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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

What Is to Be Done?

What Is to Be Done?

A New Progressivism for a New Century

(p.478) 21 What Is to Be Done?
The Progressives' Century

Bruce Ackerman

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that the bottom-up tools developed by Progressives to generate and register the interests of the public have not kept up with the times. Progressives must now move beyond the innovations that their predecessors have successfully entrenched in the living Constitution. Without renewed critique and reconstruction, it is all too likely that these earlier achievements will degenerate into farce or tragedy. Like it or not, we face the very same issue posed by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 1: “It seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force”.

Keywords:   Progressives, Progressivism, public interest, Alexander Hamilton, Constitution

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