Progressive Era & Freudian Analysis

4 April 2015
Examines early 20th century socio-political movement & Teddy Roosevelt in light of psychoanalytic theory.

There is today a widely felt sense that the study of history has become fragmented. Well into this century, historiography had a certain stately unity; it dealt with the public wellsprings of public events. But in the last two generations, that unity has broken up. There are psychological historians, social historians, historians of the poor, of women, of minority groups. In the view of critics this is a loss; academic fashion and political correctness have intruded upon history and reduced much of it to a kind of special pleading.

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The following discussion will test these critics’ proposition by considering one such specialized approach to history, the Freudian psychoanalytic approach, in its applicability to the Progressive Era in the United States. It will be suggested that whether or not Freudianism is in itself a…

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