Robert Marion La Follette Senior

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Social Studies
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Robert Marion La Follette Senior

Welcome to Another Segment of:MEET THAT UNSUNG HERO!

Robert Marion La Follette Senior

Robert Marion La Follette Senior, was born in Primrose, Wisconsin, on June 14, 1855. He was the son of a farming family. When old enough, he attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1879. He married Belle Case, his college sweethart on New Year's Eve in 1881.

What Did He Do To Affect Change? Robert La Follette was very fond of the progressive movement to end political corruption. So, he pushed for progressive reforms such as legislation for greater federal oversight of railroads and industries to end corruption. To help stop these issues, La Follette appointed commisions of experts such as political scientists, economists, and educators. This widely became known as the "Wisconsin Idea." Also, La Follette tried to futher stop political problems by creating La Follettes Weekly Magazine in 1909 and the National Progressive Republican League in 1911 to publicly adress the horrors of political corruption. Next, during his time at office in Wisconsin, La Follette used two tacticts to solve political problems. The first was the utilization of the "Wisconsin Idea," in which he used professors from the University of Wisconsin, to draft bills and administer Wisconsin's state regulatory apparatus created by the new laws. The other tactic he used was called "roll call" in which La Follette publically read in districts where legislators opposed his progressive reforms. These tactics led La Follette to become one of the greatest reformers in the Progressive Era.

Governor of Wisconsin (1900 -1906)

Member of the Senate(1906-1925)

Other Accomplishments:- District County Attorney- Member of the House of Representatives

"Let no man think we can deny civil liberty to others and retain it for ourselves."

"God, how patient are Thy poor! These corporations and masters of manipulation in finance heaping up great fortunes by a system of legalized extortion, and then exacting from the contributors-to whom a little means so much-a double share to guard the treasure!"

What Movivated Him?Robert La Follette grew up in a farming community that had been corrupted of their rights and income from the start. He wanted to change their lives for the better. Also, shortly after La Follette lost his seat in the House of Representatives, Senator Philetus attempted to bribe him for the issue of influencing a pending case. After this incedent, La Follette was unwanted amoung many state Republicans and big business leaders. Next, while he was running for governorship of Wisconsin in 1900, he promised to tax wealthy corporations, regulate the state of Wisconsin's rairoads, create a merit -based civil service, and increase state spending of public education. La Follette wanted to erase many of the issues occuring in Wisconsin at the time. Lastly, he opposed political booses.

How Did He Impact Our Lives?Robert La Follette chaged our lives forever. He abolished many of the political corruptions going on the government. He saved our democracy by securing our right to vote and participate in government, as well as saved businesses from loosing their businesses and their income. He also brought awareness to many, which changed our citizens' views on the issue to help. Many other politicians implemented his reforms such as Woodrow Wilson, who was governor of New Jersey, and Hiram Johnson, who was inspired to use La Follette's ways and go further as governor of California. He truly is an unsung hero.

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The First Man to Fix Political Corruption at the State Level!

What is the Problem? Political Corruption was a serious issue in cities. Many big cities accepted money by from business leaders in order to secure their votes. Therefore, business leaders almost ran government for thier benefit. Also, cities accepted money to fill needed jobs in services and businesses which allowed corruption to become a way of life. Robert La Follette would be an advocate to stop this.


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