American Progressivism: A Reader

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Students of American political thought, American politics, American history, the presidency, Congress, and political parties will find this reader to be an invaluable source for insight into Progressivism. Chapter 02 Who Is a Progressive?

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American Progressivism: A Reader

From The New Freedom Chapter 2. Chapter 04 The American Conception of Liberty. Chapter 16 The Study of Administration. Chapter 17 The New Nationalism. From La Follettes Autobiography Chapter 8. Chapters 12 and Chapter 20 The Right of the People to Rule.

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From Progressive Democracy Chapter From The New Freedom Chapter 2. A Reader Ronald J. The Essential Political Writings. Atto is assistant professor in the department of history at the University of Dallas. The Principles of Progressivism. Increased productivity likely did more to resolve these issues than any progressive program. Basically progressive believe the following: Free markets need to be regulated in almost every industry or service.

Government must regulate, and progressive thinking leaders will prevent regulatory capture. When government regulation fails, it is because of leadership failure. Government knows how to improve the outcomes in the economy. Government can gain any necessary knowledge to guide the economy. Government can use this knowledge effectively.


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Market failure is a common occurrence in a free market economy. Government must step and provide the government alternative for failed markets health care, education, alternative energy, etc b. Government has the ability to provide products and services which the free market fails to provide effectively. Property rights are not a necessary condition for individual rights.

Other rights may take precedence over property rights. The right to food ii. The right to health care iii. The right to education iv. The right to personal choice 5. Social justice and the public welfare take precedence over most individual rights, especially individual property rights. I have a lot of sympathy with 4. My primary objection is to the progressive ideals specified in item 2.

Many people accuse me of having a strong affinity for items 1 and 3. But I would never claim unfettered markets produce optimal results. My main belief is that government is incapable of resolving these problems without some kind of reliance on the free market. You can get a good understanding of the early progressives by reading 5 or 10 of almost any essay in the book.

Jan 02, Jerry rated it really liked it Shelves: It is an argument to enlarge vastly the scope of national government for the purpose of responding to a set of economic and social conditions which, progressives contend, could not have been envisioned at the founding and for which the founders' limited constitutional government was inadequate. Whereas the founders had posited what they held to be a permanent understanding of just government, based upon a permanent account of human nature, the progressives countered that the ends and scope of government were to be defined anew in each historical epoch.

They coupled this perspective of historical contingency with a deep faith in historical progress, suggesting that, due to historical evolution, government was becoming less of a danger to the governed and more capable of solving the great array of problems besetting the human race. Criticism of the Constitution formed the backbone of the entire progressive movement.

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What they are is to be determined by legislative authority in view of the needs of that society. Social expediency, rather than natural right, is thus to determine the sphere of individual freedom of action. May 01, Steven Peterson rated it really liked it. Progressivism is a term that has been drained of a lot of meaning these days, as people use the term in ways that often depart from the classical version, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century and extending into the 20th century.

This is an edited work, by Ronald Pestritto and William Atto, with snippets from a variety of Progressives, providing a solid sampling of exemplars of this movement. The editors note the method that they adopted Page ix: Among Progressives whose works appear here: All in all, a pretty good selection of articles.

Some of the selections are probably too short to provide the reader a good sense of the author's work. But, tough choices have to be made if you're editing a book. Too lengthy a set of items means fewer items that would appear and less of a sampling. In the end, a solid introduction to Progressives. Jun 22, Gary Sedivy rated it it was amazing. This book is a collection of the words of the 'big brains', the founders of Progressivism in America.

The progressive movement, started mostly by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, is foundation of most of the liberal left political thought throughout the world. This includes the European liberals, as well as the socialist movements.


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It is startling to read what Wilson and others, say about the citizens of the United States; their disdain for the U.