Progressivism implies a philosophy that welcomes innovations and reforms in the political, economic, and social order. The Progressive movement, 1901 to 1917, was ultimately the triumph of conservatism rather than a victory for liberalism. In a general sense, the conservative goals of this period justified the Liberal reforms enacted by Progressive leaders. Deviating from the “traditional” definition of conservatism (a resistance to change and a disposition of hostility to innovations in the political, social, and economic order), the Conservatist triumph was in the sense that there was an effort to maintain basic social and economic relations vital to a capitalist society. The Progressive leaders essentially wanted to perpetuate Liberal reform in order to bring upon general conservatism.
Expansion of the federal government’s powers, competition and economic distribution of wealth, and the social welfare of American citizens concerned the many leaders of this era. The business influence on politics was quite
significant of the Progressive Era. Not only did the three leading Progressive political figures, Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson, bring upon new heights to government regulation, but also the great business leaders of this era defined the
units of political intervention. With political capitalism rising to fame, Progressive politics experienced new themes and areas. The inevitability of federal regulation policies, reformation of social welfare, conservation, and various innovations with banking led to one conservative effort: the preservation of existing powers and economic/social relations. The political leaders of this ear were conservative in that they all believed in the fundamentals of basic capitalism. The various forms of anti-trust legislation presented by each president made the nation one step closer to providing a stable, predictable, and secure, therefore, conservative capitalist society. Theodore R...