HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th
president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United St ...
from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the
president of Princeton University Princeton University, founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, is a Private university, private Ivy League research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. The university is led by a College president, president, who is selected by the ...
and as the
governor of New Jersey The governor of New Jersey is the head of government of New Jersey. The office of Governor (United States), governor is an elected position with a four-year term. There is a two consecutive term term limit, with no limitation on non-consecuti ...
before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, Wilson changed the nation's economic policies and led the United States into
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
in 1917. He was the leading architect of the
League of Nations The League of Nations (french: link=no, Société des Nations ) was the first worldwide Intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. It was founded on 10 January 1920 by ...
, and his progressive stance on foreign policy came to be known as Wilsonianism. Wilson grew up in the
American South The Southern United States (sometimes Dixie, also referred to as the Southern States, the American South, the Southland, or simply the South) is a geographic and cultural List of regions of the United States#Official regions of the United Stat ...
, mainly in
Augusta, Georgia Augusta ( ), officially Augusta–Richmond County, is a consolidated city-county on the central eastern border of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. The city lies across the Savannah River from South Carolina at the head of its navig ...
, during the
Civil War A civil war or intrastate war is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change go ...
and
Reconstruction Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for "reconstruction"), a late 20th century Soviet Union ...
. After earning a Ph.D. in political science from
Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University (Johns Hopkins, Hopkins, or JHU) is a private university, private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins is the oldest research university in the United States and in the western hem ...
, Wilson taught at various colleges before becoming the president of
Princeton University Princeton University is a private university, private research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the List of Colonial Colleges, fourth-oldest ins ...
and a spokesman for
progressivism Progressivism holds that it is possible to improve human societies through political action. As a political movement, progressivism seeks to advance the human condition through social reform based on purported advancements in science, techno ...
in higher education. As governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913, Wilson broke with party bosses and won the passage of several progressive reforms. To win the presidential nomination he mobilized progressives and Southerners to his cause at the
1912 Democratic National Convention The 1912 Democratic National Convention was held at the Fifth Regiment Armory off North Howard Street in Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: or ) is the List of municipalities in Maryland, most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryl ...
. Wilson defeated incumbent Republican
William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected pre ...
and third-party nominee
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or by his initials, T. R., was an American politician, statesman, soldier, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26t ...
to easily win the 1912 United States presidential election, becoming the first Southerner to do so since 1848. During his first year as president, Wilson authorized the widespread imposition of segregation inside the federal bureaucracy. His first term was largely devoted to pursuing passage of his progressive New Freedom domestic agenda. His first major priority was the
Revenue Act of 1913 The Revenue Act of 1913, also known as the Underwood Tariff or the Underwood-Simmons Act (ch. 16, ), re-established a federal income tax in the United States and substantially lowered tariffs in United States history, tariff rates. The act was sp ...
, which lowered tariffs and began the modern
income tax An income tax is a tax imposed on individuals or entities (taxpayers) in respect of the income or profits earned by them (commonly called taxable income). Income tax generally is computed as the product of a tax rate times the taxable income. Tax ...
. Wilson also negotiated the passage of the
Federal Reserve Act The Federal Reserve Act was passed by the 63rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the ...
, which created the
Federal Reserve System The Federal Reserve System (often shortened to the Federal Reserve, or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after ...
. Two major laws, the Federal Trade Commission Act and the
Clayton Antitrust Act The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 (, codified at , ), is a part of United States antitrust law with the goal of adding further substance to the U.S. antitrust law regime; the Clayton Act seeks to prevent anticompetitive practices in their incipie ...
, were enacted to promote business competition and combat extreme corporate power. At the outbreak of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
in 1914, the U.S. declared neutrality as Wilson tried to negotiate a peace between the Allied and
Central Powers The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires,german: Mittelmächte; hu, Központi hatalmak; tr, İttifak Devletleri / ; bg, Централни сили, translit=Tsentralni sili was one of the two main coalitions that fought in W ...
. He narrowly won re-election in the
1916 United States presidential election The 1916 United States presidential election was the 33rd quadrennial United States presidential election, presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 7, 1916. Incumbent History of the United States Democratic Party, Democratic President Woo ...
, boasting how he kept the nation out of wars in Europe and Mexico. In April 1917, Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany in response to its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare that sank American merchant ships. Wilson nominally presided over war-time mobilization and left military matters to the generals. He instead concentrated on diplomacy, issuing the ''
Fourteen Points U.S. President Woodrow Wilson The Fourteen Points was a statement of principles for peace Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lac ...
'' that the Allies and Germany accepted as a basis for post-war peace. He wanted the off-year elections of 1918 to be a referendum endorsing his policies, but instead the Republicans took control of Congress. After the Allied victory in November 1918, Wilson went to Paris where he and the British and French leaders dominated the Paris Peace Conference. Wilson successfully advocated for the establishment of a multinational organization, the League of Nations. It was incorporated into the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the Peace treaty, peace treaties of World War I. It ended the declaration of war, state of war between Germany and the Allies of ...
that he signed. Wilson had refused to bring any leading Republican into the Paris talks, and back home he rejected a Republican compromise that would have allowed the Senate to ratify the Versailles Treaty and join the League. Wilson had intended to seek a third term in office but suffered a severe stroke in October 1919 that left him incapacitated. His wife and his doctor controlled Wilson, and no significant decisions were made. Meanwhile, his policies alienated German and Irish Democrats and the Republicans won a landslide in the 1920 presidential election. Scholars have generally
ranked A ranking is a relationship between a set of items such that, for any two items, the first is either "ranked higher than", "ranked lower than" or "ranked equal to" the second. In order theory, mathematics, this is known as a Strict weak ordering ...
Wilson in the upper tier of U.S presidents, although he has been criticized for supporting
racial segregation Racial segregation is the systematic separation of people into race (human classification), racial or other Ethnicity, ethnic groups in daily life. Racial segregation can amount to the international crime of apartheid and a crimes against hum ...
. His liberalism nevertheless lives on as a major factor in American foreign policy, and his vision of ethnic self-determination resonated globally.


Early life

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born to a family of Scots-Irish and Scottish descent in
Staunton, Virginia Staunton ( ) is an independent city (United States), independent city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census, the population was 25,750. In Virginia, independent cities a ...
. He was the third of four children and the first son of Joseph Ruggles Wilson and Jessie Janet Woodrow. Wilson's paternal grandparents had immigrated to the United States from
Strabane Strabane ( ; ) is a town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Strabane had a population of 13,172 at the United Kingdom census, 2011, 2011 Census. It lies on the east bank of the River Foyle. It is roughly midway from Omagh, Derry and Letterke ...
,
County Tyrone County Tyrone (; ) is one of the six Counties of Northern Ireland, counties of Northern Ireland, one of the nine counties of Ulster and one of the thirty-two traditional Counties of Ireland, counties of Ireland. It is no longer used as an admini ...
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
, in 1807, settling in
Steubenville, Ohio Steubenville is a city in and the county seat of Jefferson County, Ohio, United States. Located along the Ohio River 33 miles west of Pittsburgh, it had a population of 18,161 at the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census. The city's name is deri ...
. His grandfather James Wilson published a pro-
tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by the government of a country or by a supranational union on imports or exports of goods. Besides being a source of revenue for the government, import duties can also be a form of regulation of foreign trade an ...
and anti-slavery newspaper, '' The Western Herald and Gazette''. Wilson's maternal grandfather, Reverend Thomas Woodrow, moved from
Paisley, Renfrewshire Paisley ( ; sco, Paisley, gd, Pàislig ) is a large town situated in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. Located north of the Gleniffer Braes, the town borders the city of Glasgow to the east, and straddles the banks of the White Cart Water ...
, Scotland, to
Carlisle, Cumbria Carlisle ( , ; from xcb, Caer Luel) is a city that lies within the Northern England, Northern English county of Cumbria, south of the Anglo-Scottish border, Scottish border at the confluence of the rivers River Eden, Cumbria, Eden, River C ...
, England, before migrating to
Chillicothe, Ohio Chillicothe ( ) is a city in and the county seat of Ross County, Ohio, Ross County, Ohio, United States. Located along the Scioto River 45 miles (72 km) south of Columbus, Ohio, Columbus, Chillicothe was the first and third capital of Ohio. ...
, in the late 1830s. Joseph met Jessie while she was attending a girl's academy in Steubenville, and the two married on June 7, 1849. Soon after the wedding, Joseph was ordained as a
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that broke from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland by John Knox, who was a priest at St. Giles Cathedral (Church of Scotland). Presbyterian churches derive their nam ...
pastor and assigned to serve in Staunton. Thomas was born in the Manse, a house of the Staunton First Presbyterian Church where Joseph served. Before he was two, the family moved to
Augusta, Georgia Augusta ( ), officially Augusta–Richmond County, is a consolidated city-county on the central eastern border of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. The city lies across the Savannah River from South Carolina at the head of its navig ...
. Wilson's earliest memory was of playing in his yard and standing near the front gate of the Augusta parsonage at the age of three, when he heard a passerby announce in disgust that
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln ( ; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the nation throu ...
had been elected and that a war was coming. Wilson was one of only two U.S. presidents to be a citizen of the
Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy was an List of historical unrecognized states and dependencies, unrecognized Secession in the United States, breakaway republic in the ...
, the other being
John Tyler John Tyler (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth president of the United States, serving from 1841 to 1845, after briefly holding office as the tenth vice president of the United States, vice president in 1841. He was elected v ...
. Wilson's family identified with the
Southern United States The Southern United States (sometimes Dixie, also referred to as the Southern States, the American South, the Southland, or simply the South) is a geographic and cultural List of regions of the United States#Official regions of the United Stat ...
and were staunch supporters of the Confederacy during the
American Civil War The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865; also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States. It was fought between the Union (American Civil War), Union ("the North") and t ...
. Wilson's father was one of the founders of the Southern Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) after it split from the Northern Presbyterians in 1861. He became minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, and the family lived there until 1870. From 1870 to 1874, Wilson lived in
Columbia, South Carolina Columbia is the List of capitals in the United States, capital of the U.S. state of South Carolina. With a population of 136,632 at the 2020 United States census, 2020 census, it is List of municipalities in South Carolina, the second-largest ...
, where his father was a theology professor at the Columbia Theological Seminary. In 1873, Wilson became a communicant member of the Columbia First Presbyterian Church; he remained a member throughout his life. Wilson attended
Davidson College Davidson College is a private liberal arts college A liberal arts college or liberal arts institution of higher education is a college with an emphasis on Undergraduate education, undergraduate study in Liberal arts education, liberal arts an ...
in North Carolina for the 1873–74 school year but transferred as a freshman to the College of New Jersey (now
Princeton University Princeton University is a private university, private research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the List of Colonial Colleges, fourth-oldest ins ...
). He studied
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include politics ...
and
history History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as we ...
, joined the
Phi Kappa Psi Phi Kappa Psi (), commonly known as Phi Psi, is an American collegiate social Fraternities and sororities in North America, fraternity that was founded by William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore in Widow Letterman's home on the ca ...
fraternity, and was active in the Whig literary and debating society. He was also elected secretary of the school's
football Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, Kick (football), kicking a Football (ball), ball to score a Goal (sport), goal. Unqualified, Football (word), the word ''football'' normally means the form of football tha ...
association, president of the school's
baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball sport played between two team sport, teams of nine players each, taking turns batting (baseball), batting and Fielding (baseball), fielding. The game occurs over the course of several Pitch ...
association, and managing editor of the student newspaper. In the hotly contested presidential election of 1876, Wilson declared his support for the Democratic Party and its nominee, Samuel J. Tilden. After graduating from Princeton in 1879, Wilson attended the
University of Virginia School of Law The University of Virginia School of Law (Virginia Law or UVA Law) is the Law school in the United States, law school of the University of Virginia, a Public university, public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1 ...
, where he was involved in the
Virginia Glee Club The Virginia Glee Club is a men's chorus based at the University of Virginia. It performs both traditional and contemporary vocal works typically in TTBB arrangements. Founded in 1871, the Glee Club is the university's oldest musical organization ...
and served as president of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. After poor health forced his withdrawal from the University of Virginia, he continued to study law on his own while living with his parents in
Wilmington, North Carolina Wilmington is a port city in and the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina, New Hanover County in coastal southeastern North Carolina, United States. With a population of 115,451 at the 2020 United States census, 2020 census, it is t ...
. Wilson was admitted to the Georgia bar and made a brief attempt at establishing a
law firm A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. The primary service rendered by a law firm is to advise consumer, clients (individuals or corporations) about their legal rights and Obligation, respon ...
in
Atlanta Atlanta ( ) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia. It is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia, but its territory falls in both Fulton and DeKalb counties. With a population of 498, ...
in 1882. Though he found legal history and substantive jurisprudence interesting, he abhorred the day-to-day procedural aspects. After less than a year, he abandoned his legal practice to pursue the study of political science and history.


