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Progressivism in the United States

Progressivism in the United States

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Encyclopedia
Progressivism in the United States is a broadly based reform movement
Reform movement
A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society, rather than rapid or fundamental changes...

 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
Modernization
In the social sciences, modernization or modernisation refers to a model of an evolutionary transition from a 'pre-modern' or 'traditional' to a 'modern' society. The teleology of modernization is described in social evolutionism theories, existing as a template that has been generally followed by...

, such as the growth of large corporations and railroads, and fears of corruption in American politics. In the 21st century, progressives continue to embrace concepts such as environmentalism
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 and social justice
Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

. Social progressivism, the view that governmental practices ought to be adjusted as society evolves, forms the ideological basis for many American progressives.

One historian defined progressivism
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 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."

Progressive Era



Historians debate the exact contours, but generally date the "Progressive Era
Progressive Era
The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

" from the 1890s to either World War I or the onset of the Great Depression.

Many of the core principles of the Progressive Movement focused on the need for efficiency in all areas of society. Purification to eliminate waste and corruption was a powerful element. According to historian William Leuchtenburg
William Leuchtenburg
William E. Leuchtenburg is William Rand Kenan Jr. professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Chapel Hill and a leading scholar of the life and career of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He is the author of more than a dozen books on 20th century history ,...

:

The Progressives believed in the Hamiltonian concept of positive government, of a national government directing the destinies of the nation at home and abroad. They had little but contempt for the strict construction of the Constitution by conservative judges, who would restrict the power of the national government to act against social evils and to extend the blessings of democracy to less favored lands. The real enemy was particularism, state rights, limited government.

Democracy


Progressives such as William U'Ren and Robert La Follette
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

 argued that the average citizen should have more control over his government. The Oregon System of "Initiative, Referendum, and Recall" was exported to many states, including Idaho, Washington, and Wisconsin. Many progressives, such as George M. Forbes —president of Rochester's
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

 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


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.


Progressives also fought for women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 and the elimination of supposedly corrupt black voters from the election booth.

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 utopianism? 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.

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.

Efficiency


Many progressives such as Louis Brandeis
Louis Brandeis
Louis Dembitz Brandeis ; November 13, 1856 – October 5, 1941) was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939.He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Jewish immigrant parents who raised him in a secular mode...

 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.
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
City manager
A city manager is an official appointed as the administrative manager of a city, in a council-manager form of city government. Local officials serving in this position are sometimes referred to as the chief executive officer or chief administrative officer in some municipalities...

 system, in which paid, professional administrators ran the day-to-day affairs of city governments under guidelines established by elected city council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

s.

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
Political machine
A political machine is a political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses , who receive rewards for their efforts...

 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.

Education


Early progressive thinkers such as John Dewey
John Dewey
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology...

 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. 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.

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.

examines the implementation of progressive reforms in three city school districts—Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

, Oakland, California
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

, and Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

—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.

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). 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.

Regulation of large corporations and monopolies


Many progressives hoped that by regulating large corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s they could liberate human energies from the restrictions imposed by industrial capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

. 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
Samuel Gompers
Samuel Gompers was an English-born American cigar maker who became a labor union leader and a key figure in American labor history. Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor , and served as that organization's president from 1886 to 1894 and from 1895 until his death in 1924...

 argued that industrial monopolies were unnatural economic institutions which suppressed the competition which was necessary for progress and improvement. United States antitrust law is the body of law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

s that prohibits anti-competitive behavior (monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

) and unfair business practices
Unfair business practices
Unfair business practices encompass fraud, misrepresentation, and oppressive or unconscionable acts or practices by business, often against consumers and are prohibited by law in many countries. For instance, in the European Union, each member state must regulate unfair business practices in...

. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 and William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

 supported trust-busting.

Regulation


Progressives such as Benjamin Parke De Witt argued that in a modern economy
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

, large corporations and even monopolies were both inevitable and desirable. 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
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 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.

