Robert La Follette, Laboratory of Democracy

by arthurblock3
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies

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Robert La Follette, Laboratory of Democracy

From 1901 until 1906, La Follette served as Governor of Wisconsin. During his first term, he proposed to set up a railroad commission, and established a direct primary system.He created an atmosphere of close cooperation between the state government and the University of Wisconsin in the development of progressive policy, which became known as the Wisconsin Idea. The goals of his policy included the recall, referendum, direct primary, and initiative. All of these were aimed at giving citizens a more direct role in government. The Wisconsin Idea promoted the idea of grounding legislation on thorough research and expert involvement. To implement this program, La Follette began working with University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty. This made Wisconsin a "laboratory for democracy" and "the most important state for the development of progressive legislation".

Robert La Follette, Laboratory of Democracy

La Follette spent the rest of his life, from January 2, 1906, until his death in 1925, serving in the U.S. Senate. While in the Senate, he opposed American involvement in World War I and campaigned for child labor laws, social security, women's suffrage, and other progressive reforms.



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