The Progressive Movement emerging almost as a cancer cell in the United States in late 19th century and into the 20th century in response to the vast changes brought on by industrialization. In some ways it appeared to be a sprinkle of good and bad spices for an economic recipe for some unethical industrialization issues. It became an alternative to the traditional conservative response to social and economic issues of the times. An ideology that changed directions several times as it became a more radical stream of socialism opposing the conservative views.
The ‘Progressive Party’ (American Progressivism) quickly organized at the start of the 20th century when it insisted that clearing city governments of corruption and freeing state governments from control by big business. Middle-class Americans became reformers from fear of wealth and power of the great financiers. The Progressive Movement grew in part under the leadership of Robert M. La Follette when elected Republican governor of Wisconsin in 1900. He pushed for laws that regulated railroads and public utilities, developed a fair tax system, conserved the state’s natural resources, and gave some protection to industrial workers. By 1918 the Progressives helped the adoption of the secret ballot and bad corruption at the polls. The Progressive movement helped set up commissions designed to strictly regulate corporations, and were active in the political influence for support of women’s suffrage laws (Scott, Forman, United States History).
The Progressive movement made great strides in electing Presidents Theodore Roosevelt a Republican. Who endorsed a progressive income tax, and called for national health insurance. Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech titled “The Nationalism”, in talking about personal property, “subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.” In February, 1902 he had the attorney general file suit against Northern Securities Company for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which appeared to attack Wall Street bankers and the financial empire. In 1904, the Supreme Court ruled that the Northern Securities Company had violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. The U.S. Senate’s passed a resolution on Article X of League of Nations Covenant. The U.S. House of Representatives moves to curtail immigration.
During Roosevelt second term he pushed for passed the Hepburn Act, regulating the railroads broadening the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission giving authority over express companies, and pipeline companies that set maximum rates. He also promoted passing the ‘Pure Food and Drug Act’ and ‘Meat-Inspection Act’ which empowered inspectors from Department of Agriculture to go into packinghouses. President Theodore Roosevelt served from 1901-1909, as a ‘Progressive Republican’ who increased governments influence over the economy, known later to be against big corporations, and a crusader for conservation creating national parks, and wildlife refuges (McGerr, Michael 2003).
From 1909-1913, William H. Taft a Progressive Republican took office and turned conservative. This caused a split of the Republican Party into ‘Conservative Republicans’, and ‘Progressive Republicans’, when he refused to support Progressive Republican and Democrat congressman on a bill that would limit the power of a conservative Speaker of the House of Representatives Joseph Cannon to merely a presiding officer. This is the turning point in history when the Progressive Republicans sided with the Democrat Party (Scott, Forman, United States History, 1974).
The Democrats too, had battled with moving toward the Progressive reform when they nominated Woodrow Wilson a ‘Progressive Democrat’ who won 42 percent of the Republican Progressive vote. Wilson believed government had no restriction on power. “For it is very clear,” he said, “that in fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same.” Wilson in 1913 passed the ‘Underwood Tariff Act’ that called for lower tariff’s to bring European goods into competition with American products. To offset the expected government revenue loss from the tariff, Wilson put in a graduated federal income tax bill that marked the beginning of the countries complex tax system. Wilson created the Federal Reserve Act, supervised by a Board of Governors appointed by the President to serve a fourteen year term. In 1914, he signed the Federal Trade Commission Act setting a commission that could investigate industries suspected of violating antitrust laws along with the Clayton Antitrust Act. He also passed the Adamson Act giving railroad workers an eight-hour day at the rate of a ten-hour day (Scott, Forman, United States History, 1974). Probably one of the best books on American Progressivism is Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liveralism...
In 1913-1921 Woodrow Wilson became the 28th President of the United States. The Progressivism seemed to have drifted away after Wilson’s presidential term because of World War I. It later reorganized under a new Progressive party with Robert M. La Follette in 1924. He was supported by western farmers, organized labor, and socialists. Henry A. Wallace who became the head figure for the new Progressive Party attracted left-wingers bringing it into the Democrat Party.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was the 28th President of the United States from March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921. A leading intellectual of the Progressive Era, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. With Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft dividing the Republican Party vote, Wilson was elected President as a Democrat in 1912.
