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Arthur S. Link, Richard L. McCormick

ISBN: 978-0-882-95814-9 January 1983 Wiley-Blackwell 149 Pages


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A brief, interpretive analysis of the highly ambitious American reform movements from the 1890s to 1917 that shows progressivism to have been a vital and significant phenomenon although there was no unified progressive movement. Link and McCormick succeed in making the events comprehensible while at the same time conveying a strong sense of the complexity and contradictions of the era.

One: Progressivism in History 1

Who Were the Progressives? 3

The Origins of Progressivism 11

The Character and Spirit of Progressivism 21

Two: A Transformation of Politics and Government 26

Progressivism in the Cities and States 28

Progressivism Moves to Washington 34

The Decline of parties and the Rise of Interest Groups 47

The Transformation of Governance 58

Three: Social Justice and Social Control 67

The Social Progressives 72

The Reforming Professionals 85

The Coercive Progressives 96

Four: Epilogue: The Decline and Endurance of Progressivism 105

Bibliographical Essay 119

Index 141

"In this brief volume, Arthur Link and Richard L. McCormick have succeeded admirably in providing a stimulating overview of the various forces that served to shape the spirit and ideology of the progressive movement. ...they focus sharply on the array of ideological currents that variously characterized progressivism, thus giving it a texture that makes this dynamic reform period in American history much easier to understand." (The History Teacher, May 1994)