Progressive Party

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Related to Progressive Party: Socialist Party, Bull Moose Party, Progressive politics

Progressive party,

in U.S. history, the name of three political organizations, active, respectively, in the presidential elections of 1912, 1924, and 1948.

Election of 1912

Republican insurgents dissatisfied with the conservative administration of President William Howard TaftTaft, William Howard,
1857–1930, 27th President of the United States (1909–13) and 10th chief justice of the United States (1921–30), b. Cincinnati. Early Career

After graduating (1878) from Yale, he attended Cincinnati Law School.
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 formed (Jan., 1911) the National Progressive Republican League. Senator Robert M. La FolletteLa Follette, Robert Marion
, 1855–1925, American political leader, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (1906–25), b. Primrose, Wis. Early Career

Admitted (1880) to the Wisconsin bar, he practiced in Madison, Wis.
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 was their choice for the Republican presidential nomination in 1912 until former President Theodore RooseveltRoosevelt, Theodore,
1858–1919, 26th President of the United States (1901–9), b. New York City. Early Life and Political Posts

Of a prosperous and distinguished family, Theodore Roosevelt was educated by private tutors and traveled widely.
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, at odds with his old friend Taft for various personal and political reasons, threw his "hat into the ring" (Feb. 24, 1912). The regular Republicans, however, controlled the national convention at Chicago (June) and renominated Taft, whereupon the Roosevelt supporters organized the new Progressive party (the Bull Moose party) and nominated, also at Chicago (August), Roosevelt for President and Hiram W. JohnsonJohnson, Hiram Warren,
1866–1945, American political leader, U.S. Senator from California (1917–45), b. Sacramento, Calif. His role as attorney in the successful prosecution of Abe Ruef, political boss of San Francisco, led to his election (1910) as governor of
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 for Vice President. The Progressive platform called for the direct election of U.S. Senators, the initiative, referendum, and recall, woman suffrage, reduction of the tariff, and many social reforms. As a result of the split in Republican ranks, Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic candidate, won, but Roosevelt, who received 88 electoral votes and over 4 million popular votes, fared better than Taft. The party maintained its organization until 1916, when, after Roosevelt declined another nomination, most Progressives supported the Republican presidential candidate, Charles Evans HughesHughes, Charles Evans
, 1862–1948, American statesman and jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1910–16), U.S. secretary of state (1921–25), and 11th chief justice of the United States (1930–41), b. Glens Falls, N.Y.
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See B. P. De Witt, The Progressive Movement (1915, repr. 1968); G. E. Mowry, Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement (1946, repr. 1960); A. R. E. Pinchot, History of the Progressive Party, 1912–1916, ed. by H. M. Hooker (1958); J. A. Gable, The Bullmoose Years: Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party (1978).

Election of 1924

The success of the Conference for Progressive Political Action, sponsored by the railroad brotherhoods, in the congressional elections of 1922 led to the nomination at Cleveland in 1924 of another Progressive party ticket, with La Follette for President and Burton K. WheelerWheeler, Burton Kendall,
1882–1975, U.S. senator (1923–47), b. Hudson, Mass. He practiced law in Butte, Mont. Wheeler was (1911–13) a member of the state legislature and was appointed (1913) federal attorney by President Woodrow Wilson.
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 for Vice President. La Follette's program, supported by the American Federation of Labor, the Socialist and Farmer-Labor parties, and most other non-Communist left-wing groups, called for public control and conservation of natural resources, abolition of child labor, recognition of the right of labor to organize and bargain collectively, and the breakup of monopolies. In the Republican landslide that followed, La Follette won only the 13 electoral votes of Wisconsin, but polled nearly 5 million popular votes. Under La Follette's sons, Robert M., Jr., and Philip F., the Progressives continued strong in Wisconsin until 1938, when they were defeated by the Republicans. In 1946 the Wisconsin party dissolved itself and joined the Republicans.


See K. C. MacKay, The Progressive Movement of 1924 (1947, repr. 1966).

Election of 1948

At Philadelphia in July, 1948, a new third party, organized as a challenge to the Democratic party, adopted the name Progressive and nominated Henry A. WallaceWallace, Henry Agard,
1888–1965, vice president of the United States (1941–45), b. Adair co., Iowa; grad. Iowa State Univ. He was (1910–24) associate editor of Wallaces' Farmer,
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 for President and Senator Glen H. Taylor for Vice President. Endorsed by the Communist partyCommunist party,
in the United States, political party that espoused the Marxist-Leninist principles of communism. Origins

The first Communist parties in the United States were founded in 1919 by dissident factions of the Socialist party.
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 and by the American Labor partyAmerican Labor party,
organized in New York by labor leaders and liberals in 1936, primarily to support Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and the men favoring it in national and local elections.
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 of New York state, the Progressive party accused the Truman administration of failing to cooperate with the Soviet Union to end the cold war and advocated repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act and reestablishment of wartime price controls. Its candidates won no electoral votes and only slightly more than 1 million popular votes as Truman defeated Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican candidate, by a close margin.