Jane Addams
Jane Addams
Jane Addams was a pioneer settlement worker, founder of Hull House in Chicago, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in woman suffrage and world peace...

 of Chicago's Hull House
Hull House
Hull House is a settlement house in the United States that was co-founded in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. Located in the Near West Side of , Hull House opened its doors to the recently arrived European immigrants. By 1911, Hull House had grown to 13 buildings. In 1912 the Hull...

 typified the leadership of residential, community centers operated by social workers and volunteers and located in inner city slum
Slum
A slum, as defined by United Nations agency UN-HABITAT, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from 47 percent to 37 percent in the...

s. The purpose of the settlement houses was to raise the standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

 of urbanites by providing adult education and cultural enrichment programs.

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
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 children the opportunity to go to school and to mature more naturally, thereby liberating the potential of humanity and encouraging the advancement of humanity.

Support for the goals of organized labor


The American Federation of Labor
American Federation of Labor
The American Federation of Labor was one of the first federations of labor unions in the United States. It was founded in 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor, a national labor association. Samuel Gompers was elected president of the Federation at its...

 under Samuel Gompers
Samuel Gompers
Samuel Gompers was an English-born American cigar maker who became a labor union leader and a key figure in American labor history. Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor , and served as that organization's president from 1886 to 1894 and from 1895 until his death in 1924...

 after 1907 moved to demand legal reforms that would support labor unions. Most of the support came from Democrats but Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 and his third party also supported such goals as the eight-hour work day, improved safety and health conditions in factories, workers' compensation
Workers' compensation
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence...

 laws, and minimum wage
Minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

 laws for women.

Prohibition


Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony
Susan Brownell Anthony was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President...

 was one of the many progressives who adopted the cause of prohibition. They claimed the consumption of alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 limited mankind's potential for advancement. Progressives achieved success in this area with the enactment of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Eighteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution established Prohibition in the United States. The separate Volstead Act set down methods of enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, and defined which "intoxicating liquors" were prohibited, and which were excluded from prohibition...

 in 1919. However, this was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which had mandated nationwide Prohibition...

 in 1933.

Conservationism


During the term of the progressive President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 (1901–1909), and influenced by the ideas of 'philosopher-scientists' such as George Perkins Marsh
George Perkins Marsh
George Perkins Marsh , an American diplomat and philologist, is considered by some to be America's first environmentalist, although "conservationist" would be more accurate...

, John Wesley Powell
John Wesley Powell
John Wesley Powell was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions...

, Lester Frank Ward
Lester Frank Ward
Lester F. Ward was an American botanist, paleontologist, and sociologist. He served as the first president of the American Sociological Association.-Biography:...

 and W J McGee, 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
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. In all, by 1909, the Roosevelt administration had created an unprecedented 42 million acres (170,000 km²) of United States National Forest
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

s, 53 National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world's premiere system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants...

s and 18 areas of "special interest", such as the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park, the 15th national park in the United States...

.

Reclamation


In addition, Roosevelt approved the Newlands Reclamation Act
Newlands Reclamation Act
The Reclamation Act of 1902 is a United States federal law that funded irrigation projects for the arid lands of 20 states in the American West....

 of 1902, which gave subsidies for irrigation in sixteen western states. Another conservation-oriented bill was the Antiquities Act
Antiquities Act
The Antiquities Act of 1906, officially An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities , is an act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906, giving the President of the United States authority to, by executive order, restrict the use of...

 of 1906 that protected large areas of land. The Inland Waterways Commission was appointed by Roosevelt on March 14, 1907 to study the river systems of the United States, including the development of water power, flood control, and land reclamation..

Politics


In the early 20th century, politicians of the Democratic
History of the United States Democratic Party
The history of the Democratic Party of the United States is an account of the oldest political party in the United States and arguably the oldest democratic party in the world....

 and Republican
History of the United States Republican Party
The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States after its great rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous...

 parties, Bull-Moose Republicans, Lincoln–Roosevelt League Republicans (in California) and the United States Progressive Party
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

 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

The Progressive Movement enlisted support from both major parties (and from minor parties as well). One leader, William Jennings Bryan, had been linked to the Populist
Populist Party (United States)
The People's Party, also known as the "Populists", was a short-lived political party in the United States established in 1891. It was most important in 1892-96, then rapidly faded away...

 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. The Republican Party then became notably more committed to business-oriented and efficiency oriented progressivism, typified by Taft and Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

.

A social attitude underlying some forms of Progressivism has been populism
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

, 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.

