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The Progressives' CenturyPolitical Reform, Constitutional Government, and the Modern American State$
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Stephen Skowronek, Stephen M Engel, and Bruce Ackerman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300204841

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300204841.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Toward a More Inclusive Community

Toward a More Inclusive Community

The Legacy of Female Reformers in the Progressive State

(p.219) 10 Toward a More Inclusive Community
The Progressives' Century

Carol Nackenoff

Yale University Press

Many social welfare initiatives that have found their way into the administrative state can be traced to proposals advanced by the mobilized women of the Progressive era. These female reformers identified a range of new social problems and pressed government to address them with new policy initiatives. This chapter examines three particular tensions that emerged as the vision of a national community of newly empowered and aware citizens, operating at local levels to solve newly uncovered social problems, clashed with other values shared by the reformers. First, the inclusiveness of the project and the aspiration to build mutual respect among equals was in tension with the idea of maternalism, which employed sex differences and female sensibilities as the basis of social transformation. Second, there was a clash between the reform processes advocated and the substantive ends sought. Third, the aim of empowering citizens to act locally on their own behalf proved incongruous with a simultaneous emphasis on expertise and a keen interest in the specialized knowledge needed to solve social and economic challenges of the day.

Keywords:   Progressive era, Progressives, Progressivism, women activists, social welfare, social policy, maternalism, social transformation

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