From Locke versus Rousseau to the Present
New Thinking in Political Economy series
Chapter 9: Charles Beard, the Progressives, and Roosevelt’s New Deal
The development of economics as a thoroughly scientific study and the implementation of economic goals as a feature of political ideology is a turn away from the retrieval of the conversation in political economy. In the remaining chapters, we focus on the extent to which the Liberty Narrative and the Equality Narrative are still operative in the twentieth century and the extent to which these narratives will take part in the twenty-first century. The early Progressive era in the United States, for our purposes, runs from 1860 to 1928. Although there are many dimensions to the phenomenon called Progressivism, there are three common threads that stand out. First, there is an ambiguous disposition toward the American past as revealed in the writings of Herbert Croly (1869–1930), Charles Beard (1874–1938), and Frederick Jackson Turner (1861–1932). There is an ambiguity toward the Declaration of Independence (Croly) in the sense that it holds out an egalitarian promise although that promise has been derailed or unfulfilled. There is also an ambiguity toward the Constitution (Beard) in the sense that it is an undemocratic and irrelevant document. In the right hands, churning out the loosest of interpretations of the Constitution and overcoming the impediments of the separation of powers and old-fashioned federalism, that document can be turned into an instrument for Progressive reform.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.