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Woodrow Wilson Essay, Research Paper

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was born in December 28, 1856 in Staunton, Virginia. Wilson was the son of a Presbyterian minister who during the Civil War was a pastor in Augusta, Georgia, and a professor in Columbia, South Carolina. Wilson went to Davidson College in North Carolina, but withdrew shortly because of ill health. He ultimately graduated form the College of New Jersey. Determined to become a statesman, he studied law for a year at the University of Virginia in 1879-1880 and was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1882, but his law practice did not prosper. Wilson went to John Hopkins University in 1883, studying government and history. At John Hopkins, he wrote Congressional Government, which was published in 1885.? That book, still admired today as a study of lawmaking in the national U.S. government, was accepted as his dissertation, and he received the Ph. D. degree in political science from Johns Hopkins the following year? (Bell 215). That same year he married Ellen Louise Axson.

Wilson taught at Bryan Mawr College in Pennsylvania, then at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. In 1890 he became professor of jurisprudence and political economy at Princeton University. The trustees of Princeton University named him president of the institution in 1902. In 1910 Wilson accepted the Democratic nomination for governor of New Jersey. He won by a landslide. He was nominated for president at the 1912 Democratic Convention and campaigned on a program called the ?New Freedom?, which stressed individualism and states? rights. In the three-way election he received only 42 percent of the popular vote but had 435 electoral votes out of 531 and a Democratic Congress.

As president, Wilson domestic agenda continued his campaign agenda continued his campaign against corrupt trusts. In 1913, the Underwood Act and Federal Reserve Act were passed. ?It was the most important piece of legislation passed by the Wilson Administration creating honest tariff reform by greatly

reducing rates and instituting income tax; the latter creating new currency and establishing the twelve Federal Reserve banks and their board of governors to perform central banking functions? (Clements 114). The Federal Trade Commission was established in1914 to restrict ?unfair? trade practices. Another burst of legislation followed in 1916. One new law prohibited child labors; another limited railroad workers to an eight-hour day.

Woodrow Wilson ran for reelection in 1916 with the slogan ?he kept us out of the war.? ?Despite the pressure to enter the war in Europe that had begun in 1914, Woodrow Wilson maintained American neutrality for two years? (Dodd 227). But in February 1915, the Germans announced that they would use submarine to destroy the Allies. During the submarine warfare Germany hit passenger ships that kill innocent people. Wilson warned the repetition of the sinking civilian ships would lead to war. On August 19, the German government gave the definite promise of safety for passenger ships that Wilson had demanded. But a few months later Germany broke their promise. So on April 17, Wilson had no alternative but to asked Congress for declaration of war.

The world would look to America and Wilson?s leadership to resolve the First World War. In 1919 the Paris Peace Conference was held with the signing of the Versailles Treaty with Germany. In the Treaty had Woodrow Wilson?s Fourteen Points, which fail to pass when brought back to Congress. ?Exhausted from his vigorous efforts toward ratification of the Versailles Treaty, traveling 8,00 miles by rail around the country, Wilson fell ill and would never fully recover? (Clements 338). For the rest of his term his wife made all the decision for the rest of his term. Wilson passed away in 1924

Wilson was born in 1856 in Staunton, Virginia. He grew up in Georgia and South Carolina during the Civil War and its aftermath. Wilson moved to Columbia, South Carolina in 1870, when Dr. Wilson accepted a professorship at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He was deeply influenced by the Presbyterianism of his father, a minister and sometime college professor. ?He never made an important decision of any kind without first seeking his father?s advice? (Baker 30). Wilson would go off to Princeton where for the next four years was a time of rapid maturing for the advanced youth. He had an extensive course in reading he also kept a diary of passages from his reading; and organized a student club

for discussion of public affairs. His peers recognized his leadership abilities, electing him speaker of the American Whig Society, Secretary of the Football Association, president of the Baseball Association and

managed editor of the Princetonian. Woodrow Wilson was nicknamed the ?schoolmaster in politics?.. ?He is mainly remember for his high minded idealism which appeared both in his leadership on the faculty and in the presidency of Princeton University, and in his national and world statesmanship during and after World War I? (Baker 219). It was obvious that Wilson followed in much of his father?s footsteps by his church nature and the enrollment in school, and then like his father, and instructor. Growing up in the south had a great influence as well. He was conservative, and the people and the church are an extremely conservative influence.

Woodrow Wilson had many significant achievements that he did in his lifetime. The single most important would be his presidential years. His two terms in office was extremely relevant even in how we live today. The first was lowering a tariff. This tariff greatly reduced rates and this was the first time since the civil war and instituting Federal income tax. He created new currency and established the twelve Federal Reserve banks and their board of governors to perform central banking functions. Today, because of Woodrow Wilson, this enables us to borrow money whenever we need it. In closure, Wilson fought hard for Americans through many disruptive years.

Baker, Ray Stannard. Life and Letters Youth 1856-1890. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1927.

Bell, H. C. F. Woodrow Wilson and The People. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1945

Clements, Kendrick A. Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987.

Dodd, William E. Woodrow Wilson and His Work. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1922.

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