Foundation of American Politics
20 November 2013
A Personal Reflection on the Progressives
In my opinion, post modern America could greatly benefit from an administration with a heavier Progressive influence. Even though this era was short lived, and its parties were somewhat divided in political principles, they managed to claim their place in history, as their policies became the basis for today’s liberal philosophy. Their education reforms, emphasis on the value of an individual, dedication to civil rights activism, and efforts to shape a Constitution that reflects the modern culture are all ways in which the Progressive movement sought to strengthen our democracy and improve the well-being of its citizens.
Unlike many religious conservatives, Progressivists believed that education should center on universality. They did not believe that there were omnipresent, transcendent principles that guided one’s decisions and understanding. Rather, education is the “cure” for society’s ailments and the first step towards a more enlightened democracy. An all-encompassing education will prove itself to be most useful in raising tolerant generations with a global perspective. It is the responsibility of the teacher to instruct the children on how to cope and function within their social environment. Learning the ways of one’s culture is more important than learning religious customs. According to progressivists, the community should play an equal role in cultivating the minds of the children, so they may be freed from the “dogmas” of their parents. Training the youth to emulate their parent’s attitudes towards politics is reducing one’s capacity to form personal beliefs, thus not practicing true “tolerance.” An authentic perspective of humanity should primarily be learned outside the home through schooling and everyday interactions. During the early 1900’s, when Progressivism was reaching its peak, the number of schools rose dramatically and in direct...
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