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. Others (like Jane Addams) promoted Settlement Houses
Settlement movement
The settlement movement was a reformist social movement, beginning in the 1880s and peaking around the 1920s in England and the US, with a goal of getting the rich and poor in society to live more closely together in an interdependent community...

. Many cities created municipal research bureaus, and did in-depth studies of budgets and the schools. Early municipal reformers included Hazen S. Pingree
Hazen S. Pingree
Hazen Stuart Pingree was a four-term Republican mayor of Detroit and the 24th Governor of the US state of Michigan .-Early life in Maine and Massachusetts:...

 (mayor of Detroit in the 1890s) and Tom L. Johnson
Tom L. Johnson
Thomas Loftin Johnson , better known as Tom L. Johnson, was an American politician of the Democratic Party from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He headed relief efforts after the Johnstown, Pennsylvania floods of 1889, was a U.S. Representative from 1891–1895 and the 35th mayor of...

 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. Columbia University President Seth Low
Seth Low
Seth Low , born in Brooklyn, New York, was an American educator and political figure who served as mayor of Brooklyn, as President of Columbia University, as diplomatic representative of the United States, and as Mayor of New York City...

 was elected mayor of New York City in 1901 on a reform ticket.

Cultural progressivism


The foundation of the progressive tendency was rooted in the uniquely American philosophy of pragmatism
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

, which was primarily developed by John Dewey
John Dewey
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology...

 and William James
William James
William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...



Equally significant to progressive-era reform were the crusading journalists, known as muckraker
Muckraker
The term muckraker is closely associated with reform-oriented journalists who wrote largely for popular magazines, continued a tradition of investigative journalism reporting, and emerged in the United States after 1900 and continued to be influential until World War I, when through a combination...

s. These journalists publicized, to middle class readers, economic privilege, political corruption, and social injustice. 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
The Shame of the Cities
The Shame of the Cities was a work published in 1904 by Lincoln Steffens that sought to expose public corruption in many major cities throughout the United States. The work consists of articles written for the magazine McClure's in one collection. His goal was to provoke public outcry and thus...

 (1904), Lincoln Steffens
Lincoln Steffens
-Biography:Steffens was born April 6, 1866, in San Francisco. He grew up in a wealthy family and attended a military academy. He studied in France and Germany after graduating from the University of California....

 dissected corruption in city government. In Following the Color Line (1908), Ray Stannard Baker
Ray Stannard Baker
Ray Stannard Baker , also known by his pen name David Grayson, was an American journalist and author born in Lansing, Michigan...

 criticized race relations. Other muckrakers assailed the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, railroad companies, insurance companies, and fraud in patent medicine
Patent medicine
Patent medicine refers to medical compounds of questionable effectiveness sold under a variety of names and labels. The term "patent medicine" is somewhat of a misnomer because, in most cases, although many of the products were trademarked, they were never patented...

.

Novelists, too, criticized corporate injustices. Theodore Dreiser
Theodore Dreiser
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist of the naturalist school. His novels often featured main characters who succeeded at their objectives despite a lack of a firm moral code, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of...

 drew harsh portraits of a type of ruthless businessman in The Financier
The Financier
Published in 1912, The Financier, a novel by Theodore Dreiser, is the first volume of the Trilogy of Desire, which includes The Titan and The Stoic .-Plot summary:...

 (1912) and The Titan
The Titan
The Titan is a novel written by Theodore Dreiser in 1914. It is Dreiser's sequel to The Financier.-Plot summary:Cowperwood moves to Chicago with his new wife Aileen. He decides to take over the street-railway system. He bankrupts several opponents with the help of John J. McKenty and other...

 (1914). In The Jungle
The Jungle
The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by journalist Upton Sinclair. Sinclair wrote the novel with the intention of portraying the life of the immigrant in the United States, but readers were more concerned with the large portion of the book pertaining to the corruption of the American meatpacking...

 (1906), Socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. , was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle . It exposed conditions in the U.S...

