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The Career of Robert M. La Follette

Robert La Follette developed his fierce opposition to corporate power and political corruption as a young man. Affiliated with the Republican Party for almost his entire career, La Follette embarked on a political path that would take him to Congress, the governorship of Wisconsin, and the U.S. Senate. His support for progressive reforms, rousing oratory, and frequent clashes with party leaders earned him the nickname "Fighting Bob."

Born in Primrose township, Dane County, in 1855, La Follette worked as a farm laborer before entering the University of Wisconsin in 1875. After graduating in 1879, La Follette launched his political career... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: How La Follette revolutionized the primary election  How La Follette revolutionized the primary election
Link to article: La Follette decries party machines and private interests, 1897  La Follette decries party machines and private interests, 1897
Link to article: La Follette publicly opposes U.S. entry into the war, 1917  La Follette publicly opposes U.S. entry into the war, 1917
Link to article: Campaign literature from Robert La Follette  Campaign literature from Robert La Follette
Link to article: Wisconsin passes worker's compensation law, 1911.  Wisconsin passes worker's compensation law, 1911.
Link to article: A journalist reviews Progressive achievements, 1900-1930.  A journalist reviews Progressive achievements, 1900-1930.
Link to article: A survey of progressive politics in Wisconsin, 1934  A survey of progressive politics in Wisconsin, 1934
Link to artifacts: Flag used to drape the caskets of La Follette Sr. and Jr.  Flag used to drape the caskets of La Follette Sr. and Jr.
Link to book: Conditions on Wisconsin Indian reservations, 1909-1910  Conditions on Wisconsin Indian reservations, 1909-1910
Link to images: A 1911 cartoon of La Follette's railroad reform  A 1911 cartoon of La Follette's railroad reform
Link to images: Pictures of Robert M. La Follette, Sr.  Pictures of Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Link to images: A 1906 La Follette political cartoon  A 1906 La Follette political cartoon
Link to images: Life magazine portrays La Follette as a traitor in 1917  Life magazine portrays La Follette as a traitor in 1917
Link to places: Wisconsin State Capitol  Wisconsin State Capitol
Link to places: Robert La Follette's house in Maple Bluff  Robert La Follette's house in Maple Bluff
Link to places: The University of Wisconsin's Red Gym  The University of Wisconsin's Red Gym

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to article: A biographical sketch of La Follette with photographs  A biographical sketch of La Follette with photographs
Link to book: Wisconsin Blue Books  Wisconsin Blue Books
Link to book: The autobiography of John R. Commons (1934)  The autobiography of John R. Commons (1934)
Link to book: Robert La Follette's autobiography, 1913  Robert La Follette's autobiography, 1913
Link to book: A Republican politician describes changes in government regulating powers  A Republican politician describes changes in government regulating powers

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