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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

Completing the Constitution

Completing the Constitution

Progressive-Era Economic Regulation and the Political Perfection of Article I, Section 8

(p.291) 13 Completing the Constitution
The Progressives' Century

Daniel Carpenter

Yale University Press

This chapter is meant to be, in part, a counterpoint to the poorly researched and weakly supported myth of an alleged Madison-to-Wilson shift from limited government to social democracy and expansive government. These hallucinations not only get the early republic wrong but in fact were debunked a generation ago, by Oscar and Mary Handlin, Willard Hurst, and then Gordon Wood; in addition, William Novak's painstaking inquiries have shown that republican regulation continued through the nineteenth century. These fantasies construct an equally imaginary, radicalized Progressive era, one that underplays critical transformations before 1900 and ignores the role of state governments in the changes that occurred. Progressive-era commercial regulation would not have been possible without the institutional models provided by earlier state laws and agencies, and it would not have succeeded politically without the active participation of state government regulators and elected officials.

Keywords:   Progressive era, Progressives, Progressivism, American politics, Woodrow Wilson, James Madison, state government, social democracy, limited government

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