
  • Thelen, David P. "Social Tensions and the Origins of Progressivism," Journal of American History 56 (1969), 323-341 JSTOR
  • Wiebe, Robert. The Search For Order, 1877-1920 (1967) highly influential interpretation

National politics

  • Blum, John Morton The Republican Roosevelt. (1954). Series of essays that examine how TR did politics
  • Brands, H.W. Theodore Roosevelt (2001), biography online edition
  • Clements, Kendrick A. The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1992) excerpt and text search
  • Coletta, Paolo. The Presidency of William Howard Taft (1990) excerpt and text search
  • Cooper, John Milton The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. (1983), influential dual biography excerpt and text search
  • Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt (1991) excerpt and text search
  • Harbaugh, William Henry. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. (1963); also titled "Power and Responsibility; very good political biography excerpt and text search
  • Harrison, Robert. Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State (2004) excerpt and text search
  • Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition (1948), ch. 8-9-10 on Bryan, Roosevelt and Wilson. excerpt and text search
  • Link, Arthur Stanley. Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, 1910-1917 (1972), standard history
  • Morris, Edmund Theodore Rex. (2001), very well written biography of Theodore Roosevelt covers 1901-1909 excerpt and text search
  • Mowry, George E. Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement. (2001) standard history of 1912 movement
  • Sanders, Elizabeth. Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers and the American State, 1877-1917 (1999) excerpt and text search
  • Wilson, Joan Hoff. Herbert Hoover, Forgotten Progressive (1965), favorable to Hoover

External links


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