Happy centennial to the 1912 “Bull Moose Progressive Party.” This short-lived political party had its most notable connection to Teddy Roosevelt — a former president who was its standard bearer and claimed to be “as fit as a bull moose.”
Beyond surviving a famous assassination attempt, Teddy had the best showing for a “third-party” presidential candidate since the Civil War.
The most popular political use of the term “progressive” is for the “Progressive Era” — a period of significant policy changes from the 1890s into the 20th century. “Progressive” policy interests ranged widely — from purifying water to child labor laws, from meat inspection to laws promoting eugenics, from the income tax to anti-trust legislation.
Today, “progressivism” is a related political movement that has extended beyond the Progressive Era. Adherents embrace a mishmash of social, political, environmental and economic reforms — environmentalism, “gay” rights, electoral reform, etc.