|Preceded by||Republican Party|
American Progressivism, American liberalism, Social libertarianism, Centrism (faction)
|Senate Leader||Bernie Sanders|
|House Leader||Nancy Pelosi|
The Progressive Party, also commonly called the Bull Moose Party, is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, the other being the Democratic Party. There have been 12 Progressive Presidents, the First being Theodore Roosevelt from 1913 to 1919, the most recent is the current President, Barack Obama, who has served since 2009. Founded in 1912 by a split in the Republican Party, it dominated federal politics from 1932 to 1947. The party's platform is generally based upon American progressivism and social liberalism, in contrast to the Democratic Party whose members endorse more conservative policies.
As of the 113th Congress, following the 2012 elections, the Progressive Party holds a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, a minority of seats in the United States Senate as well as control of a minority of state governorships.
The Progressive Party was founded in 1912 by progressive Republicans angry that their leader, Former President Theodore Roosevelt, had been denied the Republican nomination. Roosevelt had fallen out with his successor as President, William Howard Taft, particularly when he broke up U.S. Steel using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, a Trust Roosevelt had previously described as a "Good Trust". As such he had challenged him for the nomination. Despite winning all but two of the primaries, Roosevelt was denied the nomination by the party leaders and political bosses. The next day Roosevelt and his delegates left the convention, and two months later the Progressive party was formed.
Roosevelt won the November election by the narrowest or margins by carrying his home state of New York by only a few thousand votes, and became the first President from niether the Republican or Democratic party since Millard Millmore in 1853.
Progressive Domination 1913 - 1925In office Roosevelt proved successful and getting most of the progressive agenda through congress. After the 1914 midterm elections saw 79 Progressive Congressmen and 11 Senators Roosevelt was able to get even more Progressive legislation passed, including the Direct Election of Senators, Votes for Women, a Federal Inheritance Tax and a Minimum wage for Women.
Roosevelt was reelected in 1916 with 52% of the vote and 395 electoral votes, the biggest electoral victory for the party until 1932. The 1916 election saw support for both the Democratic and Republican candidates dramatically reduce, with progressive Republicans defecting en masse to the Progressive Party as well as northern, progressive Democrats.
On January 6th 1919 Roosevelt died after a short illness. His death deeply shocked the nation, as he had been expected to run for a fifth term in office in 1920. Vice President Charles Evans Hughes assumed the Presidency.
The New Deal and World War II 1933 - 1945
Wallace 1945 - 1953
Issues facing the United States in the postwar period included the Cold War and Civil Rights. It had always been part of the Progressive Party platform to advance civil rights for minority groups, however Roosevelt felt in unnecessary to divide the nation during the 1930's by committing the party to equal rights for African-Americans. Wallace, however was committed to civil rights, and ending segregation in southern states. He ended segregation in the armed forces by executive order in June 1945.
Kennedy and the New Frontier 1961 - 1966
In 1960 the Progressive presidential candidate, John F. Kennedy, won the presidency. The Progressives also retook both Houses of congress that year, as well as a net gain of governorships.
In 2002 the Progressives retook control of the House of Representatives, the first time since 1986, in a landslide.
Name and SymbolsThe name Progressive was chosen by Theodore Roosevelt upon the party's inception in 1912, as he wanted the party to embody the believe in social progress and to encapsulate the progressive values of the era.
The Progressive Party has also been known as the Bull Moose Party. Shortly after the party's inception in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt responded to rumours of poor health by retorting "I feel as dtrong as a Bull Moose". The Bull Moose has been the party's logo and mascot ever since, and there have even been calls to change the party's name.
Structure and Composition
The Progressive Party includes Progressives, Liberals, Moderates, Libertarians and Populists. Traditionally the Progressive Party has occupied the centre-left of the american political spectrum.
Historically the party has favoured western farmers, laborers, labor unions, ethnic minorities, the immigrant community and those living in urban areas. It has always been opposed instinctively to the interests of big business, but has been supportive of small business. It has favoured government regulation of big business and finance, and progressive taxation as part of its strong commitment to social justice.
The Progressive Party has traditionally favoured keynesian economic policies, an expansion of the american welfare state and a well regulated business and financial sector.
The Party has also been socially liberal, supporting civil rights for african-americans, a pro-choice stance on abortion, civil partnerships and gay marriage. It has also a strongly libertarian view on some issues, defending the legalisation of marajuana.
The Progressive Party was particularly strong alone the west coast, and the midwest. In recent decades the party's stronghold has shifted to the east coast, particularly New England. It has always had strongholds in the inner cities.
The overwhelming majority of americans defining themselves as Progressives align strongly with the Progressive Party. In 2011 survey 34% of americans identified themselves as progressives, with 94% of them aligning themselves with the Progressive Party.
There is a small centrist wing of the Progressive Party, with most centrist members of Congress joining the Third Way Coalition, within congress.
Foreign Policy Issues
In general terms the number of americans identifying themselves as Progressives has been around 35% over the last 10 years, compared to 28% as Democrats and 36% as independents.
Since the 1930's organized Labor has been a key component of the Progressive Party, and formed part of the Progressive coalition that led the Progressives to dominate the White House between 1932 and 1968.
In a 2010 survey, 75% of LGBT Americans identified themselves as Progressives, compared to 12% Democrats and 12% Independents. LGBT Americans have consistently favoured Progressive candidates in presidential elections, as well as Congressional and Senate elections.
Hispanic and Latino Americans
The Jewish community was an integral part of the progressive coalition, helping to deliver key Progressive control of several urban areas, particularly New York City. However in recent years the Jewish community has been more evenly split. In a 2010 survey 34% of Jewish Americans identified as Progressives, 33% as Democrats and 33% as independents.