 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
Lester Frank Ward
Lester F. Ward was an American botanist, paleontologist, and sociologist. He served as the first president of the American Sociological Association.-Biography:...

 laid out the philosophical foundations of the Progressive movement and attacked the laissez-faire policies advocated by Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer
Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era....

 and William Graham Sumner
William Graham Sumner
William Graham Sumner was an American academic and "held the first professorship in sociology" at Yale College. For many years he had a reputation as one of the most influential teachers there. He was a polymath with numerous books and essays on American history, economic history, political...

. In The Theory of the Leisure Class
The Theory of the Leisure Class
The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions is a book, first published in 1899, by the Norwegian-American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago....

 (1899), Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Bunde Veblen, born Torsten Bunde Veblen was an American economist and sociologist, and a leader of the so-called institutional economics movement...

 attacked the “conspicuous consumption” of the wealthy. Educator John Dewey
John Dewey
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology...

 emphasized a child-centered philosophy of pedagogy, known as progressive education, which affected schoolrooms for three generations.

Other progressive movements


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

Second progressive movement


In 1924, Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

 ran for president on the "Progressive party" ticket. La Follette won the support of labor unions, Germans and Socialists by crusading against both oligarchy
Oligarchy
Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, commercial, and/or military legitimacy...

—rule by a tiny elite—and plutocracy
Plutocracy
Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy. The word plutocracy is derived from the Ancient Greek root ploutos, meaning wealth and kratos, meaning to rule or to govern.-Usage:The term plutocracy is generally...

 (government of, by, and for the wealthy). He carried Wisconsin.

Third progressive movement


The third progressive movement was initiated in 1947 by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace
Henry A. Wallace
Henry Agard Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States , the Secretary of Agriculture , and the Secretary of Commerce . In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace was the nominee of the Progressive Party.-Early life:Henry A...

, who ran for president in 1948, attracting support from voters who were disillusioned by the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 policies of Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

. Many progressives were uncomfortable with Wallace's religiosity, but were nonetheless admirers of his call for a sort of global "New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

" and his advocacy of better relations with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

Contemporary progressivism



The fourth and current liberal Progressive movement grew out of social activism movements
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

, 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. This exists as a cluster of political, activist, and media organizations ranging in outlook from centrism
Centrism
In politics, centrism is the ideal or the practice of promoting policies that lie different from the standard political left and political right. Most commonly, this is visualized as part of the one-dimensional political spectrum of left-right politics, with centrism landing in the middle between...

 (e.g., Reform Party of the United States of America
Reform Party of the United States of America
The Reform Party of the United States of America is a political party in the United States, founded in 1995 by Ross Perot...

) to left-liberalism to social democracy
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 (like the Green Party
Green Party (United States)
The Green Party of the United States is a nationally recognized political party which officially formed in 1991. It is a voluntary association of state green parties. Prior to national formation, many state affiliates had already formed and were recognized by other state parties...

) and sometimes even democratic socialism
Democratic socialism
Democratic socialism is a description used by various socialist movements and organizations to emphasize the democratic character of their political orientation...

 (like the Socialist Party USA
Socialist Party USA
The Socialist Party USA is a multi-tendency democratic-socialist party in the United States. The party states that it is the rightful continuation and successor to the tradition of the Socialist Party of America, which had lasted from 1901 to 1972.The party is officially committed to left-wing...

).

While many contemporary Democratic party leaders and Green Party leaders have at times called themselves "progressives," the term is usually self-applied by those on or to the left of the Democratic party, Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders
Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is the junior United States Senator from Vermont. He previously represented Vermont's at-large district in the United States House of Representatives...

, Russ Feingold
Russ Feingold
Russell Dana "Russ" Feingold is an American politician from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He served as a Democratic party member of the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011. From 1983 to 1993, Feingold was a Wisconsin State Senator representing the 27th District.He is a recipient of the John F...

, Al Franken
Al Franken
Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which affiliates with the national Democratic Party....

, Debbie Stabenow
Debbie Stabenow
Deborah Ann Greer "Debbie" Stabenow is the junior United States Senator from Michigan and a member of the Democratic Party. Before her election to the U.S. Senate, she was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Michigan's 8th congressional district from 1997 to 2001...

, Dennis Kucinich
Dennis Kucinich
Dennis John Kucinich is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997. He was furthermore a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections....

