In this essay, Ronald J. Pestritto describes the American Progressive criticism of the natural law tradition. American Progressives criticized the Founders for insisting that the natural rights listed in the constitution are universally applicable. Progressives held that history is progressive, with society constantly evolving; because they also believed rights to be a product of society, they held that rights were subject to change as well. Progressives also held that society had progressed sufficiently that the Founders’ constitution was no longer appropriate: America was no longer seriously threatened by factions, and the government posed less of a threat to the people and had a greater ability to provide help. Because of this, Progressives wanted to expand government programs and regulations, developing a more democratic and administrative government. The Progressive beliefs described in this essay gave rise to the first Progressive Era (1880-1920) and ultimately to modern political liberalism.