Robert LaFollette was an influential Progessive reformist during the Gilded Age, who had a reasonably high government standing. During this period, he was first the Governor and then the Senator of Wisconsin, and he used this political power to fight for many Progressive ideals; many of which were part of the Wisconsin Idea. This ideology was based on the idea that the nation’s economic situation at the time could neither allow for the growth of the nation as a whole nor the economic prosperity of the average American citizen due to the small group of wealthy businessmen controlling the economy. This ideals included the very first system of workers’ compensation, direct election of senators, and Progressive taxation., such as the very first system of worker’s compensation, direct election of Senators, and Progressive taxation.Collectively, this ideology was called The Wisconsin Idea, and it was based on the idea that the nation’s economic situation at the time could neither allow for the growth of the nation as a whole nor the economic prosperity of the average American citizen. This was because, at the time, the vast majority of the nation’s wealth was in the hands of a small group of extremely wealthy businessmen. While this was very beneficial for them, it stunted the chances for success of many more, lower-income citizens. Because of this, LaFollette and his supporters fought for the implementation of many laws and regulations to support this ideology.One of the systems they fought for was the first official workers’ compensation system. This greatly aided workers, and even companies, in that it allowed for many lawsuits to be avoided. Before the creation of this system, workers that received injuries while on the job would often sue their employers or the companies they work for. This, however, was a very tedious and time consuming process, and it was unrealistic for every worker to be successful in attempting this. So, in order to fix this problem and give workers the reimbursement they deserved, Follette pushed for a worker’s compensation system, which enabled workers to receive a sufficient amount of money to aid them in paying their medical expenses. Surprisingly, this also helped companies, in that the amount of lawsuits they were forced to deal with decreased drastically. In addition, LaFollette pushed strongly for the direct election of Senators. For over a century after the Constitution was written, Americans could not vote for their Senators; they were chosen by their state legislatures instead. While this system did last for a long time, it was problematic due to an often misrepresentation of the people’s wants and needs. In addition, this old system was inconsistent with the democratic ideals the country was built on because it reduced the citizens’ control over politics and the government. For these reasons, LaFollete championed the direct election of Senators by the American people throughout his career, and this finally became a reality in 1913 when the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified. Similarly, LaFollete fought for many Progressive ideals, such as with taxation. Before the Progressive Era, when the “laissez faire,” or “hands off,” system of government was implemented, the most of the nation’s wealth was in the hands of a small group of rich businessmen. This caused a huge gap between the wealthy and the poor in the nation, so LaFollette and many others attempted to fix this during the Progressive Era. One manner of doing so was to implement Progressive taxation, which altered the tax rate for citizens respective of the amount of wealth they had: the wealthier the person, the higher tax rate they had to pay. This theory eventually became a reality in 1913, after the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed. In summary, Robert LaFollette made many significant changes during the Progressive Era. During this period, he successfully established the very first system of worker’s compensation, direct election of Senators, and Progressive taxation. Because of these changes and his keen leadership skills in accomplishing all of these goals, he was very influential during the Gilded Age.