Marriage and family

In 1883, Wilson met and fell in love with Ellen Louise Axson, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister from
Savannah, Georgia Savannah ( ) is the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia and is the county seat of Chatham County, Georgia, Chatham County. Established in 1733 on the Savannah River, the city of Savannah became the Kingdom of Great Br ...
. He proposed marriage in September 1883; she accepted, but they agreed to postpone marriage while Wilson attended graduate school. Ellen graduated from
Art Students League of New York The Art Students League of New York is an art school at American Fine Arts Society, 215 West 57th Street in Manhattan, New York City, New York. The League has historically been known for its broad appeal to both amateurs and professional artists ...
, worked in portraiture, and received a medal for one of her works from the
Exposition Universelle (1878) The third Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105  ...
in Paris. She agreed to sacrifice further independent artistic pursuits in order to marry Wilson in 1885. She learned German so that she could help translate works of political science that were relevant to Wilson's research. Their first child, Margaret, was born in April 1886, and their second, Jessie, in August 1887. Their third and final child, Eleanor, was born in October 1889. In 1913, Jessie married Francis Bowes Sayre Sr., who later was
High Commissioner to the Philippines The high commissioner to the Philippines was the personal representative of the president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. T ...
. In 1914, Eleanor married
William Gibbs McAdoo William Gibbs McAdoo Jr.McAdoo is variously differentiated from family members of the same name: * Dr. William Gibbs McAdoo (1820–1894) – sometimes called "I" or "Senior" * William Gibbs McAdoo (1863–1941) – sometimes called "II" or "Ju ...
, the
Secretary of the Treasury The United States secretary of the treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, and is the chief financial officer of the federal government of the United States. The secretary of the treasury serves as the principal a ...
under Wilson and later a senator for California.Berg (2013), p. 328


Academic career


Professor

In late 1883, Wilson enrolled at the recently established
Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University (Johns Hopkins, Hopkins, or JHU) is a private university, private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins is the oldest research university in the United States and in the western hem ...
in Baltimore for doctoral studies. Built on the
Humboldtian model of higher education The Humboldtian model of higher education (German: ''Humboldtsches Bildungsideal'', literally: Humboldtian education ideal) or just Humboldt's Ideal is a concept of academic education that emerged in the early 19th century and whose core idea is ...
, Johns Hopkins was inspired particularly from Germany's historic
Heidelberg University } Heidelberg University, officially the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, (german: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg; la, Universitas Ruperto Carola Heidelbergensis) is a public In public relations and communication science, publ ...
in that it was committed to research as a central part of its academic mission. Wilson studied history, political science, German, and other areas.Pestritto (2005), 34. Wilson hoped to become a professor, writing that "a professorship was the only feasible place for me, the only place that would afford leisure for reading and for original work, the only strictly literary berth with an income attached." Wilson spent much of his time at Johns Hopkins writing ''Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics'', which grew out of a series of essays in which he examined the workings of the federal government. He received a Ph.D. in history and government from Johns Hopkins in 1886, making him the only U.S. president who has possessed a Ph.D. In early 1885,
Houghton Mifflin The asterisk ( ), from Late Latin , from Ancient Greek , ''asteriskos'', "little star", is a Typography, typographical symbol. It is so called because it resembles a conventional image of a star (heraldry), heraldic star. Computer scientists ...
published ''Congressional Government'', which received a strong reception; one critic called it "the best critical writing on the American constitution which has appeared since the 'Federalist' papers." In 1885 to 1888, Wilson accepted a teaching position at
Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr College ( ; Welsh language, Welsh: ) is a Women's colleges in the United States, women's Liberal arts colleges in the United States, liberal arts college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Founded as a Quaker institution in 1885, Bryn Mawr is ...
, a newly established
women's college Women's colleges in higher education Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of for ...
near Philadelphia. Wilson taught ancient Greek and Roman history, American history, political science, and other subjects. There were only 42 students, nearly all of them too passive for his taste. M. Carey Thomas, the dean, was an aggressive feminist and Wilson was in a bitter dispute with the president about his contract. He left as soon as possible, and was not given a farewell. In 1888, Wilson left Bryn Mawr for
Wesleyan University Wesleyan University ( ) is a Private university, private liberal arts college, liberal arts university in Middletown, Connecticut. Founded in 1831 as a Men's colleges in the United States, men's college under the auspices of the Methodist Epis ...
in Connecticut, an elite undergraduate college for men. He coached the
football Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, Kick (football), kicking a Football (ball), ball to score a Goal (sport), goal. Unqualified, Football (word), the word ''football'' normally means the form of football tha ...
team, founded a debate team, and taught graduate courses in political economy and Western history. In February 1890, with the help of friends, Wilson was appointed by Princeton to the Chair of Jurisprudence and Political Economy, at an annual salary of $3,000 (). He quickly gained a reputation as a compelling speaker. In 1896, Francis Landey Patton announced that the College of New Jersey would henceforth be known as Princeton University; an ambitious program of expansion followed with the name change. In the 1896 presidential election, Wilson rejected Democratic nominee
William Jennings Bryan William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American lawyer, orator and politician. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the History of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, running ...
as too far to the left. He supported the conservative " Gold Democrat" nominee, John M. Palmer. Wilson's academic reputation continued to grow throughout the 1890s, and he turned down multiple positions elsewhere including at Johns Hopkins and the University of Virginia. Wilson published several works of history and political science and was a regular contributor to ''
Political Science Quarterly ''Political Science Quarterly'' is an American peer review#Different styles of review, double blind Peer review, peer-reviewed academic journal covering government, politics, and policy, published since 1886 by the Academy of Political Science. It ...
''. Wilson's textbook, ''The State'', was widely used in American college courses until the 1920s. In ''The State'', Wilson wrote that governments could legitimately promote the general welfare "by forbidding child labor, by supervising the sanitary conditions of factories, by limiting the employment of women in occupations hurtful to their health, by instituting official tests of the purity or the quality of goods sold, by limiting the hours of labor in certain trades, ndby a hundred and one limitations of the power of unscrupulous or heartless men to out-do the scrupulous and merciful in trade or industry." He also wrote that charity efforts should be removed from the private domain and "made the imperative legal duty of the whole," a position which, according to historian Robert M. Saunders, seemed to indicate that Wilson "was laying the groundwork for the modern welfare state." His third book, ''Division and Reunion'' (1893), became a standard university textbook for teaching mid- and late-19th century U.S. history.Berg (2013), pp. 121–122


President of Princeton University

In June 1902, Princeton trustees promoted Professor Wilson to president, replacing Patton, whom the trustees perceived to be an inefficient administrator. Wilson aspired, as he told alumni, "to transform thoughtless boys performing tasks into thinking men." He tried to raise admission standards and to replace the "gentleman's C" with serious study. To emphasize the development of expertise, Wilson instituted academic departments and a system of core requirements. Students were to meet in groups of six under the guidance of teaching assistants known as preceptors. To fund these new programs, Wilson undertook an ambitious and successful fundraising campaign, convincing alumni such as Moses Taylor Pyne and philanthropists such as
Andrew Carnegie Andrew Carnegie (, ; November 25, 1835August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist. Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in ...
to donate to the school. Wilson appointed the first Jew and the first Roman Catholic to the faculty, and helped liberate the board from domination by conservative Presbyterians. He also worked to keep African Americans out of the school, even as other
Ivy League The Ivy League is an American collegiate List of NCAA conferences, athletic conference comprising eight Private university, private Research university, research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term ''Ivy League'' is typi ...
schools were accepting small numbers of black people. Wilson's efforts to reform Princeton earned him national notoriety, but they also took a toll on his health. In 1906, Wilson awoke to find himself blind in the left eye, the result of a blood clot and hypertension. Modern medical opinion surmises Wilson had had a stroke—he later was diagnosed, as his father had been, with hardening of the arteries. He began to exhibit his father's traits of impatience and intolerance, which would on occasion lead to errors of judgment. When Wilson began vacationing in
Bermuda ) , anthem = "God Save the King" , song_type = National song , song = "Hail to Bermuda" , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 = , mapsize2 = , map_caption2 = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = , es ...
in 1906, he met a socialite, Mary Hulbert Peck. According to biographer August Heckscher II, Wilson's friendship with Peck became the topic of frank discussion between Wilson and his wife, although Wilson historians have not conclusively established there was an affair. Wilson also sent very personal letters to her, which were later used against him by his adversaries. Having reorganized the school's curriculum and established the preceptorial system, Wilson next attempted to curtail the influence of social elites at Princeton by abolishing the upper-class eating clubs. He proposed moving the students into colleges, also known as quadrangles, but Wilson's Quad Plan was met with fierce opposition from Princeton's alumni. In October 1907, due to the intensity of alumni opposition, the Board of Trustees instructed Wilson to withdraw the Quad Plan. Late in his tenure, Wilson had a confrontation with Andrew Fleming West, dean of the graduate school, and also West's ally ex-President
Grover Cleveland Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837June 24, 1908) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States from 1885 to 1889 and from 1893 to 1897. Cleveland is the only president in American ...
, who was a trustee. Wilson wanted to integrate a proposed graduate school building into the campus core, while West preferred a more distant campus site. In 1909, Princeton's board accepted a gift made to the graduate school campaign subject to the graduate school being located off campus. Wilson became disenchanted with his job due to the resistance to his recommendations, and he began considering a run for office. Prior to the 1908 Democratic National Convention, Wilson dropped hints to some influential players in the Democratic Party of his interest in the ticket. While he had no real expectations of being placed on the ticket, he left instructions that he should not be offered the vice presidential nomination. Party regulars considered his ideas politically as well as geographically detached and fanciful, but the seeds had been sown. In 1956,
McGeorge Bundy McGeorge "Mac" Bundy (March 30, 1919 – September 16, 1996) was an American academic who served as the U.S. National Security Advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 through 1966. He was president of the Ford Fou ...
described Wilson's contribution to Princeton: "Wilson was right in his conviction that Princeton must be more than a wonderfully pleasant and decent home for nice young men; it has been more ever since his time."


Governor of New Jersey (1911–1913)

By January 1910, Wilson had drawn the attention of James Smith Jr. and George Brinton McClellan Harvey, two leaders of New Jersey's Democratic Party, as a potential candidate in the upcoming
gubernatorial election A governor is an administrative leader and head of a polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized so ...
. Having lost the last five gubernatorial elections, New Jersey Democratic leaders decided to throw their support behind Wilson, an untested and unconventional candidate. Party leaders believed that Wilson's academic reputation made him the ideal spokesman against trusts and corruption, but they also hoped his inexperience in governing would make him easy to influence. Wilson agreed to accept the nomination if "it came to me unsought, unanimously, and without pledges to anybody about anything." At the state party convention, the bosses marshaled their forces and won the nomination for Wilson. He submitted his letter of resignation to Princeton on October 20. Wilson's campaign focused on his promise to be independent of party bosses. He quickly shed his professorial style for more emboldened speechmaking and presented himself as a full-fledged progressive. Though Republican
William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected pre ...
had carried New Jersey in the 1908 presidential election by more than 82,000 votes, Wilson soundly defeated Republican gubernatorial nominee Vivian M. Lewis by a margin of more than 65,000 votes. Democrats also took control of the general assembly in the 1910 elections, though the
state senate A state legislature in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consi ...
remained in Republican hands. After winning the election, Wilson appointed Joseph Patrick Tumulty as his private secretary, a position he held throughout Wilson's political career.Heckscher (1991), p. 220. Wilson began formulating his reformist agenda, intending to ignore the demands of his party machinery. Smith asked Wilson to endorse his bid for the U.S. Senate, but Wilson refused and instead endorsed Smith's opponent James Edgar Martine, who had won the Democratic primary. Martine's victory in the Senate election helped Wilson position himself as an independent force in the New Jersey Democratic Party. By the time Wilson took office, New Jersey had gained a reputation for public corruption; the state was known as the "Mother of Trusts" because it allowed companies like
Standard Oil Standard Oil Company, Inc., was an American petroleum, oil production, transportation, refining, and marketing company that operated from 1870 to 1911. At its height, Standard Oil was the largest petroleum company in the world, and its success ma ...
to escape the
antitrust laws Competition law is the field of law that promotes or seeks to maintain market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies. Competition law is implemented through public and private enforcement. It is also known as antitrust l ...
of other states. Wilson and his allies quickly won passage of the Geran bill, which undercut the power of the political bosses by requiring primaries for all elective offices and party officials. A corrupt practices law and a workmen's compensation statute that Wilson supported won passage shortly thereafter. For his success in passing these laws during the first months of his gubernatorial term, Wilson won national and bipartisan recognition as a reformer and a leader of the Progressive movement. Republicans took control of the state assembly in early 1912, and Wilson spent much of the rest of his tenure vetoing bills. Nonetheless, he won passage of laws that restricted labor by women and children and increased standards for factory working conditions. A new State Board of Education was set up "with the power to conduct inspections and enforce standards, regulate districts' borrowing authority, and require special classes for students with handicaps." Before leaving office Wilson oversaw the establishment of free dental clinics and enacted a "comprehensive and scientific" poor law. Trained nursing was standardized, while contract labor in all reformatories and prisons was abolished and an indeterminate sentence act passed. A law was introduced that compelled all railroad companies "to pay their employees twice monthly," while regulation of the working hours, health, safety, employment, and age of people employed in mercantile establishments was carried out. Shortly before leaving office, Wilson signed a series of antitrust laws known as the "Seven Sisters," as well as another law that removed the power to select
juries A jury is a sworn body of people (jurors) convened to hear evidence and render an impartiality, impartial verdict (a Question of fact, finding of fact on a question) officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a sentence (law), penalty o ...
from local sheriffs.