, Alan Grayson
Alan Grayson
Alan Mark Grayson is a former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2009 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party and loves cookies. After losing the election he moved to Austin to start stand-up comedy and a cookie business. The district Grayson represented lies in central Florida...

, Mike Gravel
Mike Gravel
Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election....

, Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia Ann McKinney is a former US Congresswoman and a member of the Green Party since 2007. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served six terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives. In 2008, the Green Party nominated McKinney for President of the United States...

 (The Green Party candidate for President in 2008), John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

, Sherrod Brown
Sherrod Brown
Sherrod Campbell Brown is the senior United States Senator from Ohio and a member of the Democratic Party. Before his election to the U.S. Senate, he was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Ohio's 13th congressional district from 1993 to 2007...

, Kathleen Sebelius
Kathleen Sebelius
Kathleen Sebelius is an American politician currently serving as the 21st Secretary of Health and Human Services. She was the second female Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, the Democratic respondent to the 2008 State of the Union address, and chair-emerita of the Democratic Governors...

, David McReynolds
David McReynolds
David McReynolds is an American democratic socialist and pacifist activist who described himself as "a peace movement bureaucrat" during his 40-year career with Liberation magazine and the War Resisters League...

, Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

 (The Green Party presidential candidate in 2000), Howard Dean
Howard Dean
Howard Brush Dean III is an American politician and physician from Vermont. He served six terms as the 79th Governor of Vermont and ran unsuccessfully for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. Although his U.S...

, Peter Camejo
Peter Camejo
Peter Miguel Camejo was an American author, activist and politician. In the 2004 United States presidential election, he was selected by independent candidate Ralph Nader as his vice-presidential running mate on a ticket which had the endorsement of the Reform Party.Camejo was a three-time Green...

, Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

, and the late Paul Wellstone
Paul Wellstone
Paul David Wellstone was a two-term U.S. Senator from the state of Minnesota and member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which is affiliated with the national Democratic Party. Before being elected to the Senate in 1990, he was a professor of political science at Carleton College...

 and Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

. At the same time, the term is also applied to many leaders in the women's movement, cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism
Cosmopolitanism is the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality. This is contrasted with communitarian and particularistic theories, especially the ideas of patriotism and nationalism...

, the labor movement, the American civil rights movement, the environmental movement
Environmental movement
The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues....

, the immigrant rights movement, and the gay and lesbian rights movement.

Other well-known progressives include Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

, Cornel West
Cornel West
Cornel Ronald West is an American philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America....

, Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn was an American historian, academic, author, playwright, and social activist. Before and during his tenure as a political science professor at Boston University from 1964-88 he wrote more than 20 books, which included his best-selling and influential A People's History of the United...

, Michael Parenti
Michael Parenti
Michael Parenti is an award-winning, internationally known American political scientist, historian, and culture critic who has been writing on a wide range of both scholarly and popular subjects for over forty years. He has taught at several universities and colleges and has been a frequent guest...

, George Lakoff
George Lakoff
George P. Lakoff is an American cognitive linguist and professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972...

, Michael Lerner
Michael Lerner (rabbi)
Michael Lerner is a political activist, the editor of Tikkun, a progressive Jewish interfaith magazine based in Berkeley, California, and the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue of San Francisco.-Family and Education:...

, and Urvashi Vaid
Urvashi Vaid
Urvashi Vaid is an American activist who has worked for over 25 years promoting civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.- Political activism :...

, however Chomsky and most American leftists disapprove of the co-option of the term "progressive" by overwhelmingly pro-corporate and pro-military politicians and think tanks such as Third Way.

Significant publications include The Progressive
The Progressive
The Progressive is an American monthly magazine of politics, culture and progressivism with a pronounced liberal perspective on some issues. Known for its pacifism, it has strongly opposed military interventions, such as the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The magazine also devotes much coverage...

 magazine, The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

, The American Prospect
The American Prospect
The American Prospect is a monthly American political magazine dedicated to American liberalism. Based in Washington, DC, The American Prospect is a journal "of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics" which focuses on United States politics...

, The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post is an American news website and content-aggregating blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, featuring liberal minded columnists and various news sources. The site offers coverage of politics, theology, media, business, entertainment, living, style,...

