The Progressive Rejection of the Founding


Progressives rejected the timeless principles of the American Founding and instead argued that the ends of government ought to be relative to historical circumstances. They viewed the Constitution as a “living” document, which could be transformed to meet the exigencies of the modern age.


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Video Discussion Questions

How did Progressives understand the role of the judiciary?

What is the relationship between early Progressives and contemporary “progressive” politicians?

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Ronald J. Pestritto is the Charles and Lucia Shipley Professor in the American Constitution at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University.