See K. M. Schmidt, Henry A. Wallace: Quixotic Crusade, 1948 (1961); C. D. MacDougall, Gideon's Army (3 vol., 1965). See also bibliography under progressivismprogressivism,
in U.S. history, a broadly based reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th cent. In the decades following the Civil War rapid industrialization transformed the United States.
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Progressive Party


in Bohemia, a name encountered in the literature for the liberal, bourgeois Czech Progressive Party, which existed from 1900 to 1918.

Progressive Party


a liberal bourgeois party in Prussia (1861–71) and united Germany (1871–1918).

The Progressive Party represented the interests both of the bourgeoisie who had connections with foreign markets and of the petite and middle bourgeoisie. It supported the unification of the country under Prussia but demanded the establishment of a parliamentary regime. In 1866 the Progressives’ adherents among the upper bourgeoisie left the party to found the National Liberal Party.

The Progressive Party opposed O. Bismarck’s efforts to deprive parliament of control over military appropriations and also opposed the introduction of protective tariffs. In 1884 the Progressives and some of the National Liberals formed the German Radical Party, but a new schism in 1893 resulted in two groups, the Radical Union and the Radical National Party. Both regarded the Social Democrats as their chief adversary, and during the period of intensified reaction (1906–07) entered into a coalition with the Junkers and the parties of the upper bourgeoisie, forming the Hottentot bloc.

In 1910, the Radical Union and the Radical National Party merged into the Progressive National Party, which had a more flexible approach to major political issues. During World War I, the Progressive Party supported German imperialism; however, since the party feared revolution, it supported an imperialistic peace by mutual agreement, as well as a certain democratization of the political regime.


Seeber, G. Zwischen Bebel und Bismarck: Zur Geschichte des Linksliberalismus in Deutschland 1871–1893. Berlin, 1965.
Elm, L. Zwischen Fortschritt und Reaktion: Geschichte der Parteien der liberalen Bourgeoisie in Deutschland 1893–1918. Berlin, 1968.


Progressive Party


a national liberal party of the powerful Russian bourgeoisie and capitalist landowners that occupied a position between the Octobrists and the Constitutional Democrats.

The nucleus of the party was the group of Progressives in the Third State Duma that had emerged from the Mirnoobnovlentsy (Party of Peaceful Renovation) and had grown chiefly at the expense of the Octobrists from 28 deputies in 1907 to 37 in 1912. Prior to the Fourth Duma elections, nonparty committees of allegedly progressive electors were formed at gatherings of public figures in Moscow and St. Petersburg. These committees were later designated as the Central Committee of the party at a congress held Nov. 11–13, 1912.

During the first session of the Fourth Duma, the Progressive faction numbered 48 deputies. The founders of the party were the textile factory owners A. I. Konovalov, V. P. Riabushinskii, and P. P. Riabushinskii; S. N. Tret’iakov; S. I. Chetverikov; and the zemstvo leaders I. N. Efremov (chairman of the bureau of the Progressives’ Duma faction), Prince G. E. L’vov, N. N. L’vov, Prince E. N. Trubetskoi, D. N. Shipov, and M. M. Kovalevskii. The party’s newspapers were Russkaia molva and Utro Rossii.

Early in World War I, the Progressives urged the nation to rally around the tsar and to abandon internal discord and party dissension. At the initiative of the Progressives, war industry committees were formed, with working groups within them. During the summer of 1915, a period of military defeats and the growth of the labor movement, the Progressives joined other bourgeois and landowner parties to form the Progressive Bloc. However, in the autumn of 1916 the party left the bloc out of dissatisfaction with the other factions’ refusal to include in the bloc’s declaration a demand for governmental accountability before the State Duma.

After the February Revolution of 1917, several leaders of the Progressive Party became members of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma, and later of the Provisional Government. However, the party itself collapsed. The former party leaders were later active in the bourgeois counterrevolutionary camp.


Lenin, V. I. “Natsional-liberaly.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 22.
S”ezd progressistov 11, 12 i 13 noiabria 1912 g. St. Petersburg, 1913.
Fraktsiia progressistov v 4-i Gosudarstvennoi dume: Sessiia I, 1912–1913 gg., fasc. 1. St. Petersburg, 1913.
Buryshkin, P. A. Moskva kupecheskaia. New York, 1954.
Laverychev, V. la. Po tu storonu barrikad. Moscow, 1967.
Diakin, V. S. Russkaia burzhuaziia i tsarizm v gody pervoi mirovoi voiny (1914–1917). Leningrad, 1967.


Progressive Party


a political party in the USA from 1948 to the mid-1950’s. It was an alliance of progressive elements that were dissatisfied with the two-party system and the foreign and domestic policy of the US government. Led by H. Wallace from 1948 to 1950, the party demanded the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act, which was passed in 1947; liberal and democratic reforms; and a policy of peace and cooperation with other nations, including the USSR. In the 1948 presidential elections, Wallace, the Progressive Party candidate, received 1,156,000 votes. However, the Progressive Party did not become a major party. Persecuted by reactionary forces and divided by internal disagreements, it gradually lost its influence and disappeared from the political scene.

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