, Mother Jones
Mother Jones (magazine)
Mother Jones is an American independent news organization, featuring investigative and breaking news reporting on politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. Mother Jones has been nominated for 23 National Magazine Awards and has won six times, including for General Excellence in 2001,...

, In These Times
In These Times
In These Times is a politically progressive monthly magazine of news and opinion published by the Institute for Public Affairs in Chicago...

, CounterPunch
Counterpunch
Counterpunch can refer to:* Counterpunch , a punch in boxing* CounterPunch, a bi-weekly political newsletter* Counterpunch , a type of punch used in traditional typography* Punch-Counterpunch, a Transformers character...

, and AlterNet.org. Broadcasting outlets include (the now-defunct) Air America Radio
Air America Radio
Air America was an American radio network specializing in progressive talk programming...

, the Pacifica Radio
Pacifica Radio
Pacifica Radio is the oldest public radio network in the United States. It is a group of five independently operated, non-commercial, listener-supported radio stations that is known for its progressive/liberal political orientation. It is also a program service supplying over 100 affiliated...

 network, Democracy Now!
Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! and its staff have received several journalism awards, including the Gracie Award from American Women in Radio & Television; the George Polk Award for its 1998 radio documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, on the Chevron Corporation and the deaths of...

, and certain community radio
Community radio
Community radio is a type of radio service, that offers a third model of radio broadcasting beyond commercial broadcasting and public broadcasting. Community stations can serve geographic communities and communities of interest...

 stations. Notable media voices include Cenk Uygur
Cenk Uygur
Cenk Kadir Uygur , is the main host and co-founder of the liberal Internet and talk radio show, The Young Turks . A naturalized U.S. citizen, Uygur was born in Turkey and raised from age eight in the United States. He worked as an attorney in Washington D.C. and New York before beginning his career...

, Alexander Cockburn
Alexander Cockburn
Alexander Claud Cockburn is an American political journalist. Cockburn was brought up in Ireland but has lived and worked in the United States since 1972. Together with Jeffrey St. Clair, he edits the political newsletter CounterPunch...

, Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich
-Early life:Ehrenreich was born Barbara Alexander to Isabelle Oxley and Ben Howes Alexander in Butte, Montana, which she describes as then being "a bustling, brawling, blue collar mining town."...

, Juan Gonzalez
Juan Gonzalez (journalist)
Juan González is an American progressive broadcast journalist and investigative reporter. He has also been a columnist for the New York Daily News since 1987...

, Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman is an American progressive broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter and author. Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the internet.-Early life:Goodman was born in Bay Shore, New York...

, Thom Hartmann
Thom Hartmann
Thom Hartmann is an American radio host, author, former psychotherapist and entrepreneur, and progressive political commentator. His nationally-syndicated radio show, The Thom Hartmann Program, airs in the United States and has 2.75 million listeners a week...

, Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington is a Greek American author and syndicated columnist. She is best known as co-founder of the news website The Huffington Post. A popular conservative commentator in the mid-1990s, she adopted more liberal political beliefs in the late 1990s...

, Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
James Allen "Jim" Hightower is an American syndicated columnist, activist and author.-Life and career:Born in Denison, Texas, Hightower came from a working class background. He worked his way through college as assistant general manager of the Denton Chamber of Commerce and later landed a spot as...

, Lionel, the late Molly Ivins
Molly Ivins
Mary Tyler "Molly" Ivins was an American newspaper columnist, populist, political commentator, humorist and author.-Early life and education:Ivins was born in Monterey, California, and raised in Houston, Texas...

, Ron Reagan
Ron Reagan
Ronald Prescott "Ron" Reagan sometimes known as Ronald Reagan, Jr., is a former talk radio host and chief political analyst for KIRO radio in Seattle until his show was canceled on August 8, 2007...

, Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow
Rachel Anne Maddow is an American television host and political commentator. Maddow hosts a nightly television show, The Rachel Maddow Show, on MSNBC. Her syndicated talk radio program, The Rachel Maddow Show, aired on Air America Radio...

, Bill Maher
Bill Maher
William "Bill" Maher, Jr. is an American stand-up comedian, television host, political commentator, author and actor. Before his current role as the host of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher hosted a similar late-night talk show called Politically Incorrect originally on Comedy Central and...

