Robert M. La Follette is an outstanding political figure of the United States. His contribution to public and political life of the country is significant. He started to fulfill his progressive ideas during his life and they continue their existence nowadays.
Robert M. La Follette was a gifted and active child. He liked to be in the center of attention and speak publicly on various stages. Robert’s stepfather noticed his talent, the ability to speak eloquently and strong desires to become a statesman, and advised him to study law. After his stepfather’s death he became the financial backbone of his family. His oratory skills he continued developing at the University of Wisconsin. He showed to be an active student and took part in various performances and social activities of the campus. Despite his active behavior, he was not an excellent student concerning studying. So, he had hardly graduated from the university.
After the university Robert started his professional activity as an attorney. Moreover, he started his campaign for District Attorney. He was highly respected and valued as a good specialist. During his political career he worked on the problems of corruption in the government, the oppression of people by large corporations, undemocratic approaches in the problem solving in the government, foreign military actions etc. La Follette’s political career leapt forward quickly. At the age of 29 he won the Republican nomination, the election to the House of Representative of the United States and became the youngest man in the Congress.
After several unsuccessful attempts he finally managed to win the nomination of the governor. He visited many counties with powerful speeches during his campaign. He was promoting the direct primary and spoke on the drawbacks of the political machine and other urgent problems. However, despite his persuasive speeches and strong intentions, he was not successful in adopting his reforms. Even after his second victory in 1902, his reforms were not adopted because of lack of votes in the Senate. Fortunately, in 1905 he managed to carry some of his reforms. One of the most significant legacies of La Follette was a comprehensive civil service act.
The name of Robert M. La Follette is often associated with the Wisconsin Idea. He proceeded to be part of Wisconsin University even after his graduation. It was the idea to connect law and studying in the whole entity. It was part of La Follette’s progressive philosophy. The main task of the government is to search for new solutions to the existing problems and involve people from outside the government as well as within to make decisions. The Wisconsin Idea contributed to mutual cooperation between the government and the scholars of the Wisconsin University to solve the problems and predict future challenges.
La Follette offered his progressive ideas and set the foundation for his successors in Wisconsin. The first workers’ compensation program was carried by La Follette’s followers. Moreover, a state income tax was adopted and some conservation acts were banned. Furthermore, numerous commissions and regulatory groups were created, for example the Industrial Commission. La Follette, on the other hand, continued to pass his progressive ideas in the Senate. He established his own publication “La Follette’s Magazine”, which was later renamed “Vie Progressive”.
Robert La Follette was a well-known politician, who, undoubtedly, had a positive impact on American society. He knew what his was fighting for and pronounced loudly his position. His progressive ideas were common for his successors and children, who continued his work. La Follette promoted the Wisconsin Idea, which aimed at government and university cooperation for right decision making. He achieved the direct primary and adopted many service reforms. Finally, he contended for civil liberties. His legacy in the sphere of politics became a firm foundation for the next generations.