Historians often define the period after the World War as a decade of reaction to Wilson’s ruin. But the Republicans in the 1910s, 1920s, and early 1930s were not opposed to a worldwide role. They did not sanction “isolationism.” Many of the anxieties of public policy in the 1920s echoed those earlier in the century, and progressives demonstrated the same impatience that they had earlier displayed to make non-Protestants conform to Protestantism. Even when a new and still Protestant Ku Klux Klan arose, it supported causes such as the integrity of the family familiar to earlier progressives. Yet many with a progressive persuasion expressed greater pessimism, and sometimes did not embrace the complexities of modern times. Such progressives relied more on their troops and less on their leadership to secure goals that look narrower. In fact, fights between Protestants over their own religious sentiments reached their high point in the 1920s. Those Protestants with a diminished respect for education and science can barely be called progressive. Nonetheless, their ideas did blend with yet another third-party progressive campaign for the presidency in 1924, and at the end of the decade Herbert Hoover, a Republican progressive and a protégé of Woodrow Wilson, won the presidency. Progressive politics only disappeared when the Great Depression discredited Hoover and produced the conditions for a different order.
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