, Stephanie Miller
Stephanie Miller
Stephanie Catherine Miller is an American comedienne and host of The Stephanie Miller Show, a progressive talk radio program produced in Los Angeles and syndicated nationally by Dial Global. Talkers magazine ranked her as the 24th most important radio talk show host in America for 2010.-Early...

, Mike Malloy
Mike Malloy
Michael Dennis Malloy is an American radio broadcaster from Atlanta, Georgia. Previously his show has been carried by WSB Atlanta, WLS Chicago, the I.E. America Radio Network, the Air America Radio network, Nova M Radio and the On Second Thought network. He is now self-syndicated...

, Keith Olbermann
Keith Olbermann
Keith Theodore Olbermann is an American political commentator and writer. He has been the chief news officer of the Current TV network and the host of Current TV's weeknight political commentary program, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, since June 20, 2011...

, Greg Palast
Greg Palast
Gregory Allyn Palast is a New York Times-bestselling author and a freelance journalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation as well as the British newspaper The Observer. His work frequently focuses on corporate malfeasance but has also been known to work with labor unions and consumer...

, Randi Rhodes
Randi Rhodes
Randi Rhodes is an American progressive talk radio personality, formerly featured on Air America Radio and Nova M Radio and now on Premiere Radio Networks. Her eponymous program, The Randi Rhodes Show, airs live Monday through Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm Eastern Time.-Early life:Rhodes was born in...

, Betsy Rosenberg
Betsy Rosenberg
Betsy Rosenberg was the host of EcoTalk on Air America Radio. The program was broadcast every weeknight from 9-10 PM EST. Its last show broadcast on May 19, 2007. Rosenberg decided to leave Air America prior to its "Air America 2.0" re-launch. She sought EcoTalk's own re-launch in national...

, Ed Schultz
Ed Schultz
Edward Andrew "Ed" Schultz Is an American television and radio host and a liberal political commentator . He is the host of The Ed Show, a daily news talk program on MSNBC, and The Ed Schultz Show, a talk radio show, nationally syndicated by Dial Global, promising "straight talk."-Early...

, David Sirota
David Sirota
David J. Sirota is a progressive Denver-based American political figure, radio show host and commentator. He is an author, book reviewer, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, a Democratic political strategist, political operative, Democratic spokesperson, and blogger...

, Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart is an American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up comedian...

 and The Young Turks
The Young Turks (talk show)
The Young Turks is a progressive Internet talk show via live web stream and YouTube, and starting in late 2011, a weeknight news and political commentary program airing on Current TV. It was Sirius Satellite Radio's first original talk programming. The Young Turks claims to be the first Internet...

.

Modern issues for progressives can include : electoral reform
Electoral reform
Electoral reform is change in electoral systems to improve how public desires are expressed in election results. That can include reforms of:...

 (including instant runoff voting, proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

 and fusion candidates
Electoral fusion
Electoral fusion is an arrangement where two or more political parties on a ballot list the same candidate, pooling the votes for that candidate...

), environmental conservation
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

, pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

 control and environmentalism
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

, separation of church and state
Separation of church and state
The concept of the separation of church and state refers to the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state....

, same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

, reproductive rights
Reproductive rights
Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health. The World Health Organization defines reproductive rights as follows:...

, universal health care
Universal health care
Universal health care is a term referring to organized health care systems built around the principle of universal coverage for all members of society, combining mechanisms for health financing and service provision.-History:...

, abolition of the death penalty, affordable housing
Affordable housing
Affordable housing is a term used to describe dwelling units whose total housing costs are deemed "affordable" to those that have a median income. Although the term is often applied to rental housing that is within the financial means of those in the lower income ranges of a geographical area, the...

, a viable Social Security System, renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

, smart growth
Smart growth
Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a...

 urban development, a living wage
Living wage
In public policy, a living wage is the minimum hourly income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs . These needs include shelter and other incidentals such as clothing and nutrition...

 and pro-union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 policies, among many others.

Examples of the broad range of progressive texts include: New Age Politics by Mark Satin
Mark Satin
Mark Ivor Satin is an American political theorist, author, and newsletter publisher. Although often referred to as a "draft dodger" or "draft resister", he is better known for contributing to the development and dissemination of three political perspectives – neopacifism in the 1960s, New...

