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Fighting Bob La Follete

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Faith Lent

on 9 November 2012

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Transcript of Fighting Bob La Follete

Bob was born in Primrose, Wisconsin in 1855

He died in 1925, one year after he ran for president

Bob was a party member of the Republican party and briefly the (1924) Progressive party "Fighting" Bob La Follette Basic Information Beginning in 1880 he spent two terms as the DA

After he spent three terms in the US House of Representatives

He was Wisconsin's governor (1901-1906)
He was also a Wisconsin's Senator (1906-1925)

1924 He was a presidential candidate. Fighting Bob fell out of favor with the people when he was the sole senator to oppose World War I

He only grew more unpopular as he worked with socialists and went after war profiteers Instead of the nice little address that was supposed to be given...

La Follette pounded the lectern. "I am going to be a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate," The room shook with the thunder of a mighty orator reaching full force. Stretching a clenched fist into the air, La Follette bellowed: "I do not want the vote of a single citizen under any misapprehension of where I stand: I would not change my record on the war for that of any man, living or dead."
1921 Bob is running for Senate again and in danger of losing his place.

Bob was warned by his secretary that he would have to renounce old socialist supporters and was to absolutely not mention his objection to joining WW1 He was met with roaring applause and Wisconsin's support.

His guts to stand by his beliefs got him reelected to the Senate in 1922. Bob's Beliefs/Platform He is a key figure in the progressivism movement.
A movement that rose in response to large corporations, possible government corruption, and railroads. In short he was against large corporations and wanted to give more government power to the people. He was for Native American, African American, and Women's rights.

In fact his wife was a leader of the feminist movement and an advocate of women's suffrage. He wanted to battle corporations' influence on the government. Government takeover of the railroads

Elimination of private utilities

Easier credit for farmers

Outlawing of child labor Right of workers to organize unions

Increased protection of civil liberties

End to U.S. imperialism in Latin America He was considered a man of radical beliefs in his time. Many worried that his ideals would lead them to chaos.

But he fought fiercely for his beliefs. La Follete has lasted because of his idea that America cannot live to her ideals when she has a government corrupt with militarism and corporate power. His support for progressive reforms, his passionate speeches, and his frequent fighting with party leaders earned him the nickname "Fighting Bob." One of the last things Bob did in his long political career was run for president. In 1924 Bob resurrected the Progressive Party.
The Progressive Party is often considered a faction of the Republican Party. The Progressive Party first seemed to come into use in 1912 when Theodore Roosevelt decided to run for president against Taft, his former Vice.

Essentially the Progressive Party was used as a vessel to run against the major parties. LaFollette's Progressive Party's platform was the same as his own.

Much like Theodore Roosevelt, his Progressive Party was also to be used a vessel in the Presidential race. He won Wisconsin and was second in 11 Western states. He won a good deal of the working class in large cities in New York as well. During his campaign, he pledged to "break the combined power of the private monopoly system over the political and economic life of the American people."

He also denounced the KKK in their prime. "We should not seek [to] inflame the mind of our people by half truths into the frenzy of war." The poor . . . who are always the ones called upon to rot in the trenches have no organized power. . . . But oh, Mr. President, at some time they will be heard. . . . There will come an awakening. They will have their day, and they will be heard." http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp-035/?action=more_essay


http://www.fightingbob.com/aboutbob.cfm (About Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette) (About Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette) (About Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette) (About Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette) He may not have won, but he remains a key figure in progressive movement and in Wisconsin. One year later "Fighting Bob" would die. But his fame proceeds him.

He remains a prominent figure and is honored in our very own Capitol building. (Taken from the Capitol by Faith Lent)
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