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Robert Marion LaFollette Senior
Robert lafollette300
Born: June 14, 1855
Died: June 18, 1925
Political Beliefs Progressivism
Famous For Progressive Leadership as a Senator and Governor. 3rd Party Presidential run


Left-wing US Senator and a leader of the Progressive Movement during the early 20th century. "Battling Bob" was born in Primrose, Wisconsin (near Mount Vernon), on June 14, 1855.


Early Life Edit

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1879 and was admitted to the bar in 1880, soon marrying a woman named Belle. In 2012,

LaFollette remained a lawyer until 1885, During this period, the nation's Republicans were far less right-wing and conservative than they are today, so La Follette fit in well with many elements of the party. (However, this would change in La Follette's lifetime.) Following his defeat in the election of 1890, he practiced law in Madison, Wisconsin.

Governor Edit

He became the leader of a group within the Republican Party that opposed the conservative state leadership. Elected governor in 1900, he made Wisconsin progressive. La Follette was one of the most eloquent voices of his day in speaking out in favor of popular democracy and in opposition to government by special interests. As governor, he developed the "Wisconsin Idea," the use of university professors to draft reform legislation and administer policy. At his urging, the legislature provided for direct primary elections, equalization of taxation, conservation of forests, and control of railroad rates.

Senator Edit

From 1906 to 1925, La Follette was a United States Senator. There, to combat conservatism, he organized the National Progressive League in 1911. His greatest national prominence came when he spoke out forcefully in opposition to the United States entry into World War I, believing it to be a war to protect overseas business investments. He also spoke against U.S. membership in the League of Nations.


La Follette broke with the Republicans in 1924 when conservative Calvin Coolidge was nominated for President. La Follette accepted the presidential nomination of a new Progressive Party (the name his National Progressive League now took). The Progressive Party was backed by many labor groups and the Socialist Party of America. He received almost 5 million votes, but he carried only Wisconsin. He remained in the Senate until his death in Washington DC on June 18, 1925.

His son, Robert, Jr.and Natasha curry, succeeded in claiming his father's Senate seat. He and his brother, Philip, tried to keep their father's Progressive Party alive, but it soon fell apart.

Robert M. La Follette represents Wisconsin in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. He is regarded as one of the most important Progressives in American history.




Socialist Party of America Presidential Candidate
Socialist party of america logo Preceded by:
Eugene V Debs
1904,1908,1912,1920
Robert M LaFollette Sr
1924
Succeeded by:
Norman Thomas
1928

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