Presidential election of 1912


Democratic nomination

Wilson became a prominent 1912 presidential contender immediately upon his election as
Governor of New Jersey The governor of New Jersey is the head of government of New Jersey. The office of Governor (United States), governor is an elected position with a four-year term. There is a two consecutive term term limit, with no limitation on non-consecuti ...
in 1910, and his clashes with state party bosses enhanced his reputation with the rising Progressive movement. In addition to progressives, Wilson enjoyed the support of Princeton alumni such as Cyrus McCormick and Southerners such as Walter Hines Page, who believed that Wilson's status as a transplanted Southerner gave him broad appeal. Though Wilson's shift to the left won the admiration of many, it also created enemies such as George Brinton McClellan Harvey, a former Wilson supporter who had close ties to
Wall Street Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District, Manhattan, Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It runs between Broadway (Manhattan), Broadway in the west to South Street (Manhattan), South Street and ...
. In July 1911, Wilson brought
William Gibbs McAdoo William Gibbs McAdoo Jr.McAdoo is variously differentiated from family members of the same name: * Dr. William Gibbs McAdoo (1820–1894) – sometimes called "I" or "Senior" * William Gibbs McAdoo (1863–1941) – sometimes called "II" or "Ju ...
and "Colonel" Edward M. House in to manage the campaign. Prior to the
1912 Democratic National Convention The 1912 Democratic National Convention was held at the Fifth Regiment Armory off North Howard Street in Baltimore Baltimore ( , locally: or ) is the List of municipalities in Maryland, most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryl ...
, Wilson made a special effort to win the approval of three-time Democratic presidential nominee
William Jennings Bryan William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American lawyer, orator and politician. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the History of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, running ...
, whose followers had largely dominated the Democratic Party since the 1896 presidential election. Speaker of the House Champ Clark of Missouri was viewed by many as the front-runner for the nomination, while House Majority Leader
Oscar Underwood Oscar Wilder Underwood (May 6, 1862 – January 25, 1929) was an American lawyer and politician from Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = " Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery , LargestCity ...
of Alabama also loomed as a challenger. Clark found support among the Bryan wing of the party, while Underwood appealed to the conservative
Bourbon Democrat Bourbon Democrat was a term used in the United States in the later 19th century (1872–1904) to refer to members of the History of the United States Democratic Party, Democratic Party who were ideologically aligned with fiscal conservatism or c ...
s, especially in the South. In the 1912 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Clark won several of the early contests, but Wilson finished strong with victories in Texas, the Northeast, and the Midwest. On the first presidential ballot of the Democratic convention, Clark won a plurality of delegates; his support continued to grow after the New York
Tammany Hall Tammany Hall, also known as the Society of St. Tammany, the Sons of St. Tammany, or the Columbian Order, was a New York City political organization founded in 1786 and incorporated on May 12, 1789 as the Tammany Society. It became the main loc ...
machine swung behind him on the tenth ballot. Tammany's support backfired for Clark, as Bryan announced that he would not support any candidate that had Tammany's backing, and Clark began losing delegates on subsequent ballots. Wilson gained the support of Roger Charles Sullivan and
Thomas Taggart Thomas Taggart (November 17, 1856March 6, 1929) was an Irish-American Irish Americans or Hiberno-Americans ( ga, Gael-Mheiriceánaigh) are Americans who have full or partial ancestry from Ireland. About 32 million Americans — 9.7% of the ...
by promising the vice presidency to Governor Thomas R. Marshall of Indiana. and several Southern delegations shifted their support from Underwood to Wilson. Wilson finally won two-thirds of the vote on the convention's 46th ballot, and Marshall became Wilson's running mate.


General election

In the 1912 general election, Wilson faced two major opponents: one-term Republican incumbent
William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected pre ...
, and former Republican President
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or by his initials, T. R., was an American politician, statesman, soldier, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26t ...
, who ran a
third party Third party may refer to: Business * Third-party source, a supplier company not owned by the buyer or seller * Third-party beneficiary, a person who could sue on a contract, despite not being an active party * Third-party insurance, such as a Veh ...
campaign as the "Bull Moose" Party nominee. The fourth candidate was Eugene V. Debs of the Socialist Party. Roosevelt had broken with his former party at the 1912 Republican National Convention after Taft narrowly won re-nomination, and the split in the Republican Party made Democrats hopeful that they could win the presidency for the first time since the 1892 presidential election. Roosevelt emerged as Wilson's main challenger, and Wilson and Roosevelt largely campaigned against each other despite sharing similarly progressive platforms that called for an interventionist central government. Wilson directed campaign finance chairman Henry Morgenthau not to accept contributions from corporations and to prioritize smaller donations from the widest possible quarters of the public. During the election campaign, Wilson asserted that it was the task of government "to make those adjustments of life which will put every man in a position to claim his normal rights as a living, human being." With the help of legal scholar
Louis Brandeis Louis Dembitz Brandeis (; November 13, 1856 – October 5, 1941) was an American lawyer and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. Starti ...
, he developed his New Freedom platform, focusing especially on breaking up trusts and lowering
tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by the government of a country or by a supranational union on imports or exports of goods. Besides being a source of revenue for the government, import duties can also be a form of regulation of foreign trade an ...
rates. Brandeis and Wilson rejected Roosevelt's proposal to establish a powerful bureaucracy charged with regulating large corporations, instead favoring the break-up of large corporations in order to create a level economic playing field. Wilson engaged in a spirited campaign, criss-crossing the country to deliver numerous speeches. Ultimately, he took 42 percent of the popular vote and 435 of the 531 electoral votes. Roosevelt won most of the remaining electoral votes and 27.4 percent of the popular vote, one of the strongest third party performances in U.S. history. Taft won 23.2 percent of the popular vote but just 8 electoral votes, while Debs won 6 percent of the popular vote. In the concurrent congressional elections, Democrats retained control of the
House A house is a single-unit residential building. It may range in complexity from a rudimentary hut to a complex structure of wood, masonry, concrete or other material, outfitted with plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation, and air condit ...
and won a majority in the
Senate A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house An upper house is one of two Debate chamber, chambers of a bicameralism, bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house.''Bicameralism'' (1997) by George Tseb ...
.Cooper (2009), pp. 173–174 Wilson's victory made him the first Southerner to win a presidential election since the
Civil War A civil war or intrastate war is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change go ...
, the first Democratic president since Grover Cleveland left office in 1897, and the first president to hold a Ph.D.


Presidency (1913–1921)

After the election, Wilson chose
William Jennings Bryan William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American lawyer, orator and politician. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the History of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, running ...
as Secretary of State, and Bryan offered advice on the remaining members of Wilson's cabinet.
William Gibbs McAdoo William Gibbs McAdoo Jr.McAdoo is variously differentiated from family members of the same name: * Dr. William Gibbs McAdoo (1820–1894) – sometimes called "I" or "Senior" * William Gibbs McAdoo (1863–1941) – sometimes called "II" or "Ju ...
, a prominent Wilson supporter who married Wilson's daughter in 1914, became Secretary of the Treasury, and James Clark McReynolds, who had successfully prosecuted several prominent antitrust cases, was chosen as Attorney General. Publisher
Josephus Daniels Josephus Daniels (May 18, 1862 – January 15, 1948) was an American newspaper editor and publisher from the 1880s until his death, who controlled Raleigh's ''News & Observer'', at the time North Carolina's largest newspaper, for decades. A D ...
, a party loyalist and prominent white supremacist from North Carolina, was chosen to be Secretary of the Navy, while young New York attorney Franklin D. Roosevelt became Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Wilson's chief of staff ("secretary") was Joseph Patrick Tumulty, who acted as a political buffer and intermediary with the press. The most important foreign policy adviser and confidant was "Colonel" Edward M. House; Berg writes that, "in access and influence, ouseoutranked everybody in Wilson's Cabinet."


New Freedom domestic agenda

Wilson introduced a comprehensive program of domestic legislation at the outset of his administration, something no president had ever done before. He announced four major domestic priorities: the conservation of natural resources, banking reform,
tariff A tariff is a tax imposed by the government of a country or by a supranational union on imports or exports of goods. Besides being a source of revenue for the government, import duties can also be a form of regulation of foreign trade an ...
reduction, and better access to raw materials for farmers by breaking up Western mining trusts. Wilson introduced these proposals in April 1913 in a speech delivered to a joint session of Congress, becoming the first president since
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Befor ...
to address Congress in person. Wilson's first two years in office largely focused on the his domestic agenda. With trouble with Mexico and the outbreak of World War I in 1914, foreign affairs increasingly dominated his presidency.


Tariff and tax legislation

Democrats had long seen high tariff rates as equivalent to unfair taxes on consumers, and tariff reduction was their first priority. He argued that the system of high tariffs "cuts us off from our proper part in the commerce of the world, violates the just principles of taxation, and makes the government a facile instrument in the hands of private interests." By late May 1913, House Majority Leader
Oscar Underwood Oscar Wilder Underwood (May 6, 1862 – January 25, 1929) was an American lawyer and politician from Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = " Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery , LargestCity ...
had passed a bill in the House that cut the average tariff rate by 10 percent and imposed a tax on personal income above $4,000. Underwood's bill represented the largest downward revision of the tariff since the Civil War. It aggressively cut rates for raw materials, goods deemed to be "necessities," and products produced domestically by trusts, but it retained higher tariff rates for luxury goods. Nevertheless, the passage of the tariff bill in the Senate was a challenge. Some Southern and Western Democrats wanted the continued protection of their wool and sugar industries, and Democrats had a narrower majority in the upper house.Clements (1992), pp. 36–37 Wilson met extensively with Democratic senators and appealed directly to the people through the press. After weeks of hearings and debate, Wilson and Secretary of State Bryan managed to unite Senate Democrats behind the bill. The Senate voted 44 to 37 in favor of the bill, with only one Democrat voting against it and only one Republican voting for it. Wilson signed the
Revenue Act of 1913 The Revenue Act of 1913, also known as the Underwood Tariff or the Underwood-Simmons Act (ch. 16, ), re-established a federal income tax in the United States and substantially lowered tariffs in United States history, tariff rates. The act was sp ...
(called the Underwood Tariff) into law on October 3, 1913.Cooper (2009), pp. 216–218 The Revenue Act of 1913 reduced tariffs and replaced the lost revenue with a federal income tax of one percent on incomes above $3,000, affecting the richest three percent of the population.Weisman (2002), pp. 230–232, 278–282 The policies of the Wilson administration had a durable impact on the composition of government revenue, which now primarily came from taxation rather than tariffs.


Federal Reserve System

Wilson did not wait to complete the Revenue Act of 1913 before proceeding to the next item on his agenda—banking. By the time Wilson took office, countries like Britain and Germany had established government-run
central bank A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages the currency and monetary policy of a country or monetary union, and oversees their commercial bank, commercial banking system. In contrast to a commercial ba ...
s, but the United States had not had a central bank since the
Bank War The Bank War was a political struggle that developed over the issue of rechartering the Second Bank of the United States The Second Bank of the United States was the second federally authorized Hamiltonian national bank in the United States ...
of the 1830s. In the aftermath of the nationwide financial crisis in 1907, there was general agreement to create some sort of central banking system to provide a more elastic currency and to coordinate responses to financial panics. Wilson sought a middle ground between progressives such as Bryan and conservative Republicans like
Nelson Aldrich Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich (/Help:IPA/English, ˈɑldɹɪt͡ʃ/; November 6, 1841 – April 16, 1915) was a prominent American politician and a leader of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party in the United States Senate, where he r ...
, who, as chairman of the National Monetary Commission, had put forward a plan for a central bank that would give private financial interests a large degree of control over the monetary system. Wilson declared that the banking system must be "public not private, ndmust be vested in the government itself so that the banks must be the instruments, not the masters, of business." Democrats crafted a compromise plan in which private banks would control twelve regional
Federal Reserve Bank A Federal Reserve Bank is a regional bank of the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system of the United States. There are twelve in total, one for each of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts that were created by the Federal Reserve A ...
s, but a controlling interest in the system was placed in a central board filled with presidential appointees. Wilson convinced Democrats on the left that the new plan met their demands. Finally the Senate voted 54–34 to approve the
Federal Reserve Act The Federal Reserve Act was passed by the 63rd United States Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the ...
. The new system began operations in 1915, and it played a key role in financing the Allied and American war efforts in World War I.


