La Follette publicly opposes U.S. entry into the war, 1917

La Follette's speech in the U. S. Senate against the entry of the United States into World War I, April 4, 1917

Sen. Robert La Follette was one of the leading opponents of U.S. participation in World War I. He saw it largely as a scheme to bring more money and power to corporate interests whose power he had fought so hard to rein in. In April of 1917, as the U.S. prepared to enter the war, La Follette gave this speech on the floor of the Senate against U.S. entry into the war. We present three slightly different versions of it: the first as recorded in the Congressional Record, the second as it was separately issued by the government at the time, and finally as a pamphlet put out by the Progressive Party 20 years later. La Follette's opposition to the war brought him fierce rebuke. He was targeted for censure by the Senate, denounced as a traitor in the media, and ostracized by his friends in Washington.

Related Topics: The Progressive Era
World Wars and Conflicts
The Career of Robert M. La Follette
World War I, at home and in the trenches
Creator: La Follette, Robert
Pub Data: Congressional Record, April 4, 1917; "War with Germany: Speech of Hon. Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin..." (Washington: G.P.O., 1917); "'Old Bob' La Follette's historic U.S. Senate speech against the entry of the United States into the World War: delivered in the United States Senate April 4, 1917." Madison, Wis. Progressive Publishing Company, 1937 (pamphlet 54-611)
Citation: Refer to the publication data above and the title page of the original item on the screen; Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 2/2/2023