Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/384

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Political Writing Since 1850

Aside from its practical merits and achievements, Progressivism marked something of a revolution in American political ideals. Representative government, as understood by the old schools of thought, was to be replaced by direct government; the supremacy of the judiciary was to be questioned if not overthrown; the last limits of government interference in private rights and property were to be removed; and with the breaking of the alliance of business interests with the government, a new type of leader and public servant was to appear upon the scene. The World War, however, so greatly confused the issues and involved the policies of the nation that at the moment Progressivism appears under very different colours from those it wore even two or three years ago, and judgment upon the movement cannot safely be passed.