The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990 Page: 24
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
fore the new champion of Democratic activism took office as president
of the United States. ""
Through more than three decades of tumultuous political history,
marked by dramatic shifts between war and peace, reform and conser-
vatism, and prosperity and depression, Gregory maintained a remark-
ably steady political course. It was a consistency based on ambiguous
and broadly defined guidelines: elevating economic concerns over cul-
tural ones; insisting on party loyalty; placing a premium on integrity in
politics and business; and seeking the middle ground between compet-
ing extremes. Despite this consistency, Gregory can hardly be consid-
ered a typical progressive. In fact, in Texas he stood apart from the
preoccupation of so many reformers with cultural concerns. At a more
fundamental level, the progressive movement as a whole was riddled
with ambiguities and contradictions. The very idea of a typical progres-
sive holds little meaning. Nevertheless, Gregory was both a recognized
and self-proclaimed progressive reformer, and his political career can-
not be understood outside the context of the progressive movement
and the range of commitments that the movement entailed.
During the 192os and the early 193os Thomas Watt Gregory faced
the challenge of clinging to his progressive values against what he per-
ceived to be a tide of corruption and reaction. In his own mind, he re-
mained true to his beliefs. The persistence of ambiguities and contra-
dictions in that progressive faith does not suggest self-delusion on
Gregory's part. It only suggests the difficulty of defining progressivism.
""'New York Tzmes, Feb. 26, 27, 1933; Dallas Mornng News, Feb. 27, 1933
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990, periodical, 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/m1/50/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.