Wilson's prominence as governor and in the national media induced his presidential campaign in 1912. Wilson committed himself to try for the Democratic nomination in March of the prior year when he spoke at an Atlanta meeting of the Southern Commercial Congress; afterwards he said : "I was given a dinner, breakfast and reception, and on every possible occasion was nominated for the presidency!" While Wilson was in Atlanta, his wife Ellen, alerted him that key Democrat "William Jennings Bryan was visiting Princeton, and recalling Wilson's opposition to him in 1896, invited him for dinner upon Wilson's return. The establishment of rapport with Bryan, the most recent standard-bearer of the party, was a success.
Wilson began a public campaign for the nomination in the South, with a speech to the Pewter Platter Club in Norfolk, Virginia. While he was received enthusiastically, the speech, reformist in nature, was considered provocative and radical by the conservative audience, making the visit on the whole less than positive. However, as Wilson was the first Southerner to have a serious chance at the White House since 1848, Southern Democrats in general strongly supported Wilson's campaign for the nomination in 1912. More of Wilson's support came from young progressives in that region, including intellectuals, editors and lawyers. Wilson managed to maneuver through the complexities of local politics. For example, in Tennessee the Democratic Party was divided over "Prohibition; Wilson was progressive and sober, but not dry, and appealed to both sides. They united behind him to win the presidential election in the state, but divided over state politics and lost the gubernatorial election.
After Norfolk, Wilson then proceeded westward to Kansas, Colorado, California, Oregon and Washington; he favored voting reforms which empowered the populace, such as the "initiative, the "referendum and the "recall (excepting judges). In California Wilson was asked about his views on "women's suffrage and though he was firmly opposed, he evasively said that it was a matter for the states to decide.
In July 1911 Wilson brought "William Gibbs McAdoo and "Edward Mandell House in to manage the campaign. The "1912 Democratic convention in Baltimore was one of the most dramatic conventions in American history; only the Republican conventions of 1880 and 1940, and the Democratic convention of 1952 are comparable. "William F. McCombs, who helped Wilson win the governorship, served as convention chairman. The Republicans had set the stage a week earlier at their convention, nominating incumbent William Howard Taft, with Theodore Roosevelt leaving to launch an independent campaign which would split the party vote. Wilson was convinced that the Baltimore convention should be allowed to work its will without his interference—so he went golfing and motoring. His assistant Tumulty "nearly collapsed" under the strain.
The convention deadlocked for over forty ballots—no candidate could reach the two-thirds vote required. The leading contender was House Speaker "Champ Clark, a prominent progressive, strongest in the border["clarification needed] states. Other less charismatic contenders were Governor "Judson Harmon of Ohio, and Representative "Oscar Underwood of Alabama. Publisher "William Randolph Hearst, a leader of the left wing of the party, supported Clark. William Jennings Bryan, the nominee in 1896, 1900 and 1908, played a critical role in his declared opposition to any candidate supported by "the financiers of Wall Street". On the tenth ballot, New York's delegation went unanimously to Clark, and the battle lines were clearly drawn["clarification needed] between the bosses and the rank and file delegates. Bryan then announced on the fourteenth ballot that his vote for Clark would be withheld due to the New York vote. Wilson's tally began to climb steadily, and he initially topped Clark's vote on the thirtieth ballot. Bryan announced for Wilson, who ultimately won the nomination on the 46th ballot. Wilson chose Indiana Governor "Thomas R. Marshall as his running mate.
Wilson directed Chairman of Finance, "Henry Morgenthau not to accept contributions from corporations and to prioritize smaller donations from the widest possible quarters of the public, and Morgenthau did this. In order to further embolden Democrats, especially in New Jersey and New York, Wilson set out to ensure the defeat of local incumbent candidates supported by political machines: "James Smith Jr. (U.S. Senate in New Jersey) and "John Dix (Governor of New York). He succeeded in both of these efforts and thereby weakened arguments that party control resided with political bosses.
The pattern of Wilson's speechmaking was exemplified by his performances in Buffalo and New York City. His oratory style was, "right out of my mind as it is working at the time". He maintained towards his primary opponent Roosevelt a tone of humorous detachment, describing the Bull Moose party as "the irregular Republicans, the variegated Republicans". Wilson shunned the stump speech campaign routine, and initially was reluctant to conduct an extensive campaign tour, but this changed after Roosevelt went on the offensive.
A notably progressive speech in Minneapolis included the following: "that property as compared with humanity, as compared with the vital red blood in the American people, must take second place, not first place". Wilson frequently sought out "Louis D. Brandeis for advice on economic policy, who promoted the concept that corporate trusts be regulated by the government. His campaign increased its focus upon the elimination of monopoly in all forms. Wilson also concluded that major reforms in banking and a lower tariff were needed to eliminate the spheres of entrenched interests which distorted the functioning of the free market. In Indianapolis he said that for the next president, "there will be no greater burden in our generation than to organize the forces of liberty… And to make conquest of a new freedom for America". This comment inspired the title of Wilson's policy of ""New Freedom", emphasizing lower tariffs and limited federal government, albeit with increased anti-trust law enforcement and creation of a new banking regulator, the "Federal Reserve System.
When Roosevelt was wounded by an assassin, Wilson restricted his events to those already scheduled and limited his criticism to the regular Republicans. It was evident by this time that the Wilson movement would not be checked. The GOP split between Taft and Roosevelt enlarged Wilson's success in the electoral college. Wilson appealed to African Americans and promised to work for them, gaining some support among them in the North at the expense of the Republicans. But throughout the South, most African Americans had been "disenfranchised by actions of state legislatures from 1890 to 1908, and were largely excluded from the political system. Wilson took 41.8% of the popular vote and won 435 electoral votes from 40 states. It is not clear if Roosevelt took more votes from fellow Republican Taft, or fellow progressive Wilson.
First term (1913–17)
After a vacation in Bermuda, Wilson was energized and more aggressive, even combative. He noted the presidency was an office "in which a man must put on his war paint". In Chicago, he addressed the Commercial Club, including some of the most powerful industrial and financial leaders of the Midwest; he emphasized his progressivism and called his audience to account for their malpractices in business affairs.
In his inaugural address Wilson reiterated his agenda for lower tariffs and banking reform, as well as aggressive trust and labor legislation. The Wilsons decided against an inaugural ball and instead gathered with family and friends at the White House. As the first Southerner elected to the presidency since 1848, Wilson inspired celebrations in the capital.
Wilson's demand for private reflection was evident when he immediately announced that office seekers were not permitted to visit the White House. His decision-making style was to use solitude in conjunction with prevailing opinions in making decisions. Wilson's personal staff reflected his preferences; Tumulty's position provided a political buffer and intermediary with the press, and his irrepressible Irish spirits offset the president's often dour Scotch disposition. Another close member of Wilson's personal staff was his physician, Navy medical officer Cary T. Grayson. He became familiar with the president's medical history and confirmed his circulatory problem and hardening of the arteries.
Wilson pioneered twice-weekly press conferences in the White House. Though they were modestly effective, the president prohibited his being quoted and was particularly indeterminate in his statements. The first such press conference was on March 15, 1913, when reporters were allowed to ask him questions. In 1913, he became the first president to deliver the "State of the Union address in person since 1801, as "Thomas Jefferson had discontinued this practice.
Wilson, the only Democrat besides "Grover Cleveland to be elected president since 1856 and the first Southerner since 1848, recognized his Party's need for high-level federal patronage. Wilson worked closely with Southern Democrats. In Wilson's first month in office, Postmaster General "Albert S. Burleson brought up the issue of segregating workplaces in a cabinet meeting and urged the president to establish it across the government, in restrooms, cafeterias and work spaces. Treasury Secretary William G. McAdoo also permitted lower-level officials to racially segregate employees in the workplaces of those departments. By the end of 1913 many departments, including the Navy, had workspaces segregated by screens, and restrooms, cafeterias were segregated, although no executive order had been issued. Segregation was urged by such conservative groups as the Fair Play Association.
Wilson defended his administration's segregation policy in a July 1913 letter responding to "Oswald Garrison Villard, publisher of the "New York Evening Post and founding member of the "NAACP; Wilson suggested the segregation removed "friction" between the races. Ross Kennedy says that Wilson complied with predominant public opinion, but his change in federal practices was protested in letters from both blacks and whites to the White House, mass meetings, newspaper campaigns and official statements by both black and white church groups. The president's African-American supporters, who had crossed party lines to vote for him, were bitterly disappointed, and they and Northern leaders protested the changes. Wilson continued to defend his policy, as in a letter to "prominent black minister Rev. H.A. Bridgman, editor of the Congregation and Christian World." Heckscher argues that Wilson had promised African Americans to deal generously with racial injustices, but did not deliver on these assurances. Segregation and government offices, and discriminatory hiring practices had been started by President Theodore Roosevelt and continued by President Taft; The Wilson administration continued and escalated the practice.
