A Return to Progressivism and the Emerging Party System in the United States

Politics and States

With the 2016 general presidential election heating up in the Democratic and Republican parties, there is an aura descending upon the United States; while it is not obvious or certain what is happening or what the implications of the aura are, when examined, one can see the repetition of history and social and political attitudes, particularly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. To put it bluntly, this election and the individuals involved in it are revealing the influence of socialism, populism, and progressivism on United States politics, much like how these same ideologies influenced the nation a little over a hundred years ago from roughly 1896-1914.

Let’s go back just a bit: in 1896, William Jennings Bryan, a Populist but later Democratic presidential candidate, was defeated in a fair vote by William McKinley, the Republican presidential candidate. While McKinley largely represented capitalism, American military might, big business, protectionism…

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