Woodrow Wilson

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Thomas Woodrow Wilson
28th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1921
Vice President Thomas R. Marshall
Preceded by William Howard Taft
Succeeded by Warren G. Harding
Personal details
Born December 28, 1856(1856-12-28)
Staunton, Virginia
Died February 3, 1924(1924-02-03) (aged 67)
Washington, D.C.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ellen Axson Wilson
Edith Galt Wilson
This person was awarded a Nobel Prize

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was born in Virginia and grew up in Georgia.[1][2] He was the President of the United States of America between 1913 and 1921.[2] In 1917, after the US had been neutral, it got involved with the First World War. Because of Wilson, the League of Nations was founded.[3] Therefore, he received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1919.[1] Between 1890 and 1902, Wilson worked as professor for law at the Princeton University.[4][5]

He was one of the initiators of the League of Nations, the creation of which he strongly supported.[6]

Life[change | change source]

Woodrow Wilson, son of Joseph Ruggles Wilson and Janet "Jessie" Woodrow Wilson, was born in Staunton, Virginia, United States. Wilson's father was a Presbyterian minister. Wilson had one brother and two sisters.[6] He studied from 1875 to 1879 at the University of Princeton in New Jersey. Between 1879 and 1883, Wilson studied law at the University of Virginia.[5] In 1885, he did a doctorate at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. His dissertation was about the "Congressional Government". In the same year, Wilson was married to Ellen Louise Axson.[5]

Wilson started to