In an early foreign policy matter, Wilson responded to an angry protest by the Japanese government when the state of California proposed legislation that excluded Japanese people from land ownership in the state. Wilson was reluctant to assert federal supremacy over the state's legislation. There was talk of war and some argument within the cabinet for a show of naval force, which Wilson rejected; after diplomatic exchanges the scare subsided. Japan wanted a treaty (beyond the "Root–Takahira Agreement then in place) but none was negotiated; Japanese anger and feelings of humiliation remained high for this and other reasons for decades to come.
In implementing economic policy, Wilson had to transcend the sharply opposing policy views of the Southern and agrarian wing of the Democratic Party led by Bryan, and the pro-business and Northern wing led by urban political bosses—Tammany in New York, Sullivan in Chicago, and Smith and Nugent in Newark. In his Columbia University lectures of 1907, Wilson had said "the whole art of statesmanship is the art of bringing the several parts of government into effective cooperation for the accomplishment of particular common objects". As he took up the first item of his "New Freedom" agenda—lowering the tariffs—he quite adroitly applied this artistry. With large Democratic majorities in Congress and a healthy economy, Wilson seized the opportunity to achieve his agenda. Wilson also made quick work of realizing his pledges to beef up "antitrust regulation and to bring reform to banking and currency matters.
Tariff legislation and income tax
To facilitate reduction of the tariffs, Wilson garnered unexpected support from a previous rival "Oscar Underwood, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and "Sen. Furnifold M. Simmons, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. In May 1913, the "Underwood Tariff passed in the House by a vote of 274 to 5; it would take a bit longer passing in the Senate—in September—and was signed by Wilson three weeks later. Its effects were soon overwhelmed by the changes in trade caused by World War I. Wilson mobilized public opinion behind the tariff changes by denouncing corporate lobbyists in an address to Congress, and by staging an elaborate signing ceremony. The revenue lost by the lower tariff was replaced by a new federal income tax, authorized by the "16th Amendment.
Federal Reserve System
Wilson had not waited for completion of the tariff legislation to proceed with his next item of reform—banking—which he initiated in June 1913. After consulting with Brandeis, Wilson declared the banking system must be "public not private, must be vested in the government itself so that the banks must be the instruments, not the masters, of business." He tried to find a middle ground between conservative Republicans, led by Senator "Nelson W. Aldrich, and the powerful left wing of the Democratic party, led by "William Jennings Bryan, who strenuously denounced private banks and "Wall Street. The latter group wanted a government-owned "central bank that could print paper money as Congress required. The compromise, based on the Aldrich Plan but sponsored by Democratic Congressmen "Carter Glass and "Robert Owen, allowed the private banks to control the 12 regional "Federal Reserve Banks, but appeased the agrarians by placing controlling interest in the System in a central board appointed by the president with Senate approval. Moreover, Wilson convinced Bryan's supporters that because Federal Reserve notes were obligations of the government, the plan met their demands for an elastic currency. Having 12 regional banks, with designated geographic districts, was meant to weaken the influence of the powerful New York banks, a key demand of Bryan's allies in the South and West, and was a key factor in winning Glass' support. The "Federal Reserve Act passed in December 1913.
Wilson named "Paul Warburg and other prominent bankers to direct the new system. While power was supposed to be decentralized, the New York branch dominated the Fed as the "first among equals". The new system began operations in 1915 and played a major role in financing the "Allied and American war effort. The strengthening of the Federal Reserve during the "Great Depression was later a major accomplishment of "Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal.
At the end of 1913, summing up the president's efficacy, the "Saturday Evening Post magazine stated, "This administration is Woodrow Wilson's and non-other's. He is the top, middle and bottom of it. There is not an atom of divided responsibility... the Democratic Party revolves about him. He is the center of it—the biggest Democrat in the country—the leader and the chief".
Antitrust and other measures
Wilson began pushing for legislation which culminated with the Federal Trade Commission Act signed in September 1914. In doing so, Wilson broke with his predecessors' practice of litigating the antitrust issue in the courts, known as "trust-busting; the new "Federal Trade Commission provided a new regulatory approach, to encourage competition and reduce perceived unfair trade practices. In addition, he pushed through Congress the "Clayton Antitrust Act making certain business practices illegal, such as "price discrimination, agreements prohibiting retailers from handling other companies' products, and directorates and agreements to control other companies. The power of this legislation was greater than that of previous "anti-trust laws since it dictated accountability of individual corporate officers and clarified guidelines. This law was considered the ""Magna Carta" of labor by "Samuel Gompers because it ended union liability antitrust laws. In 1916, under threat of a national railroad strike, Wilson approved legislation that increased wages and cut working hours of railroad employees; there was no strike.
In the summer of 1914 Wilson gained repeal of toll exemptions at the Panama Canal for American ships; this was received positively by the international community, as a cessation of past discrimination against foreign commerce. The measure was considered unpatriotic by U.S. business interests and opponents such as Tammany Hall.
With the President reaching out to new constituencies, a series of programs were targeted at farmers. The "Smith–Lever Act of 1914 created the modern system of agricultural extension agents sponsored by the state agricultural colleges. The agents taught new techniques to farmers. The 1916 "Federal Farm Loan Act provided for issuance of low-cost long-term mortgages to farmers.
"Child labor was curtailed by the "Keating–Owen Act of 1916, but the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1918. No major child labor prohibition would take effect until the 1930s.
Taft had supported the revolution that brought about the election of "Francisco I. Madero as president of Mexico. Wilson, who took office shortly after Madero's assassination in 1913, rejected the legitimacy of Huerta's "government of butchers" and demanded Mexico hold democratic elections. Wilson's unprecedented approach meant no recognition and doomed Huerta's prospects. Wilsonian idealism became a reason for American intervention in Latin America until the 1920s and 1930s, when moralistic interventions were abandoned in favor of realism. After Huerta arrested U.S. navy personnel in the port of Tampico "Wilson sent his navy to occupy Veracruz. War between the United States and Mexico was averted through negotiations, and in 1916 his reelection campaign for president boasted he had "kept us out of war." Huerta fled Mexico and Carranza came to power.
Though the administration had achieved the desired result, it was a pyrrhic victory, as Carranza's lieutenant, "Pancho Villa, presented a more serious threat in 1916.
In early 1916 Pancho Villa raided Columbus, an American town in New Mexico, killing eighteen Americans and causing an enormous nationwide American demand for his punishment. Wilson ordered "Gen. John Pershing and 4000 troops across the border to capture Villa. By April, Pershing's forces had broken up and dispersed Villas bands. Villa remained on the loose and Pershing continued his pursuit deep into Mexico. President Carranza then pivoted against the Americans and accused them of a punitive invasion, Violent confrontations led to the brink of war by June. However tensions subsided and bilateral negotiations began. The issue had become a possible war with Germany so Wilson ended Pershing's diversion into Mexico ended in February, 1917. In January Germany's foreign minister sent Mexico the "Zimmermann Telegram invited it to join in war against the United States. Washington learned of the Zimmermann proposal on February 23 and detentewith Mexico was essential. Wilson accorded Carranza diplomatic recognition in April, after Congress declared war on Germany. Biographer Arthur Link calls it Carranza's victory—his successful handling of the chaos inside Mexico, as well as over Wilson's policies. Mexico was now free to develop its revolution without American pressure. Pershing became a national figure. Wilson selected him to command the American forces being sent to fight in France.
Miners strike, wife's death and remarriage
In a 1914 dispute between Colorado miners and "their company, a confrontation resulted in the "Ludlow Massacre—the deaths of eight strikers, eleven children and two mothers. Part owner "John D. Rockefeller, Jr. refused Wilson's offer of mediation, conditioned upon collective bargaining, so Wilson sent in U.S. troops. While Wilson succeeded in bringing order to the situation, and demonstrated support for the labor union, the miners' unconditional surrender to the implacable owners was a defeat for Wilson.
His wife Ellen's failing health, due to "kidney failure, worsened in the spring of 1914; after a fall, she was bedridden, then rallied briefly, but Wilson wrote "my dear one… grows weaker and weaker, with a pathetic patience and sweetness." He was at her bedside to the end, which came August 6, when Wilson despairingly said "Oh my God, what am I to do." Wilson later wrote accurately of his mourning and depression, "Of course you know what has happened to me…God has stricken me almost beyond what I can bear". Six months of depression followed for him, though mourning continued. At the same time that Wilson's private world shattered, World War I broke out in Europe, and this momentously changed his political life.