Antitrust legislation

Having passed major legislation lowering the tariff and reforming the banking structure, Wilson next sought antitrust legislation to enhance the
Sherman Antitrust Act The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 (, ) is a United States antitrust law which prescribes the rule of free competition among those engaged in commerce. It was passed by United States Congress, Congress and is named for Senator John Sherman, i ...
of 1890. The Sherman Antitrust Act barred any "contract, combination...or conspiracy, in restraint of trade," but had proved ineffective in preventing the rise of large business combinations known as trusts. An elite group of businessmen dominated the boards of major banks and railroads, and they used their power to prevent competition by new companies. With Wilson's support, Congressman Henry Clayton, Jr. introduced a bill that would ban several anti-competitive practices such discriminatory pricing, tying,
exclusive dealing In Law and economics, Economics and Law, exclusive dealing arises when a supplier entails the buyer by placing limitations on the rights of the buyer to choose what, who and where they deal. This is against the law in most countries which inclu ...
, and
interlocking directorate Interlocking directorate refers to the practice of members of a corporate board of directors serving on the boards of multiple corporations. A person that sits on multiple boards is known as a ''multiple director''.Scott, 1997p. 7/ref> Two firms ...
s. As the difficulty of banning all anti-competitive practices via legislation became clear, Wilson came to back legislation that would create a new agency, the
Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC shares jurisdiction ...
(FTC), to investigate antitrust violations and enforce antitrust laws independently of the Justice Department. With bipartisan support, Congress passed the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, which incorporated Wilson's ideas regarding the FTC. One month after signing the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, Wilson signed the
Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 (, codified at , ), is a part of United States antitrust law with the goal of adding further substance to the U.S. antitrust law regime; the Clayton Act seeks to prevent anticompetitive practices in their incipie ...
, which built on the Sherman Act by defining and banning several anti-competitive practices.


Labor and agriculture

Wilson thought a child labor law would probably be unconstitutional but reversed himself in 1916 with a close election approaching. In 1916, after intense campaigns by the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) and the
National Consumers League The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is an American consumer organization. The National Consumers League is a private, nonprofit advocacy group representing consumers on marketplace and workplace issues. The NCL provides government, bu ...
, the Congress passed the Keating–Owen Act, making it illegal to ship goods in interstate commerce if they were made in factories employing children under specified ages. Southern Democrats were opposed but did not filibuster. Wilson endorsed the bill at the last minute under pressure from party leaders who stressed how popular the idea was, especially among the emerging class of women voters. He told Democratic Congressmen they needed to pass this law and also a workman's compensation law to satisfy the national progressive movement and to win the 1916 election against a reunited GOP. It was the first federal child labor law. However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law in '' Hammer v. Dagenhart'' (1918). Congress then passed a law taxing businesses that used child labor, but that was struck down by the Supreme Court in '' Bailey v. Drexel Furniture'' (1923). Child labor was finally ended in the 1930s. He approved the goal of upgrading the harsh working conditions for merchant sailors and signed LaFollette's Seamen's Act of 1915. Wilson called on the Labor Department to mediate conflicts between labor and management. In 1914, Wilson dispatched soldiers to help bring an end to the
Colorado Coalfield War The Colorado Coalfield War was a major labor uprising in the Southern and Central Colorado Front Range between September 1913 and December 1914. Striking began in late summer 1913, organized by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) aga ...
, one of the deadliest labor disputes in American history. In 1916 he pushed Congress to enact the eight-hour work day for railroad workers, which ended a major strike. It was "the boldest intervention in labor relations that any president had yet attempted." Wilson disliked the excessive government involvement in the Federal Farm Loan Act, which created twelve regional banks empowered to provide low-interest loans to farmers. Nevertheless, he needed the farm vote to survive the upcoming 1916 election, so he signed it.


Territories and immigration

Wilson embraced the long-standing Democratic policy against owning colonies, and he worked for the gradual autonomy and ultimate independence of the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
, which had been acquired in 1898. Wilson increased self-governance on the islands by granting
Filipinos Filipinos ( tl, Mga Pilipino) are the people who are citizens of or native to the Philippines. The majority of Filipinos today come from various Austronesian peoples, Austronesian ethnolinguistic groups, all typically speaking either Filipino l ...
greater control over the Philippine Legislature. The Jones Act of 1916 committed the United States to the eventual independence of the Philippines; independence took place in 1946. In 1916, Wilson purchased by treaty the
Danish West Indies The Danish West Indies ( da, Dansk Vestindien) or Danish Antilles or Danish Virgin Islands were a Danish colonization of the Americas, Danish colony in the Caribbean, consisting of the islands of Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas ...
, renamed as the
United States Virgin Islands The United States Virgin Islands,. Also called the ''American Virgin Islands'' and the ''U.S. Virgin Islands''. officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory ...
. Immigration from Europe declined significantly once World War I began and Wilson paid little attention to the issue during his presidency. However, he looked favorably upon the "new immigrants" from southern and eastern Europe, and twice vetoed laws passed by Congress intended to restrict their entry, though the later veto was overridden.


Judicial appointments

Wilson nominated three men to the
United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all U.S. federal court cases, and over state court cases that involve a point ...
, all of whom were confirmed by the U.S. Senate. In 1914, Wilson nominated sitting Attorney General James Clark McReynolds. Despite his credentials as an ardent trust buster, McReynolds became a staple of the court's conservative bloc until his retirement in 1941. According to Berg, Wilson considered appointing McReynolds one of his biggest mistakes in office. In 1916, Wilson nominated Louis Brandeis to the Court, setting off a major debate in the Senate over Brandeis's progressive ideology and his religion; Brandeis was the first
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture and/or ...
nominee to the Supreme Court. Ultimately, Wilson was able to convince Senate Democrats to vote to confirm Brandeis who served on the court until 1939. In contrast to McReynolds, Brandeis became one of the court's leading progressive voices. When a second vacancy arose in 1916, Wilson appointed progressive lawyer John Hessin Clarke. Clarke was confirmed by the Senate and served on the Court until retiring in 1922.


First-term foreign policy


Latin America

Wilson sought to move away from the foreign policy of his predecessors, which he viewed as imperialistic, and he rejected Taft's Dollar Diplomacy. Nonetheless, he frequently intervened in
Latin American Latin Americans ( es, Latinoamericanos; pt, Latino-americanos; ) are the citizenship, citizens of Latin American countries (or people with cultural, ancestral or national origins in Latin America). Latin American countries and their diasporas a ...
affairs, saying in 1913: "I am going to teach the South American republics to elect good men." The 1914 Bryan–Chamorro Treaty converted
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest Sovereign state, country in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean Sea, Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to ...
into a de facto protectorate, and the U.S. stationed soldiers there throughout Wilson's presidency. The Wilson administration sent troops to occupy the
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles The Greater Antilles ( es, Grandes Antillas or Antillas Mayores; french: Grandes Antilles; ht, Gwo Zant ...
and intervene in
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; French: ), officially the Republic of Haiti (); ) and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and ...
, and Wilson also authorized military interventions in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is an island country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called ...
,
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
, and
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean ...
. Wilson took office during the
Mexican Revolution The Mexican Revolution ( es, Revolución Mexicana) was an extended sequence of armed regional conflicts in Mexico from approximately 1910 to 1920. It has been called "the defining event of modern Mexican history". It resulted in the destruction ...
, which had begun in 1911 after liberals overthrew the military dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. Shortly before Wilson took office, conservatives retook power through a coup led by
Victoriano Huerta José Victoriano Huerta Márquez (; 22 December 1854 – 13 January 1916) was a general in the Mexican Federal Army and 39th President of Mexico, who came to power by coup against the democratically elected government of Francisco I. Madero wit ...
. Wilson rejected the legitimacy of Huerta's "government of butchers" and demanded Mexico hold democratic elections. After Huerta arrested U.S. Navy personnel who had accidentally landed in a restricted zone near the northern port town of
Tampico Tampico is a city and port in the southeastern part of the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. It is located on the north bank of the Pánuco River, about inland from the Gulf of Mexico, and directly north of the state of Veracruz. Tampico is the fifth ...
, Wilson dispatched the Navy to occupy the Mexican city of
Veracruz Veracruz (), formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 31 states which, along with Me ...
. A strong backlash against the American intervention among Mexicans of all political affiliations convinced Wilson to abandon his plans to expand the U.S. military intervention, but the intervention nonetheless helped convince Huerta to flee from the country. A group led by
Venustiano Carranza José Venustiano Carranza de la Garza (; 29 December 1859 – 21 May 1920) was a Mexican wealthy land owner and politician who was Governor of Coahuila when the constitutionally elected president Francisco I. Madero was overthrown in a February ...
established control over a significant proportion of Mexico, and Wilson recognized Carranza's government in October 1915.Clements (1992), pp. 99–100 Carranza continued to face various opponents within Mexico, including
Pancho Villa Francisco "Pancho" Villa (,"Villa"
''Collins English Dictionary''.
; ;
, whom Wilson had earlier described as "a sort of Robin Hood." In early 1916, Pancho Villa raided the village of
Columbus, New Mexico Columbus is a village in Luna County, New Mexico, Luna County, New Mexico, United States, about north of the Mexico–United States border, Mexican border. It is considered a place of historical interest, as the scene of Battle of Columbus (1916), ...
, killing or wounding dozens of Americans and causing an enormous nationwide American demand for his punishment. Wilson ordered General John J. Pershing and 4,000 troops across the border to capture Villa. By April, Pershing's forces had broken up and dispersed Villa's bands, but Villa remained on the loose and Pershing continued his pursuit deep into Mexico. Carranza then pivoted against the Americans and accused them of a punitive invasion, leading to several incidents that nearly led to war. Tensions subsided after Mexico agreed to release several American prisoners, and bilateral negotiations began under the auspices of the Mexican-American Joint High Commission. Eager to withdraw from Mexico due to tensions in Europe, Wilson ordered Pershing to withdraw, and the last American soldiers left in February 1917.


Neutrality in World War I

World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
broke out in July 1914, pitting the
Central Powers The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires,german: Mittelmächte; hu, Központi hatalmak; tr, İttifak Devletleri / ; bg, Централни сили, translit=Tsentralni sili was one of the two main coalitions that fought in W ...
(Germany,
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire,, the Dual Monarchy, or Austria, was a constitutional monarchy and great power in Central Europe#Before World War I, Central Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed with t ...
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, and later
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
) against the Allied Powers (Britain,
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia (Serbian language, Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Bas ...
, and several other countries). The war fell into a long stalemate with very high casualties on the Western Front in France. Both sides rejected offers by Wilson and House to mediate an end the conflict. From 1914 until early 1917, Wilson's primary foreign policy objectives were to keep the United States out of the war in Europe and to broker a peace agreement. He insisted that all U.S. government actions be neutral, stating that Americans "must be impartial in thought as well as in action, must put a curb upon our sentiments as well as upon every transaction that might be construed as a preference of one party to the struggle before another." As a neutral power, the U.S. insisted on its right to trade with both sides. However the powerful British Royal Navy imposed a
blockade of Germany The Blockade of Germany, or the Blockade of Europe, occurred from 1914 to 1919. The prolonged naval blockade was conducted by the Allies of World War I, Allies during and after World War I in an effort to restrict the maritime supply of goods t ...
. To appease Washington, London agreed to continue purchasing certain major American commodities such as cotton at pre-war prices, and in the event an American merchant vessel was caught with contraband, the Royal Navy was under orders to buy the entire cargo and release the vessel. Wilson passively accepted this situation. In response to the British blockade, Germany launched a submarine campaign against merchant vessels in the seas surrounding the British Isles. In early 1915, the Germans sank three American ships; Wilson took the view, based on some reasonable evidence, that these incidents were accidental, and a settlement of claims could be postponed until the end of the war. In May 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the British ocean liner RMS ''Lusitania'', killing 1,198 passengers, including 128 American citizens. Wilson publicly responded by saying, "there is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince others by force that it is right". Wilson demanded that the German government "take immediate steps to prevent the recurrence" of incidents like the sinking of the ''Lusitania''. In response, Bryan, who believed that Wilson had placed the defense of American trade rights above neutrality, resigned from the Cabinet. In March 1916, the SS ''Sussex'', an unarmed ferry under the French flag, was torpedoed in the English Channel and four Americans were counted among the dead. Wilson extracted from Germany a pledge to constrain submarine warfare to the rules of cruiser warfare, which represented a major diplomatic concession. Interventionists, led by Theodore Roosevelt, wanted war with Germany and attacked Wilson's refusal to build up the army in anticipation of war. After the sinking of the ''Lusitania'' and the resignation of Bryan, Wilson publicly committed himself to what became known as the " preparedness movement", and began to build up the army and the navy. In June 1916, Congress passed the
National Defense Act of 1916 The National Defense Act of 1916, , was a United States federal law that updated the Militia Act of 1903, which related to the organization of the military, particularly the National Guard. The principal change of the act was to supersede provi ...
, which established the
Reserve Officers' Training Corps The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC ( or )) is a group of college- and university-based officer training, officer-training programs for training commissioned officers of the United States Armed Forces. Overview While ROTC graduate offi ...
and expanded the National Guard. Later in the year, Congress passed the Naval Act of 1916, which provided for a major expansion of the navy.


