I appreciate Guido Giuliani's and Gus Murphy's August 26 responses to my Olive Press letter. Mr. Murphy makes an interesting point with respect to the centralizing parties being urban, and this, if true, would confirm that they were the parties of the wealthy as well. The concentration of wealth associated with the rise of cities also saw advocacy of Federalist, Whig and Republican philosophies. But Federalists, Whigs and Republicans were not necessarily urban. The Federalists included wealthy planters, the Whigs included rural leaders like Abraham Lincoln, and after the Civil War the Democrats were the urban party in the North. But these successive parties did in part reflect the ideas of the urban industrial rich. The Democrats were associated with the agrarian orientation of southern planters as well as urban workers. Federalism collapsed when the public realized that the centralizing party was also suppressive, as the Alien and Sedition Acts showed. Today's Democrats and Republicans with their Patriot Acts and Fairness Doctrines are authoritarian and extremist in the Federalist tradition. The Whigs elected several presidents, including William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor and arguably John Quincy Adams. The Republicans subsequently dominated national-level politics even though the urban party was the Democratic, which dominated local politics.
The term "Progressive" originated with a group of political writers between 1890 and 1920. Their magazine, the