In January 1915, Wilson emerged from his depression during a spirited speech in Indianapolis where he said, "the trouble with the Republican Party is that it has not had a new idea for thirty years… the Republican Party is still a covert and a refuge for those who are afraid, for those who want to consult their grandfathers about everything." Another sign of Wilson's emotional restoration was the aggressiveness with which he pursued passage of a ship-purchase bill to bulk up the inadequately equipped merchant marine. This lasted until March 1915, when he moderated, drew back from the bill and, without its passage, congratulated the Congress for its work in the session just ended—his initial journey through mourning was evident.
In February 1915 Wilson had met "Edith Bolling Galt, a southern widow and jeweler. After several meetings, he fell in love, and in May, Wilson proposed. He was rebuffed initially but Wilson was undeterred and the courtship continued. Edith initially did not pursue the furtherance of their physical interaction with the vigor of Wilson, but she gradually warmed to the relationship and they became secretly engaged in the fall of 1915. Many in Wilson's camp had become concerned about the appearance of a premature romance soon after the death of his wife; the engagement was made public in October and they were married on December 18, 1915. Wilson was the third president to marry while in office; after John Tyler in 1844 and Grover Cleveland in 1886.
Events leading to U.S. entry into World War I (1914–16)
From 1914 until early 1917, Wilson's primary objective was to keep America out of the "war in Europe, and his policy was, "the true spirit of neutrality, which is the spirit of impartiality and fairness and friendliness to all concerned." In a 1914 address to Congress, Wilson argued, "Such divisions amongst us would be fatal to our peace of mind and might seriously stand in the way of the proper performance of our duty as the one great nation at peace, the one people holding itself ready to play a part of impartial mediation and speak the counsels of peace and accommodation, not as a partisan, but as a friend." He made numerous offers to mediate and sent "Colonel House on diplomatic missions; the "Allies and the "Central Powers, however, dismissed these overtures. Wilson even thought it counterproductive to comment on atrocities by either side; this led to assertions of heartlessness on his part. Republicans, led by "Theodore Roosevelt, criticized Wilson's refusal to build up the "U.S. Army in anticipation of war, but Wilson retained the support of the peace element, including women and the religious.
When Britain "declared a blockade of neutral ships carrying contraband goods to Germany, Wilson mildly protested non-lethal British violations of neutral rights; the British knew that it would not be a "casus belli for the United States. In early 1915 Germany declared the waters around Great Britain to be a war zone; Wilson dispatched a note of protest, imposing "strict accountability" on Germany for the safety of neutral ships. The meaning of the policy, dubiously applied to specific incidents, evolved with the policy of neutrality, but ultimately formed the substance of U.S. responses over the next two years. The commercial British steamship Falaba was sunk in March 1915 by a German submarine with the loss of 111 lives, including one American in the "Thrasher Incident. Wilson chose to avoid risking escalation of the war as a result of the loss of one American. In the spring of 1915 a German bomb struck an American ship, the Cushing and a German submarine torpedoed an American tanker, the Gulflight. Wilson took the view, based on some reasonable evidence, that both incidents were accidental, and that a settlement of claims could be postponed to the end of the war.
A German submarine torpedoed and sank the British ocean liner "RMS Lusitania in May 1915; over a thousand perished, including many Americans. In a Philadelphia speech that weekend Wilson said, "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". Many reacted to these remarks with contempt. Wilson sent a subdued note to the Germans protesting its submarine warfare against commerce; the initial reply was evasive and received in the United States with indignation. Secretary of State Bryan, a dedicated pacifist, sensing the country's path to war, resigned, and was replaced by "Robert Lansing. The White Star liner the "SS Arabic was then torpedoed, with two American casualties. The U.S. threatened a diplomatic break unless Germany repudiated the action; the German ambassador then conveyed a note, "liners will not be sunk by our submarines". Wilson had not stopped the submarine campaign, but won agreement that unarmed merchant ships would not be sunk without warning; and most importantly he had kept the U.S. out of the war. Meanwhile, Wilson requested and received funds in the final 1916 appropriations bill to provide for 500,000 troops. It also included a five-year Navy plan for major construction of battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines—showing Wilson's dedication to a big Navy.
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; the Germans had flouted the post-Lusitania exchanges. The president demanded the Germans reject their submarine tactics. Wilson drew praise when he succeeded in wringing from Germany a pledge to constrain their U-boat warfare to the rules of cruiser warfare. This was a clear departure from existing practices—a diplomatic concession from which Germany could only more brazenly withdraw, and regrettably did.
Wilson made a plea for postwar world peace in May 1916; his speech recited the right of every nation to its sovereignty, territorial integrity and freedom from aggression. "So sincerely do we believe these things", Wilson said, "that I am sure that I speak the mind and wish of the people of America when I say that the United States is willing to become a partner in any feasible association of nations formed in order to realize these objectives". At home the speech was seen as a turning point in policy. In Europe the words were received by the British and the French without comment. His harshest European critics rightly thought the speech reflected indifference on Wilson's part; indeed, Wilson never wavered from a belief that the war was the result of corrupt European power politics.
Wilson made his final offer to mediate peace on December 18, 1916. As a preliminary, he asked both sides to state their minimum terms necessary for future security. The "Central Powers replied that victory was certain, and the Allies required the dismemberment of their enemies' empires; no desire for peace existed, and the offer lapsed.
Presidential election of 1916
Wilson's remarriage rejuvenated his personal aspirations for re-election. Edith Wilson enjoyed, as Ellen never had, the crowds and the power as a close collaborator with her husband. Executive decisions just prior to the campaign also enabled Wilson to bolster his political mastery. He was presented with a vacancy on the Supreme Court, which he succeeded in filling with a controversial nominee, Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish member of the court. Also, in the summer of 1916 the nation's economy was endangered by a railroad strike. The president called the parties to a White House summit in August—after two days and no results, Wilson proceeded to settle the issue, using the maximum eight-hour work day as the linchpin. Once the Congress passed the Adamson bill incorporating the president's proposal, the strike was cancelled. Wilson was praised for averting a national economic disaster, though the law was received with howls from conservatives denouncing a sellout to the unions and a surrender by Congress to an imperious president.
In the campaign, McCombs was replaced as chairman of the Democratic Party by "Vance C. McCormick, a leading progressive, and Ambassador "Henry Morgenthau was recalled from Turkey to manage campaign finances. “Colonel” House played an important role in the campaign. "He planned its structure; set its tone; helped guide its finance; chose speakers, tactics, and strategy; and, not least, handled the campaign's greatest asset and greatest potential liability: its brilliant but temperamental candidate."
Wilson, renominated without opposition, employed his campaign slogan “He kept us out of war”, though he never promised unequivocally to stay out of the war. In his acceptance speech on September 2, 1916, Wilson pointedly warned Germany that submarine warfare resulting in American deaths would not be tolerated, saying "The nation that violates these essential rights must expect to be checked and called to account by direct challenge and resistance. It at once makes the quarrel in part our own."
As the Party platform was drafted, Senator Owen of Oklahoma urged Wilson to take ideas from the Progressive Party platform of 1912 “as a means of attaching to our party progressive Republicans who are in sympathy with us in so large a degree.” At Wilson’s request, Owen highlighted federal legislation to promote workers' health and safety, prohibit child labour, provide "unemployment compensation and establish minimum wages and maximum hours. Wilson, in turn, included in his draft platform a plank that called for all work performed by and for the federal government to provide a minimum wage, an eight-hour day and six-day workweek, health and safety measures, the prohibition of child labour, and (his own additions) safeguards for female workers and a retirement program.
Wilson's opponent was Republican "Charles Evans Hughes, former governor of New York with a progressive record similar to Wilson’s as governor of New Jersey. Theodore Roosevelt commented that the only thing different between Hughes and Wilson was a shave. However, Hughes had to try to hold together a coalition of conservative Taft supporters and progressive Roosevelt partisans, and his campaign never assumed a definite form. Wilson ran on his record and ignored Hughes, reserving his attacks for Roosevelt. When asked why he did not attack Hughes directly, Wilson told a friend, "Never murder a man who is committing suicide."
"The election outcome was in doubt for several days and was determined by several close states. Wilson won "California by 3,773 of almost a million votes cast, and New Hampshire by 56 votes. Hughes won "Minnesota by 393 votes out of over 358,000. In the final count, Wilson had 277 electoral votes vs. Hughes’ 254. Wilson was able to win by picking up many votes that had gone to Teddy Roosevelt or "Eugene V. Debs in 1912. By the time Hughes' concession telegram arrived, Wilson commented “it was a little moth-eaten when it got here”.