Remarriage

The health of Wilson's wife, Ellen, declined after he entered office, and doctors diagnosed her with
Bright's disease Bright's disease is a historical classification of kidney diseases that are described in modern medicine as Acute (medical), acute or chronic (medicine), chronic nephritis. It was characterized by edema, swelling and the presence of serum albumin ...
in July 1914. She died on August 6, 1914. Wilson was deeply affected by the loss, falling into depression. On March 18, 1915, Wilson met Edith Bolling Galt at a White House tea. Galt was a widow and jeweler who was also from the South. After several meetings, Wilson fell in love with her, and he proposed marriage to her in May 1915. Galt initially rebuffed him, but Wilson was undeterred and continued the courtship. Edith gradually warmed to the relationship, and they became engaged in September 1915. They were married on December 18, 1915. Wilson joined
John Tyler John Tyler (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth president of the United States, serving from 1841 to 1845, after briefly holding office as the tenth vice president of the United States, vice president in 1841. He was elected v ...
and Grover Cleveland as the only presidents to marry while in office.


Presidential election of 1916

Wilson was renominated at the 1916 Democratic National Convention without opposition. In an effort to win progressive voters, Wilson called for legislation providing for an eight-hour day and six-day workweek, health and safety measures, the prohibition of child labor, and safeguards for female workers. He also favored a minimum wage for all work performed by and for the federal government. The Democrats also campaigned on the slogan "He Kept Us Out of War," and warned that a Republican victory would mean war with Germany. Hoping to reunify the progressive and conservative wings of the party, the 1916 Republican National Convention nominated Supreme Court Justice
Charles Evans Hughes Charles Evans Hughes Sr. (April 11, 1862 – August 27, 1948) was an American statesman, politician and jurist who served as the 11th Chief Justice of the United States from 1930 to 1941. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republi ...
for president; as a justice he had been totally out of politics in 1912. Though Republicans attacked Wilson's foreign policy on various grounds, domestic affairs generally dominated the campaign. Republicans campaigned against Wilson's New Freedom policies, especially tariff reduction, the new income taxes, and the
Adamson Act The Adamson Act was a United States federal law passed in 1916 that established an Eight hour day, eight-hour workday, with additional pay for overtime work, for interstate railroad workers. History The terms that were embodied in the act were ...
, which they derided as "class legislation." The election was close and the outcome was in doubt with Hughes ahead in the East, and Wilson in the South and West. The decision came down to California. On November 10, California certified that Wilson had won the state by 3,806 votes, giving him a majority of the electoral vote. Nationally, Wilson won 277 electoral votes and 49.2 percent of the popular vote, while Hughes won 254 electoral votes and 46.1 percent of the popular vote. Wilson was able to win by picking up many votes that had gone to Roosevelt or Debs in 1912. He swept the
Solid South The Solid South or Southern bloc was the electoral voting bloc of the states of the Southern United States The Southern United States (sometimes Dixie, also referred to as the Southern States, the American South, the Southland, or simply t ...
and won all but a handful of Western states, while Hughes won most of the Northeastern and Midwestern states. Wilson's re-election made him the first Democrat since
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, planter, general, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and ...
(in 1832) to win two consecutive terms. The Democrats kept control of Congress.


Entering the war

In January 1917, the Germans initiated a new policy of
unrestricted submarine warfare Unrestricted submarine warfare is a type of naval warfare in which submarines sink merchant ships such as freighter (ship), freighters and tanker (ship), tankers without warning, as opposed to attacks per prize rules (also known as "cruiser rules ...
against ships in the seas around the British Isles. German leaders knew that the policy would likely provoke U.S. entrance into the war, but they hoped to defeat the Allied Powers before the U.S. could fully mobilize. In late February, the U.S. public learned of the Zimmermann Telegram, a secret diplomatic communication in which Germany sought to convince Mexico to join it in a war against the United States. After a series of attacks on American ships, Wilson held a Cabinet meeting on March 20; all Cabinet members agreed that the time had come for the United States to enter the war. The Cabinet members believed that Germany was engaged in a commercial war against the United States, and that the United States had to respond with a formal declaration of war. On April 2, 1917, Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany, arguing that Germany was engaged in "nothing less than war against the government and people of the United States." He requested a military draft to raise the army, increased taxes to pay for military expenses, loans to Allied governments, and increased industrial and agricultural production. He stated, "we have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion... no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and freedom of the nations can make them." The
declaration of war by the United States A declaration of war is a formal declaration issued by a national government indicating that a state of war exists between that nation and another. A document by the Federation of American Scientists gives an extensive listing and summary of st ...
against Germany passed Congress with strong bipartisan majorities on April 6, 1917. The United States later declared war against Austria-Hungary in December 1917. With the U.S. entrance into the war, Wilson and Secretary of War Newton D. Baker launched an expansion of the army, with the goal of creating a 300,000-member
Regular Army A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official armed forces), contrasting with irregulars, irregular forces, such as volunteer irregular militias, private armies, mercenary, mercenaries, etc. A regular army usually has the ...
, a 440,000-member National Guard, and a 500,000-member conscripted force known as the " National Army." Despite some resistance to conscription and to the commitment of American soldiers abroad, large majorities of both houses of Congress voted to impose conscription with the
Selective Service Act of 1917 The Selective Service Act of 1917 or Selective Draft Act () authorized the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the Federation#Federal governmen ...
. Seeking to avoid the draft riots of the Civil War, the bill established local draft boards that were charged with determining who should be drafted. By the end of the war, nearly 3 million men had been drafted. The navy also saw tremendous expansion, and Allied shipping losses dropped substantially due to U.S. contributions and a new emphasis on the convoy system.


The Fourteen Points

Wilson sought the establishment of "an organized common peace" that would help prevent future conflicts. In this goal, he was opposed not just by the Central Powers, but also the other Allied Powers, who, to various degrees, sought to win concessions and to impose a punitive peace agreement on the Central Powers. On January 8, 1918, Wilson delivered a speech, known as the Fourteen Points, wherein he articulated his administration's long term war objectives. Wilson called for the establishment of an association of nations to guarantee the independence and territorial integrity of all nations—a
League of Nations The League of Nations (french: link=no, Société des Nations ) was the first worldwide Intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. It was founded on 10 January 1920 by ...
. Other points included the evacuation of occupied territory, the establishment of an independent
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
, and
self-determination The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law (commonly regarded as a ''peremptory norm, jus cogens'' rule), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter ...
for the peoples of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.


Course of the war

Under the command of General Pershing, the
American Expeditionary Forces The American Expeditionary Forces (A. E. F.) was a formation of the United States Army on the Western Front (World War I), Western Front of World War I. The A. E. F. was established on July 5, 1917, in France under the command of General John ...
first arrived in France in mid-1917. Wilson and Pershing rejected the British and French proposal that American soldiers integrate into existing Allied units, giving the United States more freedom of action but requiring for the creation of new organizations and supply chains. Russia exited the war after signing the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (also known as the Treaty of Brest in Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. ...
in March 1918, allowing Germany to shift soldiers from the Eastern Front of the war.Clements (1992), pp. 149–151 Hoping to break Allied lines before American soldiers could arrive in full force, the Germans launched the Spring Offensive on the Western Front. Both sides suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties as the Germans forced back the British and French, but Germany was unable to capture the French capital of
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,165,423 residents in 2019 in an area of more than 105 km² (41 sq mi), ma ...
. There were only 175,000 American soldiers in Europe at the end of 1917, but by mid-1918 10,000 Americans were arriving in Europe per day. With American forces having joined in the fight, the Allies defeated Germany in the Battle of Belleau Wood and the Battle of Château-Thierry. Beginning in August, the Allies launched the
Hundred Days Offensive The Hundred Days Offensive (8 August to 11 November 1918) was a series of massive Allies of World War I, Allied offensives that ended the First World War. Beginning with the Battle of Amiens (1918), Battle of Amiens (8–12 August) on the Wester ...
, pushing back the exhausted German army. Meanwhile, French and British leaders convinced Wilson to send a few thousand American soldiers to join the Allied intervention in Russia, which was in the midst of a
civil war A civil war or intrastate war is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change go ...
between the Communist
Bolsheviks The Bolsheviks (russian: Большевики́, from большинство́ ''bol'shinstvó'', 'majority'),; derived from ''bol'shinstvó'' (большинство́), "majority", literally meaning "one of the majority". also known in English ...
and the White movement. By the end of September 1918, the German leadership no longer believed it could win the war, and Kaiser
Wilhelm II Wilhelm II (Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert; 27 January 18594 June 1941) was the last German Emperor (german: Kaiser) and List of monarchs of Prussia, King of Prussia, reigning from 15 June 1888 until Abdication of Wilhelm II, his abdication on 9 ...
appointed a new government led by
Prince Maximilian of Baden Maximilian, Margrave of Baden (''Maximilian Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm''; 10 July 1867 – 6 November 1929),Almanach de Gotha. ''Haus Baden (Maison de Bade)''. Justus Perthes (publishing company), Justus Perthes, Gotha, 1944, p. 18, (French). a ...
. Baden immediately sought an armistice with Wilson, with the Fourteen Points to serve as the basis of the German surrender. House procured agreement to the armistice from France and Britain, but only after threatening to conclude a unilateral armistice without them. Germany and the Allied Powers brought an end to the fighting with the signing of the
Armistice of 11 November 1918 The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice signed at Le Francport near Compiègne that ended fighting on land, sea, and air in World War I between the Allies of World War I, Entente and their last remaining opponent, Weimar ...
. Austria-Hungary had signed the
Armistice of Villa Giusti The Armistice of Villa Giusti or Padua ended warfare between Italy and Austria-Hungary on the Italian Campaign (World War I), Italian Front during World War I. The armistice was signed on 3 November 1918 in the Villa Giusti, outside Padua in the ...
eight days earlier, while the Ottoman Empire had signed the
Armistice of Mudros Concluded on 30 October 1918 and taking effect at noon the next day, the Armistice of Mudros ( tr, Mondros Mütarekesi) ended hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I, Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire and the Alli ...
in October. By the end of the war, 116,000 American soldiers had died, and another 200,000 had been wounded.


Home front

With the American entrance into World War I in April 1917, Wilson became a war-time president. The War Industries Board, headed by
Bernard Baruch Bernard Mannes Baruch (August 19, 1870 – June 20, 1965) was an American financier and wikt:statesman, statesman. After amassing a fortune on the New York Stock Exchange, he impressed President Woodrow Wilson by managing the nation's economic m ...
, was established to set U.S. war manufacturing policies and goals. Future President
Herbert Hoover Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) was an American politician who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933 and a member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party, holding o ...
led the Food Administration; the Federal Fuel Administration, run by
Harry Augustus Garfield Harry Augustus "Hal" Garfield (October 11, 1863 – December 12, 1942) was an American lawyer, academic, and public official. He was president of Williams College Williams College is a Private college, private liberal arts colleges in the ...
, introduced
daylight saving time Daylight saving time (DST), also referred to as daylight savings time or simply daylight time (United States, Canada, and Australia), and summer time (United Kingdom, summer time in Europe, European Union, and others), is the practice of adv ...
and rationed fuel supplies; William McAdoo was in charge of war bond efforts; Vance C. McCormick headed the War Trade Board. These men, known collectively as the "war cabinet", met weekly with Wilson. Because he was heavily focused on foreign policy during World War I, Wilson delegated a large degree of authority over the home front to his subordinates. In the midst of the war, the federal budget soared from $1 billion in
fiscal year A fiscal year (or financial year, or sometimes budget year) is used in government accounting, which varies between countries, and for budget purposes. It is also used for financial reporting by businesses and other organizations. Laws in many ju ...
1916 to $19 billion in fiscal year 1919. In addition to spending on its own military build-up, Wall Street in 1914–1916 and the Treasury in 1917–1918 provided large loans to the Allied countries, thus financing the war effort of Britain and France. Seeking to avoid the high levels of inflation that had accompanied the heavy borrowing of the
American Civil War The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865; also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States. It was fought between the Union (American Civil War), Union ("the North") and t ...
, the Wilson administration raised taxes during the war. The
War Revenue Act of 1917 The United States War Revenue Act of 1917 greatly increased federal income tax rates while simultaneously lowering exemptions. The 2% bracket had previously applied to income below $20,000. That amount was lowered to $2,000. The top bracket (on inc ...
and the Revenue Act of 1918 raised the top tax rate to 77 percent, greatly increased the number of Americans paying the income tax, and levied an excess profits tax on businesses and individuals. Despite these tax acts, the United States was forced to borrow heavily to finance the war effort. Treasury Secretary McAdoo authorized the issuing of low-interest war bonds and, to attract investors, made interest on the bonds tax-free. The bonds proved so popular among investors that many borrowed money in order to buy more bonds. The purchase of bonds, along with other war-time pressures, resulted in rising inflation, though this inflation was partly matched by rising wages and profits.Clements (1992), pp. 156–157 To shape public opinion, Wilson in 1917 established the first modern propaganda office, the
Committee on Public Information The Committee on Public Information (1917–1919), also known as the CPI or the Creel Committee, was an independent agency of the government of the United States under the Wilson administration created to influence public opinion to support t ...
(CPI), headed by
George Creel George Edward Creel (December 1, 1876 – October 2, 1953) was an American Investigative journalism, investigative journalist and writer, a politician and government official. He served as the head of the United States Committee on Public Inform ...
. Wilson called on voters in the 1918 off-year elections to elect Democrats as an endorsement of his policies. However the Republicans won over alienated
German-Americans German Americans (german: Deutschamerikaner, ) are Americans who have full or partial Germans, German ancestry. With an estimated size of approximately 43 million in 2019, German Americans are the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups by ...
and took control. Wilson refused to coordinate or compromise with the new leaders of House and Senate—Senator
Henry Cabot Lodge Henry Cabot Lodge (May 12, 1850 November 9, 1924) was an American History of the Republican Party (United States), Republican politician, historian, and statesman from Massachusetts. He served in the United States Senate from 1893 to 1924 and i ...
became his nemesis. In November 1919, Wilson's Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer, began to target anarchists,
Industrial Workers of the World The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), members of which are commonly termed "Wobblies", is an international labor union that was founded in Chicago in 1905. The origin of the nickname "Wobblies" is uncertain. IWW ideology combines general ...
members, and other antiwar groups in what became known as the Palmer Raids. Thousands were arrested for incitement to violence, espionage, or sedition. Wilson by that point was incapacitated and was not told what was happening.Cooper (2008), pp. 201, 209


