The legislature enacted the direct primary in and state civil-service reform in He combined an unusually outgoing personality with an extraordinary flair for zealous oratory. His reputation as an enemy of political bosses began in when he announced that the state Republican boss, Sen. Although he had backed Woodrow Wilson in for the presidency, he was disgusted that the new president ignored the ideas of progressive Republicans and shaped most legislation in the Democratic caucus. His oratorical talents, combined with his natural charm, organizational skill, and driving ambition to become governor, made him the leader of his new group of Republicans.
Although he had backed Woodrow Wilson in for the presidency, he was disgusted that the new president ignored the ideas of progressive Republicans and shaped most legislation in the Democratic caucus. With these new methods he secured the passage of several progressive laws. Believing that the war had given large corporations nearly complete control over the federal government, La Follette concentrated on exposing the most flagrant corruption of the postwar years. The high point of his national popularity came in —11 when he emerged as the leader of newly elected and newly converted progressives in Congress. Early life and career As a boy growing up in moderately prosperous rural areas, as a student at the University of Wisconsin —79 , as a county district attorney —84 , and as a congressman from southwestern Wisconsin, La Follette developed the personality and style that made him a popular leader. William Howard Taft , La Follette was widely promoted for the presidency in Philip Fox La Follette — served as governor of Wisconsin in —33 and — His reputation as an enemy of political bosses began in when he announced that the state Republican boss, Sen. Philetus Sawyer, had offered him a bribe. Elected governor on this platform in , he was reelected in and Confident that the majority opposed U. Having led Republican opposition to the tariff, conservation, and railroad policies of Pres. See Article History Alternative Title: He supported labour legislation because unions were battling the same enemies that menaced consumers and because consumers benefited directly from improvements in working conditions. Defeated for reelection to Congress in a Democratic landslide of , La Follette returned to Madison to practice law and develop the political organization that within 10 years would elect him governor and allow him to dominate Wisconsin politics until his death. Since he had argued that U. Following their lead, he demanded tax reform, corporation regulation , and political democracy. That same year, though, he was defeated in the Republican senatorial primary by Joseph McCarthy. Antiwar position Foreign affairs catapulted La Follette back into a leadership position in , this time of the antiwar movement. He generally supported Pres. Most progressives backed La Follette because their first choice, Theodore Roosevelt , had refused to run; later, when Roosevelt entered the race early in , they deserted La Follette. Morgan and Standard Oil investment banking groups. As labour and farm groups despaired of the conservatism of Democrats and Republicans alike in the s, La Follette was frequently mentioned as a presidential candidate for a third party. In his first term he secured enactment of the first comprehensive unemployment compensation act in any U. He combined an unusually outgoing personality with an extraordinary flair for zealous oratory.
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