Progressive Hall of Fame Essay

“The Georgia Progressive Hall of Fame” There are many reasons why Woodrow Wilson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. , and Henry Grady should become nominated to be charter members of the Progressive Hall of Fame. A Progressive is a person who favors a wide range of reforms including economic, social, political and moral. All of these gentleman have incorporated honor and justice into the tasks they have completed throughout there lives, each resembling the advancement and reorganization of the United States.

Woodrow Wilson believed in and established a plan of progressive reform for the United States. Democrats persuaded him to run for governor of New Jersey in 1910, which he accomplished due to his extremely effective progressive platform. After his election as governor, Wilson soon decided to run for President of the United States. For this election, his campaign applied emphasis on individualism and states’ rights. He won the election of 1912, and was re-elected for another term in 1916.

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During his Presidency, soon after the Germans signed the Armistice (treaty) in November of 1918, Wilson went to Paris to try to construct an “enduring peace”. President Wilson, against his doctors’ warnings, even made a national tour to persuade the public to support the Versailles Treaty. He was very religious and believed that he was guided by God’s will. Wilson also wanted to personally determine the United States’ foreign policy. He sought after freeing the United States of trusts and restoring the old economy of shops and small businesses. By doing so, he reclaimed the “Anti-Trust Act”.

Wilson personally said, “Americans… are meant to carry liberty and justice and the principles of humanity wherever [they] go, [they] go out and sell goods that will make the world more comfortable and more happy, and convert them to the principles of America”. Wilson desired an “orderly change” for not only the United States, but for humanity. That is why he should be nominated to become a member of the Progressive Hall of Fame. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. , or as his friends called him just Wendell, attended Harvard College during the beginning of the Civil War.

He left Harvard to join the “Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment” during the war, because he felt that it was his obligation toward his country. Holmes was well-known as a devoted Christian and an abolitionist (a person who is strongly against slavery). He applied and graduated from Harvard Law School after his three year term in the war. After graduation, he worked for a variety of firms, and though his practices were not very successful, he wrote articles in The American Law and worked on Chancellor Kent’s Commentaries on American Law.

Holmes later accepted a teaching position at Harvard Law School, but in the middle of his first term, he became a Justice in the Supreme Judicial Court by a recommendation from Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt nominated Holmes because he believed that he was trustworthy. However, he and Holmes disagreed many times on issues brought up in the court. Holmes composed a variety of lectures and speeches that were later published into books such as The Common Law. Throughout his life, Holmes always fought for what he believed in. He incorporated his opinions into his literary and oral works, speeches and lectures.

Not only was Holmes a soldier during the Civil War, he was also an influential lyricist, writer, and a member of the Supreme Judicial Court. I believe that he should be honored by receiving a nomination into the Progressive Hall of Fame. Henry Woodfin Grady attended the University of Georgia to pursue a career in journalism. Grady was a part owner of the Atlanta Herald. He published an editorial in the Herald entitled “The New South,” in which he advocated industrial development as a solution to the post war South’s economic and social troubles.

Grady’s writings and support of the railroad development in Atlanta brought him to the attention of the stockholders of The Atlanta Constitution. Soon after, he also became a part owner and managing editor for The Atlanta Constitution. As a member of the “Atlanta Ring of Democratic Political Leaders”, Grady used his influence at The Atlanta Constitution to promote a New South program of northern investment, southern industrial growth, diversified farming, and white supremacy.

In eight years, The Atlanta Constitution became the most popular weekly newspaper in the United States. Grady was most famous for his economic and political crusades. He was a dominant political force by helping in the election of several senators and governors. Grady also often gave speeches urging Southerners to seek reconciliation with the North, and he helped to establish Georgia Tech in 1887. His promotion of a New South assisted in encouraging northern investments in Atlanta industries. Then ater, in 2004, Grady was inducted into the Georgia Writers’ Hall of Fame. Grady was progressive with his ideas of a New South. He was often identified as the “Spokesperson of the New South” because of his beliefs towards the South becoming industrialized after the Civil War. Grady was influential in making the Atlanta Constitution one of the leading newspapers of the American South. He was known for his speeches on reform and developments in the South. Grady never held an office, but he had a vast influence in the politics of Georgia.

It is often quoted that Grady’s efforts helped the South make a slow yet steady recovery from the destruction they faced after the Civil War. He surely deserves a place in the Progressive Hall of Fame. Woodrow Wilson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. , and Henry Grady are three exemplary figures that represent and support the reform and restructure of the United States. Woodrow Wilson introduced many progressive platforms during his multiple elections. He also traveled the world to benefit the United States and to take his ideas and beliefs of progress to other countries.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was a member of he Supreme Judicial Court, along with being an inspiring, motivational, and opinionated writer. Many of his speeches and works were published in well-known books, magazines, and other sources. Finally, Henry Grady was a leader in representing industrial and social change in the South. He believed that the United States should have come together as a nation, combining the North and the South. He was known for his motivation and partnerships for establishing local newspapers and universities.

Therefore, each and every one of these men should be recommended for the charter memberships of the Progressive Hall of Fame. . Bibliography “Henry W. Grady. ” New Georgia Encyclopedia. Web. 1 Mar. 2010. . “IV. -2. : Wilsonian Internationalism. ” Web. 25 Feb. 2010. . “Oliver Wendell Holmes. ” Michael Ariens. Web. 26 Feb. 2010. . United States History Origins to 2000: The Progressive Movement. Prod. Andrew Schlessinger. DVD. Libraryvideo. com, 2003. “Woodrow Wilson. ” The White House. Web. 24 Feb. 2010. .


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