Aftermath of World War I


Paris Peace Conference

After the signing of the armistice, Wilson traveled to Europe to lead the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, thereby becoming the first incumbent president to travel to Europe. Although Republicans now controlled Congress, Wilson shut them out. Senate Republicans and even some Senate Democrats complained about their lack of representation in the delegation. It consisted of Wilson, Colonel House, Secretary of State Robert Lansing, General Tasker H. Bliss, and diplomat Henry White was the only Republican, and he was not an active partisan. Save for a two-week return to the United States, Wilson remained in Europe for six months, where he focused on reaching a peace treaty to formally end the war. Wilson, British Prime Minister
David Lloyd George David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1922. He was a Liberal Party (United Kingdom), Liberal Party politician from Wales, known for lea ...
, French Prime Minister
Georges Clemenceau Georges Benjamin Clemenceau (, also , ; 28 September 1841 – 24 November 1929) was a French statesman who served as Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909 and again from 1917 until 1920. A key figure of the Independent Radicals, he was ...
, and Italian Prime Minister
Vittorio Emanuele Orlando Vittorio Emanuele Orlando (19 May 1860 – 1 December 1952) was an Italian statesman, who served as the Prime Minister of Italy from October 1917 to June 1919. Orlando is best known for representing Italy in the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, 1919, ...
made up the " Big Four", the Allied leaders with the most influence at the Paris Peace Conference. Wilson had an illness during the conference, and some experts believe the
Spanish flu The 1918–1920 influenza pandemic, commonly known by the misnomer Spanish flu or as the Great Influenza epidemic, was an exceptionally deadly global influenza pandemic caused by the influenza A virus subtype H1N1, H1N1 influenza A virus. Th ...
was the cause. Unlike other Allied leaders, Wilson did not seek territorial gains or material concessions from the Central Powers. His chief goal was the establishment of the League of Nations, which he saw as the "keystone of the whole programme". Wilson himself presided over the committee that drafted the
Covenant of the League of Nations The Covenant of the League of Nations was the charter of the League of Nations. It was signed on 28 June 1919 as Part I of the Treaty of Versailles, and became effective together with the rest of the Treaty on 10 January 1920. Creation Early d ...
. The covenant bound members to respect
freedom of religion Freedom of religion or religious liberty is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. It also includes the freedom ...
, treat racial minorities fairly, and peacefully settle disputes through organizations like the
Permanent Court of International Justice The Permanent Court of International Justice, often called the World Court, existed from 1922 to 1946. It was an international court attached to the League of Nations The League of Nations (french: link=no, Société des Nations ) was t ...
. Article X of the League Covenant required all nations to defend League members against external aggression. Japan proposed that the conference endorse a racial equality clause; Wilson was indifferent to the issue, but acceded to strong opposition from Australia and Britain. The Covenant of the League of Nations was incorporated into the conference's
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the Peace treaty, peace treaties of World War I. It ended the declaration of war, state of war between Germany and the Allies of ...
, which ended the war with Germany, and into other peace treaties. Aside from the establishment the League of Nations and solidifying a lasting world peace, Wilson's other main goal at the Paris Peace Conference was that self-determination be the primary basis used for drawing new international borders.Berg (2013), pp. 534, 563 However, in pursuit of his League of Nations, Wilson conceded several points to the other powers present at the conference. Germany was required to permanently cede territory, pay war reparations, relinquish all of her overseas colonies and dependencies and submit to military occupation in the Rhineland. Additionally, a
clause In language, a clause is a Constituent (linguistics), constituent that comprises a semantic predicand (expressed or not) and a semantic Predicate (grammar), predicate. A typical clause consists of a subject (grammar), subject and a syntactic Pred ...
in the treaty specifically named Germany as responsible for the war. Wilson agreed to allowing the Allied European powers and Japan to essentially expand their empires by establishing de facto colonies in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia out the former German and Ottoman Empires; these territorial awards to the victorious countries were thinly disguised as " League of Nations mandates". The Japanese acquisition of German interests in the
Shandong Peninsula The Shandong (Shantung) Peninsula or Jiaodong (Chiaotung) Peninsula is a peninsula in Shandong Province in eastern China, between the Bohai Sea to the north and the Yellow Sea to the south. The latter name refers to the east and Jiaozhou. ...
of China proved especially unpopular, as it undercut Wilson's promise of self-government. Wilson's hopes for achieving self-determination saw some success when the conference recognized multiple new and independent states created in Eastern Europe, including
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or ), or , also or . officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Seas within the ...
,
Czechoslovakia , rue, Чеськословеньско, , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 ...
,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
, and
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Jugoslavija, Југославија ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; rue, label= Pannonian Rusyn, Югославия, translit=Juhoslavij ...
. The conference finished negotiations in May 1919, at which point the new leaders of republican Germany viewed the treaty for the first time. Some German leaders favored repudiating the peace due to the harshness of the terms, though ultimately Germany signed the treaty on June 28, 1919. Wilson was unable to convince the other Allied powers, France in particular, to temper the harshness of the settlement being leveled at the defeated Central Powers, especially Germany. For his efforts towards creating a lasting world peace, Wilson was awarded the 1919
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor and armaments (military weapons and equipment) manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Chemi ...
.


Ratification debate and defeat

Ratification of the Treaty of Versailles required the support of two-thirds of the Senate, a difficult proposition given that Republicans held a narrow majority in the Senate after the 1918 U.S. elections.Clements (1992), pp. 190–191 Republicans were outraged by Wilson's failure to discuss the war or its aftermath with them, and an intensely partisan battle developed in the Senate. Republican Senator
Henry Cabot Lodge Henry Cabot Lodge (May 12, 1850 November 9, 1924) was an American History of the Republican Party (United States), Republican politician, historian, and statesman from Massachusetts. He served in the United States Senate from 1893 to 1924 and i ...
supported a version of the treaty that required Wilson to compromise. Wilson refused. Some Republicans, including former President Taft and former Secretary of State
Elihu Root Elihu Root (; February 15, 1845February 7, 1937) was an American lawyer, Republican Party (United States), Republican politician, and statesman who served as United States Secretary of State, Secretary of State and United States Secretary of W ...
, favored ratification of the treaty with some modifications, and their public support gave Wilson some chance of winning the treaty's ratification. The debate over the treaty centered around a debate over the American role in the world community in the post-war era, and senators fell into three main groups. The first group, consisting of most Democrats, favored the treaty. Fourteen senators, mostly Republicans, were known as the " irreconcilables" as they completely opposed U.S. entrance into the League of Nations. Some of these irreconcilables opposed the treaty for its failure to emphasize decolonization and disarmament, while others feared surrendering American freedom of action to an international organization.Herring (2008), pp. 427–430 The remaining group of senators, known as "reservationists", accepted the idea of the League but sought varying degrees of change to ensure the protection of American sovereignty and the right of Congress to decide on going to war. Article X of the League Covenant, which sought to create a system of
collective security Collective security can be understood as a security arrangement, political, regional, or global, in which each state in the system accepts that the security of one is the concern of all, and therefore commits to a collective response to threats t ...
by requiring League members to protect one another against external aggression, seemed to force the U.S. to join in any war the League decided upon. Wilson consistently refused to compromise, partly due to concerns about having to re-open negotiations with the other treaty signatories. When Lodge was on the verge of building a two-thirds majority to ratify the Treaty with ten reservations, Wilson forced his supporters to vote Nay on March 19, 1920, thereby closing the issue. Cooper says that "nearly every League advocate" went along with Lodge, but their efforts "failed solely because Wilson admittedly rejected all reservations proposed in the Senate." Thomas A. Bailey calls Wilson's action "the supreme act of infanticide". He adds: "The treaty was slain in the house of its friends rather than in the house of its enemies. In the final analysis it was not the two-thirds rule, or the 'irreconcilables,' or Lodge, or the 'strong' and 'mild' reservationists, but Wilson and his docile following who delivered the fatal stab."


Health collapses

To bolster public support for ratification, Wilson barnstormed the Western states, but he returned to the White House in late September due to health problems. On October 2, 1919, Wilson suffered a serious stroke, leaving him paralyzed on his left side, and with only partial vision in the right eye. He was confined to bed for weeks and sequestered from everyone except his wife and his physician, Dr. Cary Grayson. Dr. Bert E. Park, a neurosurgeon who examined Wilson's medical records after his death, writes that Wilson's illness affected his personality in various ways, making him prone to "disorders of emotion, impaired impulse control, and defective judgment." Anxious to help the president recover, Tumulty, Grayson, and the First Lady determined what documents the president read and who was allowed to communicate with him. For her influence in the administration, some have described Edith Wilson as "the first female President of the United States." Link states that by November 1919, Wilson's "recovery was only partial at best. His mind remained relatively clear; but he was physically enfeebled, and the disease had wrecked his emotional constitution and aggravated all his more unfortunate personal traits. Throughout late 1919, Wilson's inner circle concealed the severity of his health issues. By February 1920, the president's true condition was publicly known. Many expressed qualms about Wilson's fitness for the presidency at a time when the League fight was reaching a climax, and domestic issues such as strikes, unemployment, inflation and the threat of Communism were ablaze. In mid-March 1920, Lodge and his Republicans formed a coalition with the pro-treaty Democrats to pass a treaty with reservations, but Wilson rejected this compromise and enough Democrats followed his lead to defeat ratification. No one close to Wilson was willing to certify, as required by the Constitution, his "inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office." Though some members of Congress encouraged Vice President Marshall to assert his claim to the presidency, Marshall never attempted to replace Wilson. Wilson's lengthy period of incapacity while serving as president was nearly unprecedented; of the previous presidents, only
James Garfield James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881 until Assassination of James A. Garfield, his death six months latertwo months after he was shot by an as ...
had been in a similar situation, but Garfield retained greater control of his mental faculties and faced relatively few pressing issues.


Demobilization

When the war ended the Wilson Administration dismantled the wartime boards and regulatory agencies. Demobilization was chaotic and at times violent; four million soldiers were sent home with little money and few benefits. In 1919, strikes in major industries broke out, disrupting the economy. The country experienced further turbulence as a series of race riots broke out in the summer of 1919. In 1920, the economy plunged into a severe economic depression, unemployment rose to 12 percent, and the price of agricultural products sharply declined.


Red Scare and Palmer Raids

Following the
Bolshevik Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. in the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countri ...
in Russia and similar attempts in Germany and Hungary, many Americans feared the possibility of terrorism in the United States. Such concerns were inflamed by the
bombings A bomb is an explosive weapon An explosive weapon is a weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used to deter, threaten, inflict physical damage, harm, or kill. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy ...
in April 1919 when anarchists mailed 38 bombs to prominent Americans; one person was killed but most packages were intercepted. Nine more mail bombs were sent in June; injuring several people. Fresh fears combined with a patriotic national mood sparking the "
First Red Scare The First Red Scare was a period during the early 20th-century history of the United States marked by a widespread fear of far-left movements, including Bolshevism and anarchism, due to real and imagined events; real events included the Ru ...
" in 1919. Attorney General Palmer from November 1919 to January 1920 launched the Palmer Raids to suppress radical organizations. Over 10,000 people were arrested and 556 aliens were deported, including
Emma Goldman Emma Goldman (June 27, 1869 – May 14, 1940) was a Russian Empire, Russian-born Anarchism, anarchist political activist and writer. She played a pivotal role in the development of Anarchist schools of thought, anarchist political philosop ...
. Palmer's activities met resistance from the courts and some senior administration officials. No one told Wilson what Palmer was doing. Later in 1920 the Wall Street bombing on September 16, killed 40 and injured hundreds in the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil up to that point. Anarchists took credit and promised more violence to come; they escaped capture.


