Historically Progressivism appears as an evolution of populism from the late 19th Century, but even though it sought many of the same ends progressivism used entirely different means, establishing a government by the elite manage populist goals. Hofstadter considers progressivism to be a reaction to populism rather than a evolution of populism.
Very different from mere populism, progressivism was future oriented rather than nostalgic, scientific rather than ad hoc, and deeply concerned with the purported inadequacies of the Constitution itself, something pointed to by Beard and Smith.27 Experts, rather than “the people,” would lead America to the brave new world, which was several steps removed from the old constitutional order for which the people still had too much reverence. In fact, “Nothing separated Progressivism from Populism, or for that matter from all previous American democracy, more sharply than this faith in the presumptive expertise, integrity, and political authority of the academic mandarins.”
Watson, Bradley C. S.. Progressivism (pp. 28-29). University of Notre Dame Press. Kindle Edition.