Freedom has always had its critics. In the latter 19th Century, American academics returned from Europe with a strain of ideas that rejected the principles of the Declaration and the limits of the Constitution. They sought a new government of bureaucracy, where experts, professionals, and civil servants would pull humanity toward the future. Instead of the examples of Washington and Jefferson, these “Progressives” looked to the writings of Hegel and Darwin.

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Additional Resources


The System

The majority of people are unhappy with the way government is going in the United States. But how did we get here? An outline of the rise of the progressive movement and the change in the election system over the years.

From American Majority

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Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party and the Ascendance of the Living Constitution

Sidney Milkis delivers a lecture about the rise of progressivism at the American Enterprise Institute.

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