In December 1916, a month after his reelection, Wilson (a noted supporter of mother’s pensions) addressed a conference on social insurance in which he spoke of how a conference like that gave evidence of “the dominant interest of our own time, and one of the best elements of social insurance is social understanding – an interchange of views and a comprehension of interests which for a long time was only too rare.”
Second term (1917–1921)
Entry into World War I
Wilson was aggravated with the British for ignoring his suggestion of a postwar league of nations; he also objected to their seizure of mail from neutral ships and their blacklisting of firms trading with Britain's enemies. Wilson insisted a league of nations was the solution to ending the war.
Wilson found it increasingly difficult to maintain neutrality, after Germany rescinded earlier promises – the "Arabic pledge and the "Sussex pledge. Early in 1917 the German ambassador "Johann von Bernstorf informed Secretary of State Lansing of Germany's commitment to unrestricted submarine warfare; Bernstorff had tears in his eyes as he knew the U.S. reaction would adversely affect his country's lot. Then came the revelation of the "Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany attempted to enlist Mexico as an ally, promising Mexico that if Germany was victorious, she would support Mexico in winning back the states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona from the U.S. Wilson's reaction after consulting the cabinet and the Congress was a minimal one – that diplomatic relations with the Germans be brought to a halt. The president said, "We are the sincere friends of the German people and earnestly desire to remain at peace with them. We shall not believe they are hostile to us unless or until we are obliged to believe it". In March 1917 several American ships were sunk by Germany and Teddy Roosevelt privately reacted, "if he does not go to war I shall skin him alive". Wilson called a cabinet meeting on March 20, in which the vote was unanimously in support of entering the war.
Wilson delivered his War Message to a special session of Congress on April 2, 1917, declaring that Germany's latest pronouncement had rendered his "armed neutrality" policy untenable and asking Congress to declare Germany's war stance was an act of war. He proposed the United States enter the war to "vindicate principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power". The German government, Wilson said, "means to stir up enemies against us at our very doors". He then also warned that "if there should be disloyalty, it will be dealt with a firm hand of repression." Wilson closed with:
Our object...is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against selfish and autocratic power....We are glad...to fight...for the ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the German peoples included: for the right of nations great and small and the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience. The world must be made safe for democracy....We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make.
The "declaration of war by the United States against Germany passed Congress by strong bipartisan majorities on April 4, 1917, with opposition from ethnic German strongholds and remote rural areas in the South. It was signed by Wilson on April 6, 1917. The U.S. did not sign a formal alliance with Britain or France but operated as an "associated" power—an informal ally with military cooperation through the "Supreme War Council in London. The U.S. raised a massive army through "conscription and Wilson gave command to General "John J. Pershing, with complete authority as to tactics, strategy and some diplomacy. "Edward M. House, Wilson's key unofficial foreign affairs advisor, became the president's main channel of communication with the British government, and "William Wiseman, a British naval attaché, was House's principal contact in England. Their personal relationship succeeded in serving the powers well, by overcoming strained relations in order to achieve essential understandings between the two governments. House also became the U.S. representative on the Allies' Supreme War Council.
March 1917 also brought the first of two revolutions in Russia, which impacted the strategic role of the U.S. in the war. The overthrow of the imperial government removed a serious barrier to America's entry into the European conflict, while the second revolution in November relieved the Germans of a major threat on their eastern front, and allowed them to dedicate more troops to the Western front, thus making U.S. forces central to Allied success in battles of 1918. Wilson initially rebuffed pleas from the Allies to dedicate military resources to an intervention in Russia against the "Bolsheviks, based partially on his experience from attempted intervention in Mexico; nevertheless he ultimately was convinced of the potential benefit and agreed to dispatch a limited force to assist the Allies on the eastern front.
The Germans launched an offensive at "Arras which prompted an accelerated deployment of troops by Wilson to the Western front—by August 1918 a million American troops had reached France. The Allies initiated a counter offensive at "Somme and by August the Germans had lost the military initiative and an Allied victory was in sight. In October came a message from the new German Chancellor "Prince Max of Baden to Wilson requesting a general armistice. In the exchange of notes with Germany they agreed the Fourteen Points in principle be incorporated in the armistice; House then procured agreement from France and Britain, but only after threatening to conclude a unilateral armistice without them. Wilson ignored Gen. Pershing's plea to drop the armistice and instead demand an unconditional surrender by Germany.
The "War Industries Board, headed by "Bernard Baruch, was established to set U.S. war manufacturing policies and goals; future President "Herbert Hoover led the "Food Administration, to conserve food; the "Federal Fuel Administration, run by Henry Garfield, introduced "daylight saving time and rationed fuel supplies; William McAdoo was in charge of war bond efforts and Vance McCormick headed the War Trade Board. All of the above, known collectively as the "war cabinet", met weekly with Wilson at the White House. These and other bodies were headed by businessmen recruited by Wilson for a-dollar-a-day salary to make the government more efficient in the war effort.
More favorable treatment was extended to those unions that supported the U.S. war effort, such as the "American Federation of Labor (AFL). Wilson worked closely with "Samuel Gompers and the AFL, the railroad brotherhoods, and other 'moderate' unions, which saw enormous growth in membership and wages during Wilson's administration. In the absence of rationing consumer prices soared; income taxes also increased and workers suffered. Despite this, appeals to buy "war bonds were highly successful. The purchase of wartime bonds had the result of shifting the cost of the war to the taxpayers of the affluent 1920s.
Antiwar groups, anarchists, "communists, "Industrial Workers of the World members, and other antiwar groups attempting to sabotage the war effort were targeted by the "Department of Justice; many of their leaders were arrested for incitement to violence, espionage, or "sedition. Wilson also established the first western propaganda office, the United States "Committee on Public Information, headed by "George Creel, the "Creel Commission", which circulated patriotic anti-German appeals and conducted censorship of materials considered seditious. To further counter disloyalty to the war effort at home, Wilson pushed through Congress the "Espionage Act of 1917 and the "Sedition Act of 1918 to suppress anti-British, pro-German, or anti-war statements. While he welcomed socialists who supported the war, he pushed at the same time to arrest and deport foreign-born enemies. Many recent immigrants, "resident aliens without U.S. citizenship, who opposed America's participation in the war were deported to Soviet Russia or other nations under the powers granted in the "Immigration Act of 1918.
In an effort at reform and to shake up his Mobilization program, Wilson removed the chief of the Army Signal Corps and the chairman of the Aircraft Production Board on April 18, 1918. On May 16, the President launched an investigation, headed by Republican Charles Evans Hughes, into the War Department and the Council of Defense. The Hughes report released on October 31 found no major corruption violations or theft in Wilson's Mobilization program, although the report found incompetence in the aircraft program.
With congressional elections approaching, in 1918 Wilson made an appeal to the public for the retention of a Democratic majority and this seriously backfired due to its self-serving tone–Republicans successfully picked up majorities in both houses of Congress.
The Fourteen Points
Wilson initiated a secret series of studies named "The Inquiry, primarily focused on Europe, and carried out by a group in New York which included geographers, historians and political scientists; the group was directed by Col. House. The studies culminated in a speech by Wilson to Congress on January 8, 1918, wherein he articulated America's long term war objectives. It was the clearest expression of intention made by any of the belligerent nations. The speech, known as the Fourteen Points, was authored mainly by "Walter Lippmann and projected Wilson's progressive domestic policies into the international arena. The first six dealt with diplomacy, freedom of the seas and settlement of colonial claims. Then territorial issues were addressed and the final point, the establishment of an association of nations to guarantee the independence and territorial integrity of all nations—a League of Nations. The address was translated into many languages for global dissemination.
Peace Conference 1919
When the time came, Wilson spent six months in Paris for the Peace Conference, thereby becoming the first U.S. president to travel to Europe while in office. He disembarked from the "George Washington in Brest on December 13. While in Italy (January 1–6, 1919) for meetings with King "Victor Emmanuel III and Prime Minister "Vittorio Orlando, he became the first incumbent U.S. president to have an audience with a reigning "pope, when he visited "Pope Benedict XV at the "Apostolic Palace.
Wilson took a break from the negotiations and departed February 14, 1919 for home, then returned to Paris three weeks later and remained until the conclusion of a treaty in June. Heckscher describes Wilson, during the first four weeks of the Conference as, "playing, with force and discretion, a commanding role…he established his priorities, secured accommodation on major issues and won preliminary acceptance of the League." He promoted his plan in France, and then at home in February. Wilson gave a speech at the Metropolitan Opera House in defense of the League—he was more insistent about it than ever. Heckscher contends that the enduring image of Wilson as a grim, unsmiling and unforgiving figure dates from this visit home during the conference. While the general public along with editorial writers, churches and peace groups generally favored the League, the Republicans vowed to defeat the League and discredit Wilson. Wilson notably did not address the Congress as to ongoing deliberations at the peace conference, as indeed his counterpart Lloyd George did with Parliament. Heckscher opines that this was a missed opportunity to forge the debate even though the Congressional majority had changed. In France he was without the usual control over his message through the media; in fact, the French initiated an aggressive propaganda campaign in the midst of the Conference to affect its outcome.
