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The Progressive Party is a Confederate political party formed in the 1880s, thus making it the oldest existant party in the Confederacy today. The Progressives were formed to represent "the working man" and took its inspiration from populist movements in the United States, Canada and Mexico. While relegated to minor-party status for much of its early existence, it emerged as a dominant political force in the late 1930s with the election of Huey Long to the Presidency of the Confederacy in 1939, and remained so even after his assassination to run the Confederacy both from the President's Mansion and Congress for the entirety of the 1940s.
The Progressives maintained control of Congress from 1944 until 2004, the longest such period of dominance in history, severely inhibiting the policies of Southern Union-backed Presidents such as Richard Russell, Strom Thurmond or George Wallace or working together with moderates such as John Connally. After the defeat of inept PSU candidate Jesse Helms in 1981, the Progressives became the dominant Presidential party for the next thirty years, with Jimmy Carter, Sam Nunn, Bill Blythe and Al Gore all serving consecutive six-year terms. The growth of the conservative white-collar business class in Texas, defections amongst white-working class conservatives to the PSU, and a rally against so-called "Yankee values" led to the Progressives being defeated by the PSU in the 2005 elections, in large part due to segregation having become a settled issue after Bob Inglis's purging of the PSU of paleosegregationists during his tenure as Party Chairman from 2003-2005 followed by Mike Huckabee's "Beyond Segregation" campaign theme in the 2005 election.
The period from 2004-2012 is regarded as a watershed realignment, with Progressive support now coming from Cuban, Floridian and Texan Hispanics and urban blacks, many of whom are still disenfranchised, as well as many urban professional whites with liberal social and economic values. The loss of support amongst white blue-collar voters has led many to believe that the PSU is on the verge of a similar period of dominance in the Confederacy.
For most of its existance, the Progressives had a center-left economic policy and a conservative social policy, gaining support through labor unions, endorsing the "Confederate Consensus" of segregation and distancing itself from the United States. In the 1990s, this decades-long platform began to erode under liberals such as Blythe and Gore, including an end to de jure segregation and the formal end of the Consensus.