Prohibition and women's suffrage

Prohibition Prohibition is the act or practice of forbidding something by law; more particularly the term refers to the banning of the manufacturing, manufacture, storage (whether in barrels or in bottles), transportation, sale, possession, and consumption ...
developed as an unstoppable reform during the war, but the Wilson administration played only a minor role. The Eighteenth Amendment passed Congress and was ratified by the states in 1919. In October 1919, Wilson vetoed the
Volstead Act The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was an act of the 66th United States Congress, designed to carry out the intent of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 18th Amendment (ratified January ...
, legislation designed to enforce Prohibition, but his veto was overridden by Congress. Wilson personally opposed
women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the women's rights, right of women to Suffrage, vote in elections. Beginning in the start of the 18th century, some people sought to change voting laws to allow women to vote. Liberal political parties would go on to gran ...
in 1911 because he believed women lacked the public experience needed to be good voters. The actual evidence of how women voters behaved in the western states changed his mind, and he came to feel they could indeed be good voters. He did not speak publicly on the issue except to echo the Democratic Party position that suffrage was a state matter, primarily because of strong opposition in the white South to Black voting rights. In a 1918 speech before Congress, Wilson for the first time backed a national right to vote: "We have made partners of the women in this war....Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of privilege and right?" The House passed a constitutional amendment providing for women's suffrage nationwide, but this stalled in the Senate. Wilson continually pressured the Senate to vote for the amendment, telling senators that its ratification was vital to winning the war. The Senate finally approved it in June 1919, and the requisite number of states ratified the Nineteenth Amendment in August 1920.


1920 election

Despite his medical incapacity, Wilson wanted to run for a third term. While the 1920 Democratic National Convention strongly endorsed Wilson's policies, Democratic leaders refused, nominating instead a ticket consisting of Governor James M. Cox and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt.Cooper (2009), pp. 565–569. The Republicans centered their campaign around opposition to Wilson's policies, with Senator Warren G. Harding promising a "
return to normalcy "Return to normalcy" was a campaign slogan used by Warren G. Harding during the 1920 United States presidential election. Harding would go on to win the election with 60.4% of the popular vote. 1920 election In a speech delivered on May 14, 192 ...
". Wilson largely stayed out of the campaign, although he endorsed Cox and continued to advocate for U.S. membership in the League of Nations. Harding won a landslide, winning over 60% of the popular vote and every state outside of the South. Wilson met with Harding for tea on his last day in office, March 3, 1921. Due to his health, Wilson was unable to attend the inauguration. On December 10, 1920, Wilson was awarded the 1919
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor and armaments (military weapons and equipment) manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Chemi ...
"for his role as founder of the League of Nations". Wilson became the second sitting United States president after
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or by his initials, T. R., was an American politician, statesman, soldier, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26t ...
to become a Nobel Peace Laureate.


Final years and death (1921–1924)

After the end of his second term in 1921, Wilson and his wife moved from the White House to a town house in the Kalorama section of Washington, D.C. He continued to follow politics as President Harding and the Republican Congress repudiated membership in the League of Nations, cut taxes, and raised tariffs. In 1921, Wilson opened a law practice with former Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. Wilson showed up the first day but never returned, and the practice was closed by the end of 1922. Wilson tried writing, and he produced a few short essays after enormous effort; they "marked a sad finish to a formerly great literary career." He declined to write memoirs, but frequently met with
Ray Stannard Baker Ray Stannard Baker (April 17, 1870 – July 12, 1946) (also known by his pen name David Grayson) was an American journalist, historian, biographer, and author. Biography Baker was born in Lansing, Michigan. After graduating from the Michigan ...
, who wrote a three-volume biography of Wilson that was published in 1922. In August 1923, Wilson attended the funeral of his successor, Warren Harding.Cooper (2009), pp. 581–590 On November 10, 1923, Wilson made his last national address, delivering a short
Armistice Day Armistice Day, later known as Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the United States, is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark Armistice of 11 November 1918, the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I a ...
radio speech from the library of his home. Wilson's health did not markedly improve after leaving office, declining rapidly in January 1924. Woodrow Wilson died on February 3, 1924, at the age of 67. He was interred in
Washington National Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, commonly known as Washington National Cathedral, is an American cathedral of the Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopal Church. The cathedral is loc ...
, being the only president whose final resting place lies within the nation's capital.


Race relations

Wilson was born and raised in the South by parents who were committed supporters of both slavery and the Confederacy. Academically, Wilson was an apologist for slavery and the
Redeemers The Redeemers were a political coalition in the Southern United States during the Reconstruction era of the United States, Reconstruction Era that followed the American Civil War, Civil War. Redeemers were the Southern wing of the Democratic Par ...
, and one of the foremost promoters of the
Lost Cause The Lost Cause of the Confederacy (or simply Lost Cause) is an History of the United States, American pseudohistorical historical negationist, negationist mythology that claims the cause of the Confederate States during the American Civil Wa ...
mythology. Wilson was the first Southerner elected president since
Zachary Taylor Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was an American military leader who served as the 12th president of the United States from 1849 until his death in 1850. Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army, rising to th ...
in
1848 1848 is historically famous for the Revolutions of 1848, wave of revolutions, a series of widespread struggles for more classical liberalism, liberal governments, which broke out from Brazil to Hungary; although most failed in their immediate ...
and the only former subject of the Confederacy. Wilson's election was celebrated by southern segregationists. At Princeton, Wilson actively dissuaded the admission of African-Americans as students. Several historians have spotlighted consistent examples in the public record of Wilson's overtly racist policies and the inclusion of segregationists in his Cabinet. Other sources say Wilson defended segregation as "a rational, scientific policy" in private and describe him as a man who "loved to tell racist 'darky' jokes about black Americans." During Wilson's presidency, D. W. Griffith's pro-
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan (), commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist, Right-wing terrorism, right-wing terrorist, and hate group whose primary targets are African Americans, Jews, Hispanic and Latino Americans, L ...
film ''
The Birth of a Nation ''The Birth of a Nation'', originally called ''The Clansman'', is a 1915 American Silent film, silent Epic film, epic Drama (film and television), drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. The screenplay is adapted from ...
'' (1915) was the first motion picture to be screened in the White House. Though he was not initially critical of the movie, Wilson distanced himself from it as public backlash mounted and eventually released a statement condemning the film's message while denying he had been aware of it prior to the screening.


Segregating the federal bureaucracy

By the 1910s, African-Americans had become effectively shut out of elected office. Obtaining an executive appointment to a position within the federal bureaucracy was usually the only option for African-American statesmen. According to Berg, Wilson continued to appoint African-Americans to positions that had traditionally been filled by black people, overcoming opposition from many southern senators.
Oswald Garrison Villard Oswald Garrison Villard (March 13, 1872 – October 1, 1949) was an United States of America, American journalist and editor of the ''New York Evening Post.'' He was a civil rights activist, and along with his mother, Fanny Villard, a foundi ...
, who later became an opponent of his, initially thought that Wilson was not a bigot and supported progress for black people, and he was frustrated by southern opposition in the Senate, to which Wilson capitulated. In a conversation with Wilson, journalist John Palmer Gavit came to the realization that opposition to those views "would certainly precipitate a conflict which would put a complete stop to any legislative program." Since the end of Reconstruction, both parties recognized certain appointments as unofficially reserved for qualified African-Americans. Wilson appointed a total of nine African-Americans to prominent positions in the federal bureaucracy, eight of whom were Republican carry-overs. For comparison,
William Howard Taft William Howard Taft (September 15, 1857March 8, 1930) was the 27th president of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected pre ...
was met with disdain and outrage from Republicans of both races for appointing thirty-one black officeholders, a record low for a Republican president. Upon taking office, Wilson fired all but two of the seventeen black supervisors in the federal bureaucracy appointed by Taft. Since 1863, the U.S. mission to Haiti and Santo Domingo was almost always led by an African-American diplomat regardless of what party the sitting president belonged to; Wilson ended this half-century-old tradition but continued to appoint black diplomats like George Washington Buckner, as well as Joseph L. Johnson, to head the mission to
Liberia Liberia (), officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to Liberia–Sierra Leone border, its northwest, Guinea to Guinea–Liberia border, its north, Ivory Coast to Ivory Coast ...
. Since the end of Reconstruction, the federal bureaucracy had been possibly the only career path where African-Americans could experience some measure of equality, and was the life blood and foundation of the black middle-class. Wilson's administration escalated the discriminatory hiring policies and segregation of government offices that had begun under
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or by his initials, T. R., was an American politician, statesman, soldier, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26t ...
and continued under Taft. In Wilson's first month in office, Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson urged the president to establish segregated government offices. Wilson did not adopt Burleson's proposal but allowed Cabinet Secretaries discretion to segregate their respective departments. By the end of 1913, many departments, including the Navy, Treasury, and Post Office, had segregated work spaces, restrooms, and cafeterias. Many agencies used segregation as a pretext to adopt a whites-only employment policy, claiming they lacked facilities for black workers. In these instances, African-Americans employed prior to the Wilson administration were either offered early retirement, transferred, or simply fired. Racial discrimination in federal hiring increased further when after 1914, the
United States Civil Service Commission The United States Civil Service Commission was a government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversi ...
instituted a new policy requiring job applicants to submit a personal photo with their application. As a federal enclave, Washington, D.C., had long offered African-Americans greater opportunities for employment and less glaring discrimination. In 1919, black veterans returning home to D.C. were shocked to discover
Jim Crow laws The Jim Crow laws were U.S. state, state and local laws enforcing Racial segregation in the United States, racial segregation in the Southern United States. Other areas of the United States were affected by formal and informal policies of ...
had set in, many could not go back to the jobs they held prior to the war or even enter the same building they used to work in due to the color of their skin. Booker T. Washington described the situation: "I had never seen the colored people so discouraged and bitter as they are at the present time."


African-Americans in the armed forces

While segregation had been present in the Army prior to Wilson, its severity increased significantly under his election. During Wilson's first term, the Army and Navy refused to commission new black officers. Black officers already serving experienced increased discrimination and were often forced out or discharged on dubious grounds. Following the entry of the U.S. into World War I, the War Department drafted hundreds of thousands of black people into the Army, and draftees were paid equally regardless of race. Commissioning of African-Americans officers resumed but units remained segregated and most all-black units were led by white officers. Unlike the Army, the U.S. Navy was never formally segregated. Following Wilson's appointment of
Josephus Daniels Josephus Daniels (May 18, 1862 – January 15, 1948) was an American newspaper editor and publisher from the 1880s until his death, who controlled Raleigh's ''News & Observer'', at the time North Carolina's largest newspaper, for decades. A D ...
as
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
, a system of Jim Crow was swiftly implemented; with ships, training facilities, restrooms, and cafeterias all becoming segregated. While Daniels significantly expanded opportunities for advancement and training available to white sailors, by the time the U.S. entered World War I, African-American sailors had been relegated almost entirely to mess and custodial duties, often assigned to act as servants for white officers.


Response to racial violence

In response to the demand for industrial labor, the Great Migration of African Americans out of the South surged in 1917 and 1918. This migration sparked
race riots An ethnic conflict is a conflict between two or more contending ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish ...
, including the East St. Louis riots of 1917. In response to these riots, but only after much public outcry, Wilson asked Attorney General Thomas Watt Gregory if the federal government could intervene to "check these disgraceful outrages". On the advice of Gregory, Wilson did not take direct action against the riots. In 1918, Wilson spoke out against
lynching in the United States Lynching was the widespread occurrence of extrajudicial killings which began in the United States' Antebellum South, pre–Civil War South in the 1830s and ended during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Although the victims ...
, stating: "I say plainly that every American who takes part in the action of mob or gives it any sort of continence is no true son of this great democracy but its betrayer, and ... iscreditsher by that single disloyalty to her standards of law and of rights." In 1919, another series of race riots occurred in
Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive Map of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = List of sovereign states, Count ...
,
Omaha Omaha ( ) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County, Nebraska, Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about north of the mouth of the Platte River. List of ...
, and two dozen other major cities in the North. The federal government did not become involved, just as it had not become involved previously.