After his visit home, and while en route back to France, Wilson suffered an illness; the ensuing months brought a decline in health and in power and prestige. On arrival, it was immediately clear the conference had struggled in his absence—Col. House had compromised Wilson's prior gains, and Wilson set out to attempt to regain the lost ground. During these "dark days" of the conference Taft cabled to Wilson three proposed amendments to the League covenant which he thought would considerably increase its acceptability to the Europeans—the right of withdrawal from the League, the exemption of domestic issues from the League and the inviolability of the Monroe Doctrine. Wilson very reluctantly accepted these amendments, explaining why he later was more inflexible in the Senate treaty negotiations. On April 3 Wilson fell violently ill during a conference meeting, in a narrow escape from influenza. Though his symptoms receded within a couple of days, those around him noticed a distinct, lasting deterioration.
The charter of the proposed League of Nations was incorporated into the conference's "Treaty of Versailles. Japan proposed that the Covenant include a "racial equality clause. Wilson was indifferent to the issue, but acceded to strong opposition from Australia and Britain. After the conference, Wilson said "at last the world knows America as the savior of the world!"
For his peace-making efforts, Wilson was awarded the 1919 "Nobel Peace Prize. John Maynard Keynes, an anti-Wilson and anti-League intellectual, asserted Wilson was not well regarded at the Conference, "he was in many respects...ill-informed as to European conditions...his mind was slow and unadaptable...There can seldom have been a statesman of the first rank more incompetent than the President in the agilities of the council chamber." Keynes' highly regarded rhetoric became the prevailing judgment of the conference for decades.
Treaty fight, 1919
The chances were less than favorable for ratification of the treaty by a two-thirds vote of the Republican Senate. Public opinion was mixed, with intense opposition from most Republicans, Germans, and Irish Catholic Democrats. In numerous meetings with Senators, Wilson discovered opposition had hardened. Despite his weakened physical condition Wilson decided to barnstorm the Western states, scheduling 29 major speeches and many short ones to rally support.
Wilson had earlier downplayed "Germany's guilt in starting the war by calling for "peace without victory", but he had taken an increasingly hard stand at Paris and rejected advice to soften the treaty's treatment of Germany. In a reversal of his earlier position, in summer 1919 Wilson repeatedly stressed Germany's guilt, saying the treaty, "seeks to punish one of the greatest wrongs ever done in history, the wrong which Germany sought to do to the world and to civilization; and there ought to be no weak purpose with regard to the application of the punishment. She attempted an intolerable thing, and she must be made to pay for the attempt."
Wilson had a series of debilitating strokes and had to cut short his trip on September 26, 1919. He became an invalid in the White House, closely monitored by his wife, who insulated him from negative news and downplayed for him the gravity of his condition. Senator Lodge led the opposition to the treaty in the Republican controlled Senate; the key point of disagreement was whether the League would diminish the power of Congress to declare war.
It proved possible to build a majority for the treaty in the Senate, but the two-thirds coalition needed to ratify was insurmountable. One block of Democrats strongly supported the Versailles Treaty; a second group supported the Treaty but followed Wilson in opposing any amendments or reservations. The largest bloc—Lodge and the Republicans—wanted a treaty with reservations, especially on Article X, which empowered the League of Nations to make war without a vote by the United States Congress. Finally, a bipartisan group of 13 ""irreconcilables" opposed a treaty in any form. In mid-November 1919 Lodge and his Republicans formed a coalition with the pro-Treaty Democrats, and were close to a two-thirds majority for a Treaty with reservations; but the seriously indisposed Wilson rejected this compromise and enough Democrats followed his lead to defeat ratification. Cooper and Bailey suggest that Wilson's stroke in September had debilitated him from negotiating effectively with Lodge.
Post war: 1919–1920
Wilson's administration did effectively demobilize the country at the war's end. A plan to form a commission for the purpose was abandoned in the face of Republican control the Senate, which complicated the appointment of commission members. Instead, Wilson favored the prompt dismantling of wartime boards and regulatory agencies. Demobilization was chaotic and violent; four million soldiers were sent home with little planning, little money, few benefits, and other vague promises. A wartime bubble in prices of farmland burst, leaving many farmers deeply in debt after they purchased new land. There were social tensions as veterans tried to find jobs, and existing workers struggled to protect theirs, as well as to gain better wages and conditions. Major strikes in the steel, coal, and meatpacking industries disrupted the economy in 1919. These conditions were catalysts for outbreaks of racial animosity that erupted in serious race riots of ethnic whites against blacks in "Chicago, "Omaha, and two dozen other major cities in the North; it was called the "Red Summer of 1919.
As the election of 1920 approached, Wilson momentarily imagined that a deadlocked Democratic convention might nominate him for a third term with a campaign focused on the League of Nations. No one around the President adequately clarified for him that he was too incapacitated, had insufficient support, and that the League defeat was irreversible. In retirement, Wilson harbored hopes for a White House run in 1924 despite the absence of substantial support.
Other foreign affairs
Wilson frequently intervened in Latin American affairs, saying in 1913: "I am going to teach the South American republics to elect good men." These interventions included Mexico in 1914, "Haiti in 1915, the "Dominican Republic in 1916, "Cuba in 1917, and "Panama in 1918. The U.S. "maintained troops in Nicaragua throughout the Wilson administration and used them to select the president of Nicaragua and then to force Nicaragua to pass the "Bryan-Chamorro Treaty. Additionally, American troops in Haiti – under the command of the federal government – forced the Haitian legislature to elect as president a pro-Western candidate who was favored by Wilson though less popular among the Haitian citizenry. Wilson ordered the military occupation of the "Dominican Republic shortly after the resignation of its President "Juan Isidro Jimenes Pereyra in 1916. The U.S. military worked in concert with wealthy Dominican landowners to suppress the gavilleros, a "campesino "guerrilla force fighting the occupation. The occupation lasted until 1924, and was notorious for its brutality against those in the resistance. Wilson also negotiated a treaty with Colombia in which the U.S. apologized for its role in the Panama Revolution of 1903–1904.
After Russia left World War I following the "Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Allies sent troops there to prevent a German or "Bolshevik takeover of allied-provided weapons, munitions and other supplies previously shipped as aid to the pre-revolutionary government. Wilson sent armed forces to assist the withdrawal of "Czechoslovak Legions along the "Trans-Siberian Railway, and to hold key port cities at "Arkhangelsk and "Vladivostok. Though specifically instructed not to engage the Bolsheviks, the U.S. forces engaged in several armed conflicts against forces of the new Russian government. Revolutionaries in Russia resented the United States intrusion. Robert Maddox wrote, "The immediate effect of the intervention was to prolong a bloody civil war, thereby costing thousands of additional lives and wreaking enormous destruction on an already battered society." Wilson withdrew most of the soldiers on April 1, 1920, though some remained until as late as 1922.
In 1919, Wilson guided American foreign policy to "acquiesce" in the "Balfour Declaration without supporting Zionism in an official way. Wilson expressed sympathy for the plight of Jews, especially in Poland and France.
In May 1920, Wilson sent a long-deferred proposal to Congress to have the U.S. accept a "mandate from the League of Nations to take over "Armenia. Bailey notes this was opposed by American public opinion, while "Richard G. Hovannisian states that Wilson "made all the wrong arguments" for the mandate and focused less on the immediate policy than on how history would judge his actions: "[he] wished to place it clearly on the record that the abandonment of Armenia was not his doing." The resolution won the votes of only 23 senators.
The immediate cause of Wilson's incapacity in September 1919 was the physical strain of the public speaking tour he undertook in support of ratification of the Treaty of Versailles. In "Pueblo, Colorado, on September 25, 1919, he collapsed and never fully recovered.
On October 2, 1919, he suffered a serious stroke, leaving him paralyzed on his left side, along with blindness in his left eye and with only partial vision in the right eye. He was confined to bed for several weeks and sequestered from everyone except his wife and physician, Dr. "Cary Grayson. For some months, Wilson used a wheelchair and later he required use of a cane. His wife and aide "Joe Tumulty were said to have helped a journalist, Louis Seibold, present a false account of an interview with the President.
He was insulated by his wife, who selected matters for his attention and delegated others to his cabinet. Wilson temporarily resumed a perfunctory attendance at cabinet meetings. 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. No one close to him, including his wife, his physician, or personal assistant, was willing to take responsibility to certify, as required by the Constitution, his "inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office". Because of this complex case, Congress developed the "25th Amendment to control succession to the presidency in case of illness, which was ratified.