; 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
Nickel and Dimed
Nickel and Dimed: On Getting By in America is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. Written from the perspective of the undercover journalist, it sets out to investigate the impact of the 1996 welfare reform act on the "working poor" in the United States...

 by Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich
-Early life:Ehrenreich was born Barbara Alexander to Isabelle Oxley and Ben Howes Alexander in Butte, Montana, which she describes as then being "a bustling, brawling, blue collar mining town."...

.

The main current national progressive parties are the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 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
Vermont Progressive Party
The Vermont Progressive Party is an American political party. It was founded in 1999 and is active only in the U.S. state of Vermont. In terms of the dominant two parties in the United States, it enjoys support from "traditional liberal" Democrats and working class Republicans. The party is...

. 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
Northeast Action
Northeast Action is a USA political organization, with offices in Connecticut and Massachusetts, working in New England and New York State. It was founded in 1984 as part of the Citizen Action network...

.

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 an 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
  • Schutz, Aaron. Social Class, Social Action, and Education: The Failure of Progressive Democracy. (2010) introduction
  • 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
  • Buenker, John D. and Joseph Buenker, eds. Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Sharpe Reference, 2005. xxxii + 1256 pp. in three volumes. ISBN 0-7656-8051-3. 900 articles by 200 scholars
  • Buenker, John D., ed. Dictionary of the Progressive Era (1980)
  • Cocks, Catherine, Peter C. Holloran and Alan Lessoff. Historical Dictionary of the Progressive Era (2009)
  • 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
  • Harrison, Robert. Congress, Progressive Reform, and the New American State (2004) excerpt and text search
  • Hofstadter, Richard
    Richard Hofstadter
    Richard Hofstadter was an American public intellectual of the 1950s, a historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University...

    . The American Political Tradition (1948), ch. 8–10 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


See also

  • Center for American Progress
    Center for American Progress
    The Center for American Progress is a progressive public policy research and advocacy organization. Its website states that the organization is "dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action." It has its headquarters in Washington D.C.Its President and Chief...

  • Conference for Progressive Political Action
    Conference for Progressive Political Action
    The Conference for Progressive Political Action was officially established by the convention call of the 16 major railway labor unions in the United States, represented by a committee of six: William H. Johnston of the Machinists' Union, Martin F. Ryan of the Railway Carmen, Warren S. Stone of the...

  • Congressional Progressive Caucus
    Congressional Progressive Caucus
    The Congressional Progressive Caucus is the largest caucus within the Democratic caucus in the United States Congress with 83 declared members, and works to advance progressive issues and positions....

  • Demos (U.S. think tank)
    Demos (U.S. think tank)
    Demos is a United States-based research and policy center that was founded in 2000. Based on its widely cited work in the media and growing impact on national and state policy, Demos continues to influence North American debate about election reform and economic security, with a particular emphasis...

  • League for Independent Political Action
    League for Independent Political Action
    The League for Independent Political Action was an American political organization established in late November or early December 1928 in New York City. The organization, which brought together liberals and socialists, was seen as a coordinating agency for a new political party in the United States...

  • Liberalism
    Liberalism
    Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

  • New Deal
    New Deal
    The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

  • Progressive Christianity
    Progressive Christianity
    Progressive Christianity is the name given to a movement within contemporary Christianity characterized by willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity with a strong emphasis on social justice or care for the poor and the oppressed and environmental stewardship of the Earth...

  • Progressive Era
    Progressive Era
    The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

  • Progressive Party (United States)
  • Progressive States Network
    Progressive States Network
    The Progressive States Network is a grass-roots political organization in the United States that aims to transform the political landscape by sparking progressive actions at the state level...

  • Roosevelt Institution
    Roosevelt Institution
    The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, formerly the Roosevelt Institution, is the first student-run policy organization in the United States...

  • Social democracy
    Social democracy
    Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

  • Third Way (think tank)
    Third Way (think tank)
    Third Way is a public policy think tank. The organization focuses on policies for private-sector economic growth, national security strategy, a clean energy, education and anti-poverty reform, and divisive culture issues. Third Way describes itself as moderate and progressive. In the media, the...

  • Welfare state
    Welfare state
    A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...