The progressivism itself can not be described as a particular ideology but rather as a tendency , as something you are looking for a particular purpose. In the field of politics, the term is used to characterize a series of policies that seek an adequate redistribution of the wealth of a place and in the construction of a State that has the capacity to provide quality services and that also, give citizens a guarantee that they can enjoy all their rights .


What is progressivism?

Progressivism is a movement that fights to achieve the freedoms of individuals and equality that seeks well-being and the defense of civil rights , the participation of citizens and the adequate and fair distribution of wealth.

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of progressivism
  • Source
  • History
  • Types of progressivism
  • Progressism in Spain
  • Progressism in Colombia
  • Progressivism in Venezuela
  • Progressivism in France
  • Advantages of progressivism
  • Disadvantages
  • How it differs from liberalism
  • How it differs from socialism
  • Importance
  • Criticism of progressivism
  • Representatives


Progressivism is a group of different political , social , philosophical and economic doctrines that seeks, above all, to ensure that all human and civil rights are fulfilled and provided, including freedom , justice and equality of the people who inhabit a place . Generally, progressivism is closely linked to left or center- left political groups, although with the passage of time, it is also normal to see it in right-wing progressive groups .


Characteristics of progressivism

Among its main characteristics we can mention the following:

  • Its main idea is that the State is the one who guarantees equality of economic and social conditions to its inhabitants.
  • It seeks to achieve a society that is not guided by religion so that it remains outside the political and economic order.
  • It is democratic and diverse.
  • It establishes that there are a series of changes that society must undergo in order to progress.
  • It promotes social, political and economic advancement.
  • It is avant-garde.
  • It is very diverse that is, it can have different thoughts in one.
  • Generate different types of social discussions.


Progressivism was born in the year 1890 and arose at a time when there were great serious changes in the economy and demographics of the United States . It was the moment when many inhabitants began to live in large industrialized and dangerous cities and left the countryside and rural towns.


It is believed that efforts to achieve a better society began to emerge in the United States in the late 19th century , when social activists began to seek ways to change reforms related to working conditions and the humanization of the sick and prisoners. One of the most important acts in the history of progressivism was the abolition of slavery , in addition, with the entry of the First World War, important issues such as women’s rights and agricultural movements began to be taken up .

The success of the movement in history was mainly due to the writings that detailed the poverty , life in the slums and the dangerous working conditions that existed in the different factories and industries, which also included child labor .

Types of progressivism

There are four main types of progressivism that are based on the type of behavior of its followers. These are:

Progressivity by default

His followers act by learning and by the amount of information he receives throughout his growth. Movement is important to them but they do not make it the main axis of their lives.

Compassionate progression

He is the type of follower who does not seek to argue because he is empathetic and sensitive.

Progressivity by calculation

Its believers believe that being progressive is profitable for their lives. He is aware of everything that happens around him and fights for his ideals, he uses progressivism to be able to ascend.

Complicit progression

He has his own interests by going with the flow of his own choosing, analyzing all the pros and cons.

Progressism in Spain

The first progressive parties emerged in the 19th century , and by the 20th century they were competing with the socialists and traditional conservatives. At present, his followers seek a series of improvements for the country in matters of employment , health , education and equality . They also focus on expanding social rights .

Progressism in Colombia

Its parties are leaning more to the left and it is led by Gustavo Petro, a former member of the Colombian guerrilla who was also mayor in the city of Bogotá. In this country, progressivism combines theories of social democracy and is interested in environmental issues , production, the use of fossil fuels and the elimination of gases that pollute the environment. They fight for social development and free education . Furthermore, their tireless struggle for inclusion in society and for the acceptance of cultural diversity are two of their main ways of life.

Progressivism in Venezuela

In this country, several political organizations are identified as progressive, mainly those who are on the side of the Venezuelan opposition . Its main exponent is Leopoldo López who also adheres to the statutes of social democracy.

Progressivism in France

In France , there are also many organizations that call themselves progressive, however, most of them declare themselves at the same time belonging to the anti-socialist movement when it comes to terms related to the economy and society.

Advantages of progressivism

Among its advantages we can mention that it is a movement that seeks the freedom of people but that at the same time seeks a way to expand their capacities within a society and for this, they consider the State as responsible for promoting a series of conditions that give people the opportunity to get ahead, thus overcoming the great social inequality that exists in many places. In addition, it is a movement that ensures democracy by allowing the participation of citizens, recognizing individual rights and social progress .


Among its main disadvantages it can be mentioned that in search of progress, it could become use of all the necessary resources causing irreparable damage to the environment.  In some cases, it could be that the desire to advance economically can cause injustices to occur against workers and the wealth that the country can obtain through progressivism, will never go to the most needy.

How it differs from liberalism

Its main difference is that liberalism seeks the freedom of the individual while limiting the participation and power of the State both in the lives of the inhabitants and in the economy. It is a political system that pursues equality before the law and the rule of law .

How it differs from socialism

Its main difference is that progressivism pursues as an ideal an ideology that defends the development and progress of a society in political and social environments , while socialism is a doctrine of a political and economic nature that seeks to organize society through administration. of the means of production to achieve political, economic and social equality of the inhabitants. In addition, socialism tries to meet basic needs only while progressivism seeks a way to keep up with all the scientific , cultural and cultural as a solution to meet those basic needs.


The proper use of progressivism can be important in the lives of the inhabitants of a place, because if properly analyzed there are many benefits. It could give countries a better way to invest their money and generate profits , necessary restrictions and better controls on banks could be put in place, and tax codes could be evaluated more clearly. It also acts as a type of equalizer within societies that practice capitalism, regulating technological growth and the use of resources.

Criticism of progressivism

Progressivism is harshly criticized for its constant change that makes it become a value rather than a way of thinking that seeks to achieve a certain goal. Another aspect that has been strongly criticized is the violation of Human Rights that are applied when progressivism is given by leftist regimes .


Among the main representatives of progressivism we can mention the following political parties:

  • Progressive Party of Spain
  • Progressive Party of Chile
  • Progressive Party of Mexico
  • Progressive Outpost in Venezuela

Leave a Comment