Legacy


Historical reputation

Wilson is generally ranked by historians and political scientists as an above average president. In the view of some historians, Wilson, more than any of his predecessors, took steps towards the creation of a strong federal government that would protect ordinary citizens against the overwhelming power of large corporations. He is generally regarded as a key figure in the establishment of modern American liberalism, and a strong influence on future presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Cooper argues that in terms of impact and ambition, only the
New Deal The New Deal was a series of programs, Public works, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States between 1933 and 1939. Major federal programs agencies included the C ...
and the
Great Society The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic Party (US), Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964–65. The term was first coined during a 1964 commencement address by President Lyndon B. Joh ...
rival the domestic accomplishments of Wilson's presidency. Many of Wilson's accomplishments, including the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission, the graduated income tax, and labor laws, continued to influence the United States long after Wilson's death. Many
conservatives Conservatism is a Philosophy of culture, cultural, Social philosophy, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in r ...
have attacked Wilson for his role in expanding the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a political union, union of partially Federated state, self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central #Federal governments, federal gover ...
. In 2018, conservative columnist George Will wrote in ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. It is the most widely circulated newspaper within the Washington metropolitan area and has a large nati ...
'' that
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or by his initials, T. R., was an American politician, statesman, soldier, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26t ...
and Wilson were the "progenitors of today's imperial presidency". Wilson's idealistic foreign policy, which came to be known as Wilsonianism, also cast a long shadow over
American foreign policy The officially stated goals of the foreign policy of the United States of America, including all the bureaus and offices in the United States Department of State, as mentioned in the ''Foreign Policy Agenda'' of the Department of State, are ...
, and Wilson's League of Nations influenced the development of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be ...
. Saladin Ambar writes that Wilson was "the first statesman of world stature to speak out not only against European
imperialism Imperialism is the state policy, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas, often through employing hard power (economic powe ...
but against the newer form of economic domination sometimes described as 'informal imperialism.'" Notwithstanding his accomplishments in office, Wilson has received criticism for his record on race relations and civil liberties, for his interventions in Latin America, and for his failure to win ratification of the Treaty of Versailles. Despite his southern roots and record at Princeton, Wilson became the first Democrat to receive widespread support from the African-American community in a presidential election. Wilson's African-American supporters, many of whom had crossed party lines to vote for him in 1912, found themselves bitterly disappointed by the Wilson presidency, his decision to allow the imposition of Jim Crow within the federal bureaucracy in particular. Ross Kennedy writes that Wilson's support of segregation complied with predominant public opinion. A. Scott Berg argues Wilson accepted segregation as part of a policy to "promote racial progress... by shocking the social system as little as possible." The ultimate result of this policy was unprecedented levels of segregation within the federal bureaucracy and far fewer opportunities for employment and promotion being open to African-Americans than before. Historian Kendrick Clements argues "Wilson had none of the crude, vicious racism of James K. Vardaman or Benjamin R. Tillman, but he was insensitive to African-American feelings and aspirations." A 2021 study in the ''
Quarterly Journal of Economics ''The Quarterly Journal of Economics'' is a Peer review, peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Oxford University Press for the Harvard University Department of Economics. Its current editors-in-chief are Robert J. Barro, Lawrence F. Kat ...
'' found that Wilson's segregation of the civil service increased the black-white earnings gap by 3.4–6.9 percentage points, as existing black civil servants were driven to lower-paid positions. Black civil servants who were exposed to Wilson's segregationist policies experienced a relative decline in home ownership rates, with suggestive evidence of lasting adverse effects for the descendants of those black civil servants. In the wake of the
Charleston church shooting On June 17, 2015, a mass shooting occurred in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine African Americans were killed during a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Among those people who were killed was the senior past ...
, some individuals demanded the removal of Wilson's name from institutions affiliated with Princeton due to his stance on race.


Memorials

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is located in Staunton, Virginia. The Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home in Augusta, Georgia, and the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, D.C., are
National Historic Landmark A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a National Register of Historic Places property types, building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the Federal government of the United States, United States government fo ...
s. The Thomas Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home in Columbia, South Carolina is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official United States National Register of Historic Places listings, list of Historic districts in the United States, districts, sites, buildings, struc ...
. Shadow Lawn, the
Summer White House Listed below are the private house, residences of the various President of the United States, presidents of the United States. For a list of official residences, see President of the United States#Residence, President of the United States § Re ...
for Wilson during his term in office, became part of
Monmouth University Monmouth University is a private university in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Founded in 1933 as Monmouth Junior College, it became Monmouth College in 1956 and Monmouth University in 1995 after receiving its university charter, charter. There a ...
in 1956. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985. Prospect House, Wilson's residence during part of his tenure at Princeton, is also a National Historic Landmark. Wilson's presidential papers and his personal library are at the
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are accessible for use and not just for display purposes. A library provides physical (hard copies) or digital access (so ...
. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., is named for Wilson, and the
Princeton School of Public and International Affairs The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (formerly the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs) is a professional public policy school at Princeton University. The school provides an array of comprehensive course ...
at Princeton was named for Wilson until Princeton's Board of Trustees voted to remove Wilson's name in 2020. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation is a non-profit that provides grants for teaching fellowships. The
Woodrow Wilson Foundation The Woodrow Wilson Foundation was an educational Non-governmental organization, non-profit created in 1921, organized under the laws of New York, for the "perpetuation of Wilson's ideals" via periodic grants to worthy groups and individuals. Fra ...
was established to honor Wilson's legacy but was terminated in 1993. One of Princeton's six residential colleges was originally named Wilson College. Numerous schools, including several
high schools A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both '' secondary education, lower secondary education'' (ages 11 to 14) ...
, bear Wilson's name. Several streets, including the Rambla Presidente Wilson in Montevideo, Uruguay, have been named for Wilson. The USS ''Woodrow Wilson'', a ''Lafayette''-class submarine, was named for Wilson. Other things named for Wilson include the Woodrow Wilson Bridge between
Prince George's County, Maryland ) , demonym = Prince Georgian , ZIP codes = 20607–20774 , area codes = Area codes 240 and 301, 240, Area codes 240 and 301, 301 , founded date = April 23 , founded year = 1696 , named for = Prince George of Denmark , leader_title = E ...
and
Virginia Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States, between the East Coast of the United Stat ...
, and the Palais Wilson, which serves as the temporary headquarters of the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, commonly known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) or the United Nations Human Rights Office, is a department of the United Nations Secretariat, Se ...
in
Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Genève ) frp, Genèva ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra is the List of cities in Switzerland, second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and the most populous city of Romandy, the French-speaki ...
until 2023 at the end of leasing. Monuments to Wilson include the Woodrow Wilson Monument in
Prague Prague ( ; cs, Praha ; german: Prag, ; la, Praga) is the capital and List of cities in the Czech Republic, largest city in the Czech Republic, and the historical capital of Bohemia. On the Vltava river, Prague is home to about 1.3 milli ...
.


Popular culture

In 1944,
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (previously known as 20th Century Fox) is an American film studio, film production company headquartered at the Fox Studio Lot in the Century City area of Los Angeles. As of 2019, it serves as a film production arm o ...
released '' Wilson'', a
biopic A biographical film or biopic () is a film that dramatizes the life of a Nonfiction, non-fictional or History, historically-based person or people. Such films show the life of a historical person and the central character's real name is used. The ...
about the 28th President. Starring
Alexander Knox Alexander Knox (16 January 1907 – 25 April 1995) was a Canadian actor on stage, screen, and occasionally television. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, Oscar and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture D ...
and directed by Henry King, ''Wilson'' is considered an "idealistic" portrayal of the title character. The movie was a personal passion project of studio president and famed producer Darryl F. Zanuck, who was a deep admirer of Wilson. The movie received mostly praise from critics and Wilson supporters, and scored ten
Academy Awards The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and international film industry. The awards are regarded by many as the most prestigious, significant awards in the entertainment ind ...
nominations, winning five.Erickson, Hal. "Wilson (1944) – Review Summary". ''The New York Times''. Retrieved February 22, 2014. Despite its popularity amongst elites, ''Wilson'' was a
box-office bomb A box-office bomb, or box-office disaster, is a film that is unprofitable or considered highly unsuccessful during its theatrical run. Although any film for which the production, marketing, and distribution costs combined exceed the revenue after ...
, incurring an almost $2 million loss for the studio. The movie's failure is said to have had a deep and long lasting impact on Zanuck and no attempt has been made by any major studio since to create a motion picture based around the life of Wilson.


Works


''Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics.''
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1885.
''The State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics.''
Boston: D.C. Heath, 1889.
''Division and Reunion, 1829–1889.''
New York, London, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1893.
Old Master and Other Political Essays.''
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1893.
''Mere Literature and Other Essays.''
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1896.
''George Washington.''
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1897. * ''The History of the American People.'' In five volumes. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1901–02. Vol. 1

Vol. 2

Vol. 3

Vol. 4

Vol. 5
/small>
''Constitutional Government in the United States.''
New York: Columbia University Press, 1908.
''The Free Life: A Baccalaureate Address.''
New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1908.
''The New Freedom: A Call for the Emancipation of the Energies of a Generous People.''
New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1913. —Speeches
''The Road Away from Revolution.''
Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1923; reprint of short magazine article. * ''The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson.'' Ray Stannard Baker and William E. Dodd (eds.) In six volumes. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1925–27. * ''Study of public administration'' (Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1955) * ''A Crossroads of Freedom: The 1912 Campaign Speeches of Woodrow Wilson.'' John Wells Davidson (ed.) New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 195
online
* ''The Papers of Woodrow Wilson.'' Arthur S. Link (ed.) In 69 volumes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967–1994.


See also

*
Diplomatic history of World War I The diplomatic history of World War I covers the non-military interactions among the major players during World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by d ...
* Electoral history of Woodrow Wilson *
Progressive Era The Progressive Era (late 1890s – late 1910s) was a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States focused on defeating corruption, monopoly, waste and inefficiency. The main themes ended during Am ...
* Woodrow Wilson Awards


Notes


References


Citations


Works cited

* * * * * * * * * * Coben, Stanley. ''A. Mitchell Palmer: Politician'' (Columbia UP, 1963
online
* * * * * * * * * * * * ** ** ** ** ** * * * Ober, William B. "Woodrow Wilson: A Medical and Psychological Biography." ''Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine'' 59.4 (1983): 410
online
* * * * * * * * * * Wright, Esmond. "The Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson: A Re-Assessment. Part 1: Woodrow Wilson and the First World War" ''History Today''. (Mar 1960) 10#3 pp. 149–157. ** Wright, Esmond. "The Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson: A Re-Assessment. Part 2: Wilson and the Dream of Reason" ''History Today'' (Apr 1960) 19#4 pp. 223–231.


Further reading


For students

* Archer, Jules. ''World citizen: Woodrow Wilson'' (1967
online
for secondary schools * Frith, Margaret. ''Who was Woodrow Wilson?'' (2015
online
for middle schools


Historiography

* Ambrosius, Lloyd. ''Wilsonianism: Woodrow Wilson and his legacy in American foreign relations'' (Springer, 2002). * Cooper, John Milton, ed. ''Reconsidering Woodrow Wilson: Progressivism, Internationalism, War, and Peace'' (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) * Cooper, John Milton. "Making A Case for Wilson," in ''Reconsidering Woodrow Wilson'' (2008) ch 1. * * * * * * Saunders, Robert M. ''In Search of Woodrow Wilson: Beliefs and Behavior'' (1998) * *


External links


Official


About Woodrow Wilson – Wilson Center

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum

White House biography
* – Woodrow Wilson did not deliver a Nobel Lecture.


Speeches and other works


Woodrow Wilson Edison Campaign Recordings - 1912
audio recording
Full text of a number of Wilson's speeches
Miller Center of Public Affairs The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in United States President, United States presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history. History The Miller Center was founded in 1975 ...
* * *
Woodrow Wilson Personal Manuscripts

The Ida Tarbell interview with Woodrow Wilson (''Collier's Magazine'', 1916)


Media coverage

*
"Life Portrait of Woodrow Wilson"
from
C-SPAN Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN ) is an American cable and satellite television network that was created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a nonprofit public service. It televises many proceedings of the United Stat ...
's '' American Presidents: Life Portraits'', September 13, 1999 *


Study sites


"Woodrow Wilson and Foreign Policy"-- Secondary school lesson plans from EDSITEment! program of National Endowment for the Humanities


from the Library of Congress
Extensive essays on Woodrow Wilson
an
shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady
from the Miller Center of Public Affairs

(compiled by David Pietrusza). .

a
National Park Service The National Park Service (NPS) is an List of federal agencies in the United States, agency of the Federal government of the United States, United States federal government within the United States Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of ...
Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan {{DEFAULTSORT:Wilson, Woodrow 1856 births 1924 deaths 19th-century American people 19th-century Presbyterians 20th-century American politicians 20th-century Presbyterians 20th-century presidents of the United States American Nobel laureates American people of English descent American people of Scotch-Irish descent American people of Scottish descent American people of World War I American Presbyterians American white supremacists American segregationists Articles containing video clips Bourbon Democrats Bryn Mawr College faculty Burials at Washington National Cathedral Candidates in the 1912 United States presidential election Candidates in the 1916 United States presidential election Democratic Party presidents of the United States Democratic Party governors of New Jersey Democratic Party (United States) presidential nominees Dunning School Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Georgia (U.S. state) lawyers Governors of New Jersey Hall of Fame for Great Americans inductees Johns Hopkins University alumni League of Nations people Members of the American Philosophical Society Neo-Confederates Neurological disease deaths in Washington, D.C. New Jersey Democrats Nobel Peace Prize laureates People from Kalorama (Washington, D.C.) People from Princeton, New Jersey People from Staunton, Virginia People of the Russian Civil War Politicians from Augusta, Georgia Politicians from Staunton, Virginia Presidency of Woodrow Wilson Presidents of the American Historical Association Presidents of Princeton University Presidents of the United States Princeton University alumni Princeton University faculty Progressivism in the United States Progressive Era in the United States Recipients of the Order of the White Eagle (Poland) University of Virginia faculty Wesleyan Cardinals football coaches Wesleyan University faculty American lawyers admitted to the practice of law by reading law