Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The intent of this paper is to uncover the political activity of William Langer from the Morton County State’s Attorney days of 1914 to his election as governor of North Dakota in 1932.

The first bold signs of Langer’s entertaining political ambitions came during his break with the original Nonpartisan League leaders during the time he served as North Dakota's Attorney General, 1916-1920. The Independent Voters Association helped him to realize a measure of political strength when they used him as a candidate for governor in 1920. Even though defeated, Langer's political career was just beginning. He used the years from 1920 to 1928 building up a successful law practice in Bismarck and establishing political contacts for the future. The big break for Langer came in the years immediately following the stock market failure of 1929. The state was ready for a change, and Langer used an old vehicle, the Nonpartisan League, tried in other crisis days, to carry his program to the people of North Dakota. William Langer overhauled the League machinery well; it carried him triumphantly to the state capitol.