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Liberalism and the Emergence of American Political ScienceA Transatlantic Tale$
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Robert Adcock

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199333622

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199333622.001.0001

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Progressive Liberalism as a Political Vision

Progressive Liberalism as a Political Vision

Woodrow Wilson’s Political Science

(p.204) Chapter 7 Progressive Liberalism as a Political Vision
Liberalism and the Emergence of American Political Science

Robert Adcock

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses the 1880s writings of Woodrow Wilson as a student and young professor of political science to explicate the political content of progressive liberalism. It first examines the ideal of representative government and accompanying criticism of the American Constitution in Wilson’s early Congressional Government. It then pinpoints the influence of Wilson’s graduate education at Hopkins on the character of his liberalism by documenting twin mid-1880s shifts in his views of administration and political economy. These shifts were directly connected through Wilson’s adoption of a progressive liberal argument justifying expansion of the administrative state as a response to the transformative impact of industrialization. Finally, the chapter explores Wilson’s articulation, by the end of the 1880s, of a full-fledged progressive liberal vision of the “modern democratic state” as the liberal end of history.

Keywords:   Woodrow Wilson, progressive liberalism, representative government, administration, industrialization, democracy

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