American Progressives and German Social Reform, 1875-1920: Social Ethics, Moral Control, and the Regulatory State in a Transatlantic Context

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Franz Steiner Verlag, 2000 - History - 252 pages
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This study recreates the intellectual climate and transatlantic setting of turn-of-the-century American reform. It examines the influence and meaning of German social thought and reform in the American Reform Movement prior to World War I. The American Progressives used the German theories in order to develop and establish new concepts of reform and to base democracy on principles other than possessive individualism, utilitarian ethics, and market ideology that liberalism held in stock. However, due to the war these reforms lost their radical character. In the end, the progressive quest for a broader sphere of public control, participatory models of reform, and social ethics yielded to the liberal model of regulation, business co-operation, and administrative efficiency, and to the moralistic agenda of prohibition and immigration control. "Axel R. Sch fer's fine study of what American progressives learned from their German counterparts adds to the growing literature illuminating the cosmopolitan breadth and ideological daring of turn-of-the-century reform. [ ] It is a testament to the argumentative force of this insightful work that it so clarifies and deepens the vital debate over the progressive legacy in our new Gilded Age." The Journal of American History "Sch fer did not intend to offer an exhaustive treatment; instead, he wished to show that part of progressive thought was not merely home grown, ,a relection of narrow, moralistic Protestantism (220), but had some German roots, too. This he did well, and readers may mine his chapters for other insights " German Studies Review "Axel R. Sch fers kenntnisreiche, methodisch reflektierte und quellenges ttigte Untersuchung legt die bis vor kurzem nur wenig beachteten transatlantischen Bezuege der ,progressiven Bewegung an der Wende vom 19. zum 20. Jahrhundert frei und bettet dieses, als ,sehr amerikanisch geltende Reformph nomen st rker in seinen weltlichen Gesamtzusammenhang ein. Sch fer wird daher nicht nur von Amerikaspezialisten mit Gewinn gelesen werden, sondern auch von Historikern, die sich mit interkulturellen Austauschprozessen besch ftigen." Das Historisch-Politische Buch "Selten jedenfalls ist die Krise des Progressivism im Ersten Weltkrieg so klar analysiert worden wie hier " Historische Zeitschrift "Anachronismen vermeidend und mit gro er F higkeit zur Empathie zeichnet Sch fer die Motive und Vorstellungswelten der Akteure nach, ohne sie von vornherein zu verurteilen. Auf diese Weise gelingt ihm eine sehr differenzierte Darstellung " Neue Politische Literatur.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
11
Exchanging Economic Relations for a Generally Moral Character
37
From Historicism to Progressivism
44
The Progressive Conundrum
63
CHAPTER II
79
Albert Shaw and the Municipal Corporation
88
Leo S Rowe and the Philadelphia School
94
Municipal Ownership of Utilities
101
CHAPTER IV
151
The Early Campaign for Social Insurance
157
Isaac M Rubinow
169
Liberal Crosscurrents
179
CHAPTER V
189
The Insurance Companies Strike Back
198
The End of the Movement
206
CONCLUSION
213

CHAPTER III
109
Benjamin Marsh and the Fight for Tax Reform
124
From Urban Planning to Suburban Zoning
136
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
223
INDEX
243
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