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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Search Results for: Keyword: 'la follette'

Term: Commons, John Rogers 1862 - 1945

Definition:

John R. Commons in 1919 (WHi-39217)

professor, economist, labor historian, author, b. Hollandsburg, Ohio. He graduated from Oberlin College, Ohio (A.B., 1888; A.M., 1890), and was a student at Johns Hopkins (1888- 1890). He was instructor of political economy, Wesleyan Univ., Middletown, Conn. (1890-1892), professor of sociology at Oberlin (1892-1893), Indiana Univ. (1893-1895), and at Syracuse Univ. (1895-1899). In 1901 he was appointed an economic expert on the U.S. Industrial Commission and in 1902 was assistant secretary of the National Civic Federation. In 1904 he came to Wisconsin as professor of economics at the university, a position that he held until becoming emeritus professor in 1933. An active participant in the affairs of his day, as well as a scholarly observer, he was a member of the Wisconsin Industrial Commission (1911-1913), the U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations (1913-1915), the Wisconsin Minimum Wage Board (1919-1945), and was associate director of the National Bureau of Economic Research (1920-1928), and chairman of the Unemployment Insurance Board of the Chicago Clothing Trades (1923-1925). Working in close cooperation with R. M. La Follette, Sr. (q.v.), Commons helped draft the Wisconsin Civil Service Law (1905) and the Public Utilities Law (1907). In 1913 he testified before the Congressional committee in support of La Follette's bill for physical valuation of railroads by the I.C.C. Recognized as one of the most outstanding scholars in the field of labor history and economics, Commons, like his colleague, Richard T. Ely (q.v.), believed in a theory of gradualness and democratic competition in the labor movement rather than class conflict and revolution. He refused to accept the easy generalizations of the Marxists, and likened the struggle for labor rights to the medieval power struggle that pitted the English nobility and merchants against the sovereign. His emphasis was always placed on collective bargaining and pragmatic compromise. Commons demonstrated this viewpoint in "American Shoemakers, 1648-1895," which appeared in the Documentary History of American Industrial Society. In line with this position, he was a great admirer of Samuel Gompers. An advocate of labor democracy, he opposed dogmatic and deterministic views, and defined the intellectual's role in the labor movement as one of aiding and advising rather than directing or manipulating the laborer. He was author of numerous books, among which are Social Reform and the Church (1894), Proportional Representation (1907), Races and Immi- grants (1907), Legal Foundations of Capitalism (1924), and Institutional Economics (1934). He was one of the principal authors of History of Labour in the U.S. (1918-1935), and was the principal editor of Documentary History of American Industrial Society (10 volumes, 1910-1911). He was president of the American Economic Association (1917), the National Monetary Association (1922-1923), and the National Consumers' League (1923-1935). Madison Capital Times, May 12, 1945; Wis. Mag. Hist., 29; H. W. Spiegel, ed., Development of Econ. Thought (New York, 1952); Whe Was Who in Amer. (1950); J. R. Commons, Myself (New York, 1934).

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the John Rogers Commons Papers for details. See also the John Rogers Commons Account Book.  See also the John Rogers Commons Miscellany.

View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]

92 records found

Armstrong Creek, Town of, Forest Co.
Babcock, Joseph Weeks 1850 - 1909
Baensch, Emil 1857 - 1939
Baker, Ray Stannard [David Grayson] 1870 - 1946
Bancroft, Levi Horace 1861 - 1948
Barton, Albert Olaus 1870 - 1947
Beck, Joseph David 1866 - 1936
Berceau, Terese 1950
Blaine, John James 1873 - 1934
Bolens, Harry Wilbur 1864 - 1944
Bosshard, Otto 1876 - 1943
Brown [Willis], Olympia 1835 - 1926
Bryant, George Edwin 1832 - 1907
Capitol fire (1904)
Carpenter, Tim
Chvala, Chuck 1954
Chynoweth, Herbert William 1848 - 1906
Commons, John Rogers 1862 - 1945
Connor, William Duncan 1864 - 1944
conservation movement
Cook, Samuel Andrew 1849 - 1918
Crownhart, Charles Henry 1863 - 1930
Damann, Theodore 1869 - 1946
Davidson, James O. 1854 - 1922
Duff, Marc C. 1961
Ekern, Herman Lewis 1872 - 1954
Frank, Glenn 1887 - 1940
Frear, James Archibald 1861 - 1939
Gale, Zona 1874 - 1938
Ganfield, William Arthur 1873 - 1940
Gelatt, Roland Bernard 1856 - 1917
governors
Haight, Theron Wilber 1840 - 1913
Handley, John Joseph 1876 - 1941
Hannan, John Joseph 1866 - 1946
Hatton, William H. 1856 - 1937
Haugen, Nils Pederson 1849 - 1931
Heil, Julius Peter 1876 - 1949
Hoard, William Dempster 1836 - 1918
Holmes, Frederick Lionel 1883 - 1946
Hough, Maxine 1961
Houser, Walter L. 1855 - 1928
Huber, Henry Allen 1869 - 1933
Hull, Merlin 1870 - 1953
James, Ada Lois 1876 - 1952
Kading, Charles August 1874 - 1956
Kohler, Walter Jodok 1875 - 1940
Kronshage, Theodore Jr. 1869 - 1934
Krumrey, Henry 1852 - 1922
La Follette, Belle Case, 1859-1931
La Follette, Bronson C. 1936
La Follette, Douglas J.
La Follette, Philip Fox, 1897-1965
La Follette, Robert Marion Sr. (1855-1925)(Histori
La Follette, Robert Marion Sr. 1855 - 1925
La Follette, Robert Marion, Jr., 1895 - 1953
La Follette, Town of, Burnett Co.
La Follette, Town of, Forest Co.
Lafollette
Lassa, Julie M. 1970
Lenroot, Irvine Luther 1869 - 1949
Levitan, Solomon 1862 - 1940
Mccarthy, Charles 1873 - 1921
Mcgovern, Francis Edward 1866 - 1946
Myrick, Harry Pierce 1857 - 1916
Odell, Emery Alvin 1871 - 1953
Olbrich, Michael Balthasar 1881 - 1929
Payne, Henry Clay 1843 - 1904
Pettis, Mark L. 1950
Pfister, Charles [Frederick] 1859 - 1927
Philipp, Emanuel Lorenz 1861 - 1925
primary elections in Wisconsin
Progressive Movement
Sawyer, Philetus 1816 - 1900
Schilling, Robert 1843 - 1922
Schmedeman, Albert George 1864 - 1946
Scofield, Edward 1842 - 1925
Siebecker, Robert George 1854 - 1922
Sinicki, Christine 1960
Skindrud, Richard A. 1944
Spooner, John Coit 1843 - 1919
Stephenson, Isaac 1829 - 1918
Stevens, Edmond Ray 1869 - 1930
Teasdale, Howard (1855 - 1936)
timeline of Wisconsin history, 1900 -1999
Tittemore, James Nelson 1864 - 1949
Travis, David M. 1948
Von Cotzhausen, Frederick William 1838 - 1924
Whitehead, John Meek 1852 - 1924
Wilcox, Roy Porter 1873 - 1946
Wilder, Amos Parker 1862 - 1936
Youmans, Theodora Winton, 1863 - 1932

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