On January 9, 1909, Senator Robert M. La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin founded La Follette’s Weekly to be “a magazine of progress, social, intellectual, institutional.” The goal, he wrote, was “winning back for the people the complete power over government —national, state, and municipal—which has been lost to them.” He attacked private greed in the form of corporate monopolies that hoarded power. He championed the public interest, campaigning for social and economic justice. And he urged the United States not to entangle itself in foreign wars.
In 1929, La Follette’s Weekly changed its name to The Progressive, but the views of the magazine have remained remarkably consistent over the years. The Progressive, a monthly since 1948, has steadfastly stood against militarism, the concentration of power in corporate hands, and the disenfranchisement of the citizenry. It has continued to champion peace, social and economic justice, civil rights, civil liberties, human rights, a preserved environment, and a reinvigorated democracy. Its bedrock values remain nonviolence and freedom of speech.