In his first term, Wilson persuaded a Democratic Congress to pass the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and America's first-ever federal progressive income tax in the Revenue Act of 1913. Wilson brought many white Southerners into his administration, and tolerated their expansion of segregation in many federal agencies.
Narrowly re-elected in 1916, Wilson's second term centered on World War I. He based his re-election campaign around the slogan "he kept us out of the war," but U.S. neutrality was challenged in early 1917 when the German government proposed to Mexico a military alliance in a war against the U.S., and began unrestricted submarine warfare, sinking without warning every American merchant ship its submarines could find. Wilson in April 1917 asked Congress to declare war.
He focused on diplomacy and financial considerations, leaving the waging of the war primarily in the hands of the Army. On the home front in 1917, he began the United States' first draft since the US civil war, raised billions in war funding through Liberty Bonds, set up the War Industries Board, promoted labor union growth, supervised agriculture and food production through the Lever Act, took over control of the railroads, enacted the first federal drug prohibition, and suppressed anti-war movements. National women's suffrage was also achieved under Wilson's presidency.
In the late stages of the war, Wilson took personal control of negotiations with Germany, including the armistice. He issued his Fourteen Points, his view of a post-war world that could avoid another terrible conflict. He went to Paris in 1919 to create the League of Nations and shape the Treaty of Versailles, with special attention on creating new nations out of defunct empires. Largely for his efforts to form the League, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1919, during the bitter fight with the Republican-controlled Senate over the U.S. joining the League of Nations, Wilson collapsed with a debilitating stroke. He refused to compromise, effectively destroying any chance for ratification. In 1920 the 19th Amendment gives American women the right to vote.
The League of Nations was established anyway, but the United States never joined. A Presbyterian of deep religious faith, he appealed to a gospel of service and infused a profound sense of moralism into Wilsonianism. Wilson's idealistic internationalism, now referred to as "Wilsonianism", which calls for the United States to enter the world arena to fight for democracy, has been a contentious position in American foreign policy, serving as a model for "idealists" to emulate and "realists" to reject ever since (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodrow_Wilson).
Warren G Harding (1865-1923) elected 29th President of the United States, and was inaugurated in 1921. In 1922 the U.S. Congressional election reduced Republican majority. In 1923, U.S. President W.G. Harding succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge (The Timetable of History, Grun, 1975).
Later President Franklin Delano Roosevelt a Democrat 1933-1945, picked up the Progressive movement, and included Wallace as Vice president. Harry Truman became another Progressive Democrat President in 1945-1953.
FDR was the only American president elected to more than two terms, he was often referred to by his initials, FDR. Roosevelt won his first of four presidential elections in 1932, while the United States was in the depths of the Great Depression. FDR's combination of optimism and economic activism is often credited with keeping the country's economic crisis from developing into a political crisis. He led the United States through most of World War II, and died in office of a cerebral hemorrhage, shortly before the war ended.
Roosevelt named his approach to the economic situation the New Deal; it consisted of legislation pushed through Congress as well as executive orders. Executive orders included the bank holiday declared when he first came to office; legislation created new government agencies, such as the Works Progress Administration and the National Recovery Administration, with the intent of creating new jobs for the unemployed. Other legislation provided direct assistance to individuals, such as the Social Security Act.
As World War II began in 1939, with Japanese occupation of countries on the western Pacific rim and the rise of Hitler in Germany, FDR kept the US on an ostensibly neutral course. In March 1941, Roosevelt provided Lend-Lease aid to the countries fighting against Nazi Germany, with Great Britain the recipient of the most assistance. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Roosevelt immediately asked for and received a declaration of war against Japan. Germany subsequently declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941. The nearly total mobilization of the US economy to support the war effort caused a rapid economic recovery.
