This coupling of historical contingency with the doctrine of progress (shared by all progressives to one degree or another) reveals how the progressive movement became the means by which German historicism was imported into the American political tradition. The influence of German political philosophy is evident not only from looking at the ideas espoused by progressives, but also from the historical pedigree of the most influential progressive thinkers. Almost all of them were either educated in Germany in the nineteenth century or had as teachers those who were. This fact reflects the sea of change that had occurred in American higher education in the second half of the nineteenth century, a time when most Americans who wanted an advanced degree went to Europe to get one. By 1900, the faculties of American colleges and universities had become populated with European PhDs, and the historical thinking that dominated Europe (especially Germany) in the nineteenth century came to permeate American higher education. Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876, was established for the express reason of bringing the German educational model to the United States, and produced several prominent progressives, including Wilson, Dewey, and Frederick Jackson Turner.


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