Over the past twenty years, historians have produced a substantial reinterpretation of American history. Interpretations of major epochs such as the revolutionary era, the Age of Jackson, and Reconstruction have undergone major revision. American history textbooks of a generation ago described progressivism as primarily a national reform movement. Culturally, Baltimore leaders ranged from James Cardinal Gibbons to George Herman “Babe” Ruth. By 1899 the Democratic bosses, out of office for two terms, recognized the need to come to terms with the reformers. The reformers, led by Republican Charles J. Bonaparte, and Democratic businessman William Keyser, a successful iron maker, railroad executive, and copper magnate, formed the New Charter Union to rally support for good-government candidates. The European precedent of municipal socialism attracted a number of American supporters as a solution to the monopolistic utilities. Baltimore’s politicians rarely initiated but frequently responded to community pressures for reform.