The New International Encyclopædia/La Follette, Robert Marion

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LA FOLLETTE, lȧ fŏl′lĕt, Robert Marion (1855—). An American politician and legislator, born at Primrose, Wis. He graduated at the University of Wisconsin in 1879, and was admitted to the bar in the following year at Madison. In the same year he was nominated by the Republicans and elected district attorney of Dane County, of which Madison is the county-seat. This position he held until 1884, after which he practiced law privately until 1887, when he became a member of Congress. Although his Congressional term was short lasting only until 1891, he won recognition as an able speaker, and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee took a prominent part in framing the McKinley Tariff Bill. On his retirement from Congress he resumed the practice of law at Madison, attained a high place in his profession, and became the leader of the younger element in the Republican Party, known as the ‘Half-Breeds,’ in Wisconsin. In 1900, after a bitter struggle with the ‘Stalwarts’ or ‘machine’ Republicans, he was nominated and elected Governor of that State. His administration was marked by his determined effort to secure two reforms of which he had become the champion, and which the party platform had advocated — namely, a primary election law, and a reform of taxes on corporations. In 1902 he was reëlected.