John Alvis, University of Dallas
November 7, 1998

This seminar will examine how the “progressive movement” and the New Deal criticized the political vision that guided the Founders and Framers of the Constitution. We will examine the writings and speeches of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, among others, in an attempt to understand the basis of their criticism of the Constitution and analyze the consequences of their teaching.

John Alvis is Director of the American Studies Program and Professor of English at the University of Dallas.


  • Herbert David Croly, The Promise of American Life, pp. 178-206
  • Woodrow Wilson, “The Leaders of Men”, The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, pp. 659-663, June 17, 1890
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Campaign Address on Progressive Government at the Commonwealth Club,” The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, pp. 742-756, September 23, 1932
  • Woodrow Wilson, “Constitutional Government in the United States,” The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, pp. 69-123 (1908)
  • Woodrow Wilson, “Nothing May be Done by Leaps,” The Political Thought of Woodrow Wilson, pp. 109-115 (1889)
  • Woodrow Wilson, “Curbing Trusts and Monopolies,” The Political Thought of Woodrow Wilson, pp. 216-224 (1914)