Roosevelt dominated the American political scene, not only during the twelve years of his presidency, but for decades afterwards. FDR's coalition melded together such disparate elements as Southern whites and African Americans in the cities of the North. Roosevelt's political impact also resonated on the world stage long after his death, with the United Nations and Bretton Woods as examples of his administration's wide ranging impact. Roosevelt is rated by historians as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.
Latter Lyndon Baines Johnson a Democrat followed in the Progressive movement after the death of JFK with social ideologies in 1963-1969. Each of these presidents grew the government, adding more regulations, and taxes.
The progressive movement under Franklin D. Roosevelt took root under the ‘New Deal’ which falsely became the solution for the ‘Great Depression’ when in fact all it did was slow down the natural course of the free market recovery caused by the Great Depression. An economic depression as a result of World War II, brought about by a global economy with a slowdown in trading and barrowing (Schiff, Peter 2009).
By definition, “Progressivism is a political and social term that refers to ideologies and movements favoring or advocating changes or reform, usually in a statist or egalitarian direction for economic policies (government management) and liberal direction for social policies (personal choice). Progressivism is often viewed in opposition to conservative ideologies.”
(www.wikapedia.com). The definition of ‘progressive tax’, “A type of graduated tax which applies higher tax rates as the income of the taxpayer increases.” (Blacks Law Dictionary).
The early Progressive movement under Wilson, and Roosevelt were Socialist. However the new Progressive movement has been taken over by Communist under President Obama. Many members of the new Progressives are products of the SDS (Students for Democratic Society) of 1963-1969 were and are Communist. There seems to be a split between Socialist progressives, and Communist Progressives. Many of the Democrats in the House, and Senate are products of the Socialist. They are being used as a vehicle of Communist agenda under President Obama, Pelosi, and Reed. These three are the product of the SDS movement who are supports of Mao, and the Communist (Little red Book of Mao) supporters. They are followers of the writings of Cloward and Piven and Saul Alinsky, which include the belief in the practice of eugenics (eugenics light: death panels as part of healthcare and harvesting organs without your permission) and the belief that anything is fair as long as you get to the end you desire.
The free market creates more wealth and opportunities for more people than any other economic model. A Capitalist system developed by Adam Smith, studied by the founding fathers of the US constitution now destined to be forgotten by both political parties because of greed, or political influence. Yet the greatest economic challenges that face the free market economy today stems at the beginning of the ‘Progressive Movement’ now considered a slippery slope towards authoritarian tyranny that influences both political parties like a cancer. The free market economy in the United States is presently at risk from an out-of-control government that is quickly adapting a socialist system or nationalization. President George Washington warned against the political parties during his farewell address in 1796.
Since January, 2009 the US House of representative and the US Senate both controlled by the Democrat Party including the President of the United States. The Democratic Party has based its foundation on the format of higher taxes, excessive spending, and bigger government. Under the ‘Liberal Democrat Party now calling themselves ‘Progressives’, will result in the high cost of doing business, which tends to be passed along to the general public for its products and services. Investment is down because of too many unknowns in today’s market, and economy.
The present economic depression is the result of over spending, corruption, energy cost, and bad bank loans because of radicals, ACORN, and the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act). The ‘Great Depression’ started in a different way from today’s depression, and the results are similar. Like most cancers the Progressive Movement begins to spread left under now President Obama when he re-energized the Democratic Party. In this case it becomes a rapid spread of larger government, more regulations, and higher taxes, as it eats away the healthily tissue, the heart of the free market economy and the capitalist system through nationalization. The ever increasing cost of minimum wage, unemployment security taxes, city and state taxes regulations, job loss, stock market downfall, less spending, and nationalization of banks are some of the leading causes of a poor US economy found today.
On February 13, 2009, the debt was raised to $12.104 trillion, by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5 (section 1604). The annual interest payment on the national debt is estimated over $350 billion a year. By 2019, an annual interest payment on the national debt is projected to hit $810 billion (CBO, 2009). This is based on President Obama not passing the proposed congressional plan for a second stimulus package plus nationalized health care that could clap the US economy.
President Ronald Reagan on his first inaugural address said, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
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