Prohibition developed as an unstoppable reform during the war, but Wilson played a minor role in its passage. A combination of the "temperance movement, hatred of everything German (including beer and saloons), and activism by churches and women led to ratification of an amendment to achieve "Prohibition in the United States. A Constitutional amendment passed both houses in December 1917 by 2/3 votes. By January 16, 1919, the "Eighteenth Amendment had been ratified by 36 of the 48 states it needed. On October 28, 1919, Congress passed enabling legislation, the National Prohibition Act (informally known as the "Volstead Act), to enforce the Eighteenth Amendment. Wilson felt Prohibition was unenforceable, but his veto of the Volstead Act was overridden by Congress. Prohibition began on January 16, 1920 (one year after ratification of the amendment); the manufacture, importation, sale, and transport of alcohol were prohibited, except for limited cases such as religious purposes (as with sacramental wine). But, the consumption of alcohol was never prohibited, and individuals could maintain a private stock that existed before Prohibition went into effect. Wilson moved his private supply of alcoholic beverages to the wine cellar of his Washington residence after his term of office ended.
Wilson's position that nationwide Prohibition was unenforceable came to pass as a black market quickly developed to evade restrictions, and considerable liquor was both manufactured and smuggled into the country. "Speakeasies thrived in cities, towns and rural areas.
Wilson favored "women's suffrage at the state level, but held off support for a nationwide constitutional amendment because his party was sharply divided. The South, which had already "disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites at the turn of the century, opposed an amendment on the grounds of state's rights. In any case, "Arkansas was the only Southern state to have given women voting rights up to that time. From 1917 to 1919, a highly visible campaign by the "National Woman's Party (NWP) disparaged Wilson and his party for not enacting any amendment on the matter. Wilson did keep in close touch with the much larger and more moderate suffragists of the "National American Woman Suffrage Association. He continued to hold off until he was sure the Democratic Party in the North was supportive; the 1917 referendum in New York State in favor of suffrage proved decisive for him.
In a January 1918 speech before the Congress, Wilson—for the first time in his time in office—publically endorsed women’s rights to vote. Realizing the vitality of women during the First World War, he asked Congress, "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, but it stalled in the Senate. Wilson continued to speak in its defense, consulting with members of Congress through personal and written appeals, often on his own initiative. Then on June 4, 1919, the proposed amendment prohibiting the states and the federal government from denying the "right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex, was approved, and submitted it to the "state legislatures for ratification. Subsdequently ratified by the requisite number of states (then 36) on August 18, 1920, the measure became the "Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Wilson’s voice proved unequivocal in the ultimate passing of the 19th amendment.
Post war economic depression
According to historian "Adam Tooze, Wilson's presidency came to a calamitous end["page needed] with an economic depression. "Christina Romer that wrote that data from the "NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) shows that the depression lasted 18 months.
Administration and Cabinet
Wilson's chief of staff ("Secretary") was "Joseph Patrick Tumulty from 1913 to 1921, but he was largely upstaged after 1916 when Wilson's second wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, assumed full control of Wilson's schedule. The most important foreign policy advisor and confidant was "Colonel" "Edward M. House until Wilson broke with him in early 1919, for his missteps at the peace conference in Wilson's absence.
|The Wilson Cabinet|
|"Vice President||"Thomas R. Marshall||1913–1921|
|"Secretary of State||"William J. Bryan||1913–1915|
|"Secretary of Treasury||"William G. McAdoo||1913–1918|
|"David F. Houston||1920–1921|
|"Secretary of War||"Lindley M. Garrison||1913–1916|
|"Newton D. Baker||1916–1921|
|"Attorney General||"James C. McReynolds||1913–1914|
|"Thomas W. Gregory||1914–1919|
|"A. Mitchell Palmer||1919–1921|
|"Postmaster General||"Albert S. Burleson||1913–1921|
|"Secretary of the Navy||"Josephus Daniels||1913–1921|
|"Secretary of the Interior||"Franklin K. Lane||1913–1920|
|"John B. Payne||1920–1921|
|"Secretary of Agriculture||"David F. Houston||1913–1920|
|"Edwin T. Meredith||1920–1921|
|"Secretary of Commerce||"William C. Redfield||1913–1919|
|"Joshua W. Alexander||1919–1921|
|"Secretary of Labor||"William B. Wilson||1913–1921|
Wilson appointed three Associate Justices to the "Supreme Court of the United States:
- "James Clark McReynolds in 1914. A conservative, he served more than 26 years and opposed the "New Deal.
- "Louis Dembitz Brandeis in 1916. A liberal, and the first Jew appointed to the Court, he served 22 years and wrote landmark opinions on free speech and right to privacy.
- "John Hessin Clarke in 1916. He served just 6 years on the Court before resigning. He thoroughly disliked his work as an Associate Justice.
Along with his Supreme Court appointments, Wilson appointed 20 judges to the "United States Courts of Appeals and 52 judges to the "United States district courts.
Final years and death
After the end of his second term in 1921, Wilson and his wife moved from the White House to an elegant 1915 town house in the "Embassy Row ("Kalorama) section of Washington, D.C. Wilson continued daily drives, and attended Keith's "vaudeville theatre on Saturday nights. Wilson was one of only two U.S. Presidents ("Theodore Roosevelt was the first) to have served as president of the "American Historical Association.
On November 10, 1923, Wilson made a short Armistice Day radio speech from the library of his home, his last national address. The following day he spoke briefly from the front steps to more than 20,000 well wishers gathered outside the house.
On February 3, 1924, Wilson died at home of a stroke and other heart-related problems at age 67. He was interred in a "sarcophagus in "Washington National Cathedral and is the only president interred in the nation's capital. Mrs. Wilson stayed in the home another 37 years, dying there at age 89 on December 28, 1961, which was Woodrow's birthday and the day she was to be the guest of honor at the opening of the "Woodrow Wilson Bridge across the "Potomac River near Washington. Mrs. Wilson left the home and much of the contents to the "National Trust for Historic Preservation to be made into a museum honoring her husband. The "Woodrow Wilson House opened to the public in 1963, was designated a "National Historic Landmark in 1964, and was listed on the "National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
Wilson left his daughter "Margaret an annuity of $2,500 annually for as long as she remained unmarried, and left to his daughters what had been his first wife's personal property. The rest he left to Edith as a life estate with the provision that at her death, his daughters would divide the estate among themselves.
Wilson's presidential papers and his personal library are at the "Library of Congress.
Several historians have spotlighted consistent examples in the public record of Wilson's overtly racist policies and political appointments, such as segregationists he placed in his cabinet. According to scholars, Wilson believed that slavery was wrong on economic labor grounds, rather than for moral reasons. They also argue that he idealized the slavery system in the South, viewing masters as patient with "indolent" (i.e. lazy) slaves. In terms of "Reconstruction, Wilson held the common southern view that the South was demoralized by Northern "carpetbaggers and that overreach on the part of the "Radical Republicans justified extreme measures to reassert Democratic national and state governments.
While president of "Princeton University, Wilson had discouraged blacks from applying for admission, preferring to keep the peace among white students and alumni. Wilson's History of the American People (1901) dismissed lynchings committed by the "Ku Klux Klan of the late 1860s as a lawless reaction to a lawless period. The President defended them, writing that "[the Klan] began to attempt by intimidation what they were not allowed to attempt by the ballot or by any ordered course of public action".
Wilson's War Department drafted hundreds of thousands of blacks into the army, giving them equal pay with whites, but in accord with military policy from the Civil War through the Second World War, kept them in all-black units with white officers, and kept the great majority out of combat. When a delegation of blacks protested the discriminatory actions, Wilson told them "segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen." In 1918, "W. E. B. Du Bois—a leader of the "NAACP who had campaigned for Wilson believing he was a "liberal southerner"—was offered an Army commission in charge of dealing with race relations; DuBois accepted, but he failed his Army physical and did not serve. By 1916, Du Bois opposed Wilson, charging that his first term had seen "the worst attempt at Jim Crow legislation and discrimination in civil service that [blacks] had experienced since the Civil War."
Cabinet heads appointed by President Wilson re-segregated restrooms and cafeterias in their buildings. During Wilson's presidency, the film "The Birth of a Nation (1915) became the first motion picture to be in screened in the White House. The film, while revolutionary in its cinematic technique, glorified the Ku Klux Klan and portrayed blacks as uncouth and uncivilized. After seeing the film, Wilson felt betrayed by his old friend "Thomas Dixon Jr., who wrote two books the movie was based on, and did not like or endorse the film; he tried to stop its showing during the World War. Biographer Cooper rejects the claim first made in 1937 by a magazine writer who said that Wilson remarked: "It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true"; an eye witness reports that Wilson said nothing. During Wilson's term, segregation was ordered in the Washington offices of the Navy, the Treasury, and the Postmaster General. Then suddenly, photographs became required for all new federal job applicants. After black leaders pressed him, President Wilson explained he was trying to "reduce friction," and that he "sincerely believe[d] it to be in their interest."
Under Wilson, racial segregation was quickly implemented at the Post Office Department. Many African American employees were downgraded and even fired. Employees who were downgraded were transferred to the dead letter office, where they did not interact with the public. The few African Americans who remained at the main post offices were put to work behind screens, out of customers’ sight.
In recognition of his signing on March 2, 1917 the "Jones Act" that granted United States "citizenship to Puerto Ricans, streets in several municipalities "Puerto Rico were renamed "Calle Wilson", including one in the Mariani neighborhood in "Ponce and the Condado section of "San Juan.
The largest denomination of U.S. currency ever printed, the "$100,000 bill bears Wilson's portrait (meant for use only among "Federal Reserve Banks).
The "USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN-624), a Lafayette-class ballistic missile submarine, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Wilson. She later was converted into an attack submarine and redesignated SSN-624.
The "Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs was founded at Princeton in 1930. It was created in the spirit of Wilson's interest in preparing students for leadership in public and international affairs.
"Shadow Lawn, the "Summer White House for Wilson during his term in office, became part of "Monmouth University in 1956. The college has placed a marker on the building, renamed Woodrow Wilson Hall, commemorating the home. It was declared a "National Historic Landmark in 1985.
In 1944, "Darryl F. Zanuck of "20th Century Fox produced a film titled "Wilson. It looked back with nostalgia to Wilson's presidency, especially concerning his role as commander-in-chief during World War I.
A section of the Rambla of "Montevideo, Uruguay, is named "Rambla Presidente Wilson. A street in the 16th arrondissement in Paris, running from "Trocadéro to the Place de l'Alma, is named the Avenue du Président Wilson. The Pont Wilson crosses the Rhône river in the center of "Lyon, France. The Boulevard du Président Wilson extends from the main train station of "Strasbourg and connects to the Boulevard Clemenceau. In "Bordeaux, the Boulevard du Président Wilson links to the Boulevard George V. The Quai du Président Wilson forms part of the port of "Marseille. "Praha hlavní nádraží, the main railway station of "Prague has, for much of its history, been known as the "Wilson Station" ("Czech: Wilsonovo nádraží), and features the "Woodrow Wilson Monument. The Woodrow Wilsonsquarein "Ghent, Belgium.
In 2010, Wilson was inducted into the "New Jersey Hall of Fame.
One year after Wilson's death the U.S. Post Office issued the first postage stamp honoring the late president. Since then, four more stamps were issued in Wilson's honor, the last being issued in 1998.
Named for Wilson
- The "Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, established by Congress in 1968 as a "living memorial" to President Wilson, is a leading policy forum in Washington, D.C. and part of the "Smithsonian Institution.
- The "Wilson College, Princeton University is one of the five residential colleges at "Princeton University.
- The "Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is a professional public policy school at "Princeton University.
- Wilson House, an undergraduate dormitory at "Johns Hopkins University, is named in his honor.
- Wilson Hall, an administrative building at "James Madison University, is named in his honor.
- The Woodrow Wilson Complex is located in "Fishersville, Virginia, near Wilson's birthplace of "Staunton, Virginia (both are part of "Augusta County). The complex includes the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, "Wilson Memorial High School, Wilson Middle School and Wilson Elementary School.
- His portrait appeared on the U.S. $100,000 bill, issued in 1934. This bill was used only for transactions between the Federal Reserve and Treasury.
- Wilson's support for creating the independent state of "Czechoslovakia led to renaming the central railway station in "Prague was renamed from "Franz Joseph Station" to "Wilson Station" (Wilsonovo nadrazi). His name was considered when the new nation of Czechoslovakia was renaming some of its cities.
- The Avenue du Président-Wilson in Paris, France, is named in honor of Wilson.
- Boulevard Wilson, a main street in "Strasbourg, France, where the "European Parliament is located, is named in honor of Wilson. Anyone arriving by train in Strasbourg will cross or travel on Boulevard Wilson, including those traveling to the "European Parliament.
- "Woodrow Wilson Bridge across the "Potomac River on the portion of the "Capital Beltway which is also "Interstate 95 is located in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
- Plac Wilsona, a square in northwestern "Warsaw
- The "Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, D.C. is a national historic landmark and house museum that focuses on President Woodrow Wilson's "Washington Years (1912–1924)". The museum promotes a greater awareness of Wilson's public life and ideals for future generations through guided tours, exhibitions and educational programs.
- The "Palais Wilson in Geneva, "Switzerland, is the current headquarters of the "Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; the Quai Wilson is a street nearby, on the west shore of "Lake Geneva.
- The "Hotel President Wilson, found in Geneva, Switzerland.
Woodrow Wilson was also an accomplished author and scholar, having written numerous books and essays.
- Congressional Government, 1885.
- George Washington, 1896.
- On Being Human, 1897.
- The State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics, 1898.
- A History of the American People, 1902. volume I;volume II;volume III;volume IV;volume V.
- Constitutional Government in the United States, 1908.
- The New Freedom, 1913.
- When A Man Comes To Himself, 1915.
Collection of video clips of the president
- "Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home
- "Woodrow Wilson House (Washington, D.C.)
- "Woodrow Wilson Foundation
- "Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
- "Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
- "Progressivism in the United States
- "Silent Sentinels
- William Keylor, "The long-forgotten racial attitudes and policies of Woodrow Wilson", March 4, 2013, Professor Voices, Boston University, accessed March 10, 2016
- John Milton Cooper, Woodrow Wilson: A Biography p. 201
- Kerr, K. Austin (1967). "Decision For Federal Control: Wilson, McAdoo, and the Railroads, 1917". Journal of American History. 54 (3): 550–560. "doi:10.2307/2937406. "JSTOR 2937406.
- Yellin, Eric (2013). Racism in the Nation's Service: Government Workers and the Color Line in Woodrow Wilson's America. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. pp. 161–162. "ISBN "978-1469607207.
- Cook, Brian (2007). Democracy and Administration: Woodrow Wilson's Ideas and the Challenges of Public Management. Baltimore: JHU Press. p. 142. "ISBN "9780801885228.
- Woolf, S.J. (April 27, 1941). "Morgenthau at 85 Recalls a Full Life; Morgenthau at 85". New York Times. NY Times Magazine.
- Johnston, Robert D. The Radical Middle Class: Populist Democracy and the Question of Capitalism in Progressive Era Portland, Oregon. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2003
- Blum, John Morton (1956). Woodrow Wilson and the Politics of Morality. Boston: Little, Brown.
- Gamble, Richard M. (2001). "Savior Nation: Woodrow Wilson and the Gospel of Service" (PDF). Humanitas. 14 (1): 4–22.
- Cooper, Woodrow Wilson (2009) p. 560.
- "Woodrow Wilson bio sketch". Nobel Media AB 2014.
- The other presidents are "Theodore Roosevelt and "Barack Obama.
- Heckscher (1991), p. 4.
- John Milton Cooper, Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (2009) pp. 13–19
- "Genealogy of President Woodrow Wilson". Wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- Walworth 1958 p. 4
- "Woodrow Wilson – 28th President, 1913–1921". PresidentialAvenue.com.
- White, William Allen (March 15, 2007). "Chapter II: The Influence of Environment". Woodrow Wilson – The Man, His Times and His Task. "ISBN "978-1-4067-7685-0.
- Heckscher (1991), p. 23.
- Heckscher (1991), p. 22
- Walworth ch 1
- "Princeton Periodicals – Daily Princetonian Special Class of 1971, Volume 91, Number 72, Issue 15 June 1967". Theprince.princeton.edu. June 15, 1967. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- Link, Wilson I:5–6; Wilson Papers I: 130, 245, 314
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President Wilson's racist policies are a matter of record.
- Wolgemuth, Kathleen L. (1959). "Woodrow Wilson and Federal Segregation". The Journal of Negro History. 44 (2): 158–173. "doi:10.2307/2716036. "ISSN 0022-2992. "JSTOR 2716036.
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Wilson, who loved to tell racist 'darky' jokes about black Americans, placed outspoken segregationists in his cabinet and viewed racial 'segregation as a rational, scientific policy'.
- Gerstle, Gary (2008). John Milton Cooper Jr., ed. Reconsidering Woodrow Wilson: Progressivism, Internationalism, War, and Peace. Washington D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars. p. 103.
- Gerstle, Gary (2008). John Milton Cooper Jr., ed. Reconsidering Woodrow Wilson: Progressivism, Internationalism, War, and Peace. Washington D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars. p. 104.
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- James J. Cooke, The All-Americans at War: The 82nd Division in the Great War, 1917–1918 (1999)
- Mark Ellis, "'Closing Ranks' and 'Seeking Honors': W.E.B. Du Bois in World War I" Journal of American History, 1992 79(1): 96–124. "JSTOR 2078469
- Du Bois, W.E.B. (October 20, 1956). "I Won't Vote". www.hartford-hwp.com. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
- Stokes, Melvyn (2007). Stokes, Melvyn, D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation: A History of "The Most Controversial Motion Picture of All Time". New York: Oxford University Press. p. 111. "ISBN "978-0195336795.
- Arthur Link, Wilson: The New Freedom (1956) 2:253-54.
- Stokes p 111.
- John Milton Cooper, Woodrow Wilson (2009) p 272.
- "Wilson – A Portrait | African Americans". "PBS. "American Experience. "KCET. 2001. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- deanne, Boyd; Chen, Kendra, The History and Experience of African Americans in America’s Postal Service, Smithsonian Institution, National Postal Museum, p. 5, retrieved 1 March 2017
- "2010 Inductees". New Jersey Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
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|Q&A interview with A. Scott Berg on Wilson, September 8, 2013, "C-SPAN|
|Booknotes interview with August Heckscher on Woodrow Wilson: A Biography, January 12, 1992, "C-SPAN|
- "Berg, A. Scott. "Wilson (2013), full-scale scholarly biography
- Blum, John. Woodrow Wilson and the Politics of Morality (1956); short scholarly biography
- "Brands, H. W. Woodrow Wilson 1913–1921 (2003); short scholarly biography
- "Cooper, John Milton. Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (2009), full-scale scholarly biography
- Heckscher, August (1991). Woodrow Wilson. Easton Press.
- Levin, Phyllis Lee (2001). Edith and Woodrow: The Wilson White House. Scribner. "ISBN "0-7432-1158-8.
- Link, Arthur S. "Woodrow Wilson" in Henry F. Graff ed., The presidents: A Reference History (2002) pp. 365–388; short scholarly biography
- Link, Arthur Stanley. Wilson: The Road to the White House (1947), first volume of standard biography (to 1917); Wilson: The New Freedom (1956); Wilson: The Struggle for Neutrality: 1914–1915 (1960); Wilson: Confusions and Crises: 1915–1916 (1964); Wilson: Campaigns for Progressivism and Peace: 1916–1917 (1965), the last volume of standard scholarly biography
- Maynard, W. Barksdale. Woodrow Wilson: Princeton to the Presidency (2008)
- Miller, Kristie. Ellen and Edith: Woodrow Wilson's First Ladies (University Press of Kansas, 2010)
- Post, Jerrold M. "Woodrow Wilson Re-Examined: The Mind-Body Controversy Redux and Other Disputations," Political Psychology (1983) 4#2 pp. 289–306 in JSTOR, on Wilson's self-defeating behavior
- Walworth, Arthur (1958). Woodrow Wilson, Volume I. Longmans, Green.; full scale scholarly biography
Scholarly topical studies
- Ambrosius, Lloyd E., "Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush: Historical Comparisons of Ends and Means in Their Foreign Policies", Diplomatic History, 30 (June 2006), 509–43.
- Bailey; Thomas A. Wilson and the Peacemakers: Combining Woodrow Wilson and the Lost Peace and Woodrow Wilson and the Great Betrayal (1947); detailed coverage of 1919
- Clements, Kendrick, A. Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman (1999)
- Clements, Kendrick A. The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1992), a standard scholarly survey
- Clements, Kendrick A. "Woodrow Wilson and World War I", Presidential Studies Quarterly 34:1 (2004). pp. 62+
- "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
- Davis, Donald E. and Eugene P. Trani. The First Cold War: The Legacy of Woodrow Wilson in U.S.-Soviet Relations (2002) online
- Greene, Theodore P., ed. Wilson at Versailles (1957) essays by scholars and primary sources
- Hofstadter, Richard. "Woodrow Wilson: The Conservative as Liberal" in The American Political Tradition (1948), ch. 10.
- Janis, Mark Weston. "How Wilsonian Was Woodrow Wilson?," Dartmouth Law Journal (2007) 5:1 pp. 1–15 online
- Kazianis, Harry. "Woodrow Wilson: Civil War, Morality and Foreign Policy", E-International Relations (2011), E-ir.info
- Kennedy, Ross A., ed. A Companion to Woodrow Wilson (2013), historiographical essays by scholars
- Knock, Thomas J. To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order (1995)
- Levin, Jr., N. Gordon. Woodrow Wilson and World Politics: America's Response to War and Revolution (1968)
- Link, Arthur S. Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, 1910–1917 (1972) standard political history of the era [online
- Link, Arthur S.; Wilson the Diplomatist: A Look at His Major Foreign Policies (1957) online
- Link, Arthur S.; Woodrow Wilson and a Revolutionary World, 1913–1921 (1982)
- Livermore, Seward W. Woodrow Wilson and the War Congress, 1916–1918 (1966)
- Malin, James C. The United States after the World War (1930) online
- Saunders, Robert M. In Search of Woodrow Wilson: Beliefs and Behavior (1998)
- Trani, Eugene P. "Woodrow Wilson and the Decision to Intervene in Russia: A Reconsideration". Journal of Modern History (1976). 48:440–61. in JSTOR
- Tucker, Robert W. Woodrow Wilson and the Great War: Reconsidering America's Neutrality, 1914–1917 (2007)
- Vought, Hans. "Woodrow Wilson, Ethnicity, and the Myth of American Unity". In Myth America: A Historical Anthology, Volume II. 1997. Gerster, Patrick, and Cords, Nicholas. (editors.) Brandywine Press, St. James, NY. "ISBN 1-881-089-97-5
- Walworth, Arthur; Wilson and His Peacemakers: American Diplomacy at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 (1986)
- Yellin, Eric S. Racism in the Nation's Service: Government Workers and the Color Line in Woodrow Wilson's America (2013)
- Princeton University (1956). "Woodrow Wilson – Catalogue of an Exhibition in the Princeton University Library February 18 through April 15, 1956 Commemorating the Centennial of His Birth". XVII (3, Spring issue). The Princeton University Library Chronicle.
- "August Heckscher, ed., The Politics of Woodrow Wilson: Selections from his Speeches and Writings (1956)
- Link, Arthur S. (editor). The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. 69 volumes. Annotated edition of all of Wilson's correspondence, speeches and writings.
- "Tumulty, Joseph P. (1921). Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him.. Memoir by Wilson's chief of staff.
- Wilson, Edith Bolling (1939). My memoir. Bobbs-Merrill. "ASIN B0008BKX5I. Arno Press reprint: 1981.
- Wilson, Woodrow. "Congressional government: a study in American politics (1885)"
- The New Freedom by Woodrow Wilson at "Project Gutenberg 1912 campaign speeches
- Wilson, Woodrow (1917). Why We Are at War.
- Wilson, Woodrow. Selected Literary & Political Papers & Addresses of Woodrow Wilson. 3 volumes, 1918 and later editions.
- Woodrow Wilson, compiled with his approval by Hamilton Foley; Woodrow Wilson's Case for the League of Nations, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1923; contemporary book review
- Wilson, Woodrow. Messages & Papers of Woodrow Wilson 2 vol ("ISBN 1-135-19812-8)
- Wilson, Woodrow. The New Democracy. Presidential Messages, Addresses, and Other Papers (1913–1917) 2 vol 1926, "ISBN 0-89875-775-4
- Wilson, Woodrow. President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points (1918)
- Wilson, Woodrow. Presidential papers and personal library, Woodrow Wilson Library of the Library of Congress.
Speeches and other works
- Full text of a number of Wilson's speeches, "Miller Center of Public Affairs
- Works by Woodrow Wilson at "Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Woodrow Wilson at "Internet Archive
- Works by Woodrow Wilson at "LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Woodrow Wilson Personal Manuscripts
- "Woodrow Wilson collected news and commentary". "The New York Times.
- "Life Portrait of Woodrow Wilson", from "C-SPAN's "American Presidents: Life Portraits, September 13, 1999
- Woodrow Wilson at the "Internet Movie Database
- Woodrow Wilson: A Resource Guide from the Library of Congress
- Extensive essays on Woodrow Wilson and shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady from the Miller Center of Public Affairs
- Woodrow Wilson Links
- Woodrow Wilson: Prophet of Peace, a "National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan
- "PUTNAMEHERE". "C-SPAN. September 8, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2017. Cite error: Invalid
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