Constitution 201

“The Transformation of America’s Political Institutions”


Progressives undertook the transformation of America’s political institutions—in particular the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches—to reflect their understanding that government is divided into politics (representation of the will of the people) and administration (development and implementation of civic policies and programs determined by scientific expertise). This administrative system, in which Congress delegates its lawmaking authority to regulatory agencies, replaces the centrality of the consent of the governed with the rule of unelected, bureaucratic experts.



Note: all readings link to Hillsdale's online Constitution Reader, also available at


  1. Herbert Croly - "Progressive Democracy" - Excerpt 1
  2. Herbert Croly - "Progressive Democracy" - Excerpt 2
  3. Herbert Croly - "Progressive Democracy" - Excerpt 3


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Kevin Portteus is an Associate Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he has taught since 2008. Dr. Portteus is faculty advisor for the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program, and teaches courses in American political thought and American political institutions.

A visiting graduate faculty member in the American History and Government program at Ashland University, Dr. Portteus formerly taught at Belmont Abbey College and Mountain View College, in Dallas. Having published online through the Washington Times, Human Events, and, his book, Executive Details: Public Administration and American Constitutionalism, is under review for publication. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Ashland University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from the University of Dallas.