Session 26: The Progressive Reform and Self-Government
The Progressives fought for reform at the turn of the century. What principled form did their criticism take of the Declaration, the Constitution, and political decentralization take? They revered Lincoln, yet did not emulate his devotion to the Declaration of Independence, but invoked the preamble to the Constitution to make democracy more active. Jefferson’s and Hamilton’s views became living arguments again, but with interesting shifts. Self-government was in need of some assistance. What effect did their reforms—for example, direct primaries, initiative, referendum—have on federalism, separation of powers, and political parties? What legacy did the Progressives, Woodrow Wilson in particular, leave the nation?
- Ronald J. Pestritto, Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings
- Woodrow Wilson, “Abraham Lincoln: A Man of the People” (1909)
- Theodore Roosevelt, “National Life and Character”
- Theodore Roosevelt, “The Rights of the People to Rule”
- Theodore Roosevelt, “A Charter for Democracy”
- Theodore Roosevelt, “The Heirs of Abraham Lincoln”