The early progressives did not seek to amend or to improve the Constitution -- they sought to subvert it. Their main tool in this endeavor was the executive office itself.
President Woodrow Wilson and his progressive allies in Congress understood the separation of powers built into the Constitution. They considered the separation of powers unnecessary in their own time—man had progressed beyond the founders’ fear of factions, and what he now needed was a strong, centralized symbol of authority. Wilson’s aim was to enlarge the power and scope of the national government by assigning to the president the power to supervise each branch. The Progressive philosophy of Wilson and others has become the standard of many in government today.
Find out more about how progressives like Woodrow Wilson have sought to subvert the Constitution and what Americans can do torestore limited government here.
By studying both the constitutional roots of the office of the presidency, and the transformation of that office by the progressives, Hillsdale College’s newest free online course,“The Presidency and the Constitution,"gives you the tools to recognize the progressive philosophy that influences our nation’s politics today. What was the original purpose of the executive branch? How did our Founding Fathers seek to limit its power? Are these limitations being followed by presidents today? These questions rest at the heart of the work of re-establishing limited constitutional government today, thereby rolling back a growing bureaucratic despotism. In this free 10-lecture series, Hillsdale College gives you answers.
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