Scholarly discussions of the turn of the 20th century progressive movement frequently ignore or give but glancing attention to the progressives’ racial views and policies. Those who do pay greater attention to them nonetheless tend to dismiss them as being somehow “paradoxical” or inconsistent with what they regard as the movement’s core, “democratic” principles. The purpose of this paper, accordingly, is to explain the origin and nature of the movement’s core principles, and to show how the reformers’ racial views and policies, far from being inconsistent with these principles, were in fact their natural outgrowth. The progressives’ support for the colonial subjugation of the Filipinos, as well as the disfranchisement and segregation of American blacks, reflects, in other words, the transformation in the character or content of public policy necessitated by the reformers’ rejection of the “individualism” of the American founding in favor of a new conception of “individualism” chiefly inspired by early 19th century German idealism.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.