1. Prior to WWI, Germany, Italy and the US all saw the rise of reform and protest based on the excesses of capitalism, and classical liberalisms seeming inability to the economic and social consequences: extremes of rich and poor. In some ways, the times mirrored the intersection of feudalisms failure to assimilate the emerging bourgeois society. Once again, the few were ruling the many, and classical liberalism seemed unable to adjust. a. There is neither doubt nor argument as to the necessity for reform from the period after the Civil War. Progressivism as an idea had arisen in the 1880s, when America was transforming from a largely agricultural country into a burgeoning urban one. But many Americans who had emigrated prior to the Civil War retained a certain moral nostalgia for their American past. While they enjoyed modernization, and wanted to share in the profits of industrial American, and the benefits of city life, they, somewhat paradoxically, yearned for the albeit mythological decency of a rural America. 2. The Civil War in the US was followed by the Gilded Age of the robber barons; German unification in 1871 by financial speculation and a series of stock market collapses; the founding of the Italian nation-state in 1870, by parliamentary corruption. a. So, many turned to aestheticism; others to saving nature from capitalist destruction; and others to changing industry from the all-consuming demands for profit. b. The anarchy of laissez-faire gave impetus to several forms of socialism. 3. The liberation from businessmen, the bourgeois of finance and industry, inspired a new direction, rising in society via education and the professions, careers as technocrats and bureaucrats. And these viewed themselves as the true elite. a. The new paradigm was the socialist synthesis of economy and state, and the Prussian model of state control of the economy. In America, it was known as Progressivism, and produced the New Deal. b. FDR was taken with these ideas, and, in 1912, formulated a new idea of the rights of the individual: They passed beyond the liberty of the individual to do as he pleased with his property and found it was necessary to check this liberty for the benefit of the freedom of the whole people. Daniel R. Fusfeld, The Economic Thought of FDR and the Origins of the New Deal, p. 50. c. In fact, all the leading Progressives either studied in Germany, or under German professors. Thus it is no surprise that Hegelian theory of strong state was the most efficient way of organizing modern societies. Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform. Many of the above ideas are covered far more comprehensive manner in Wolfgang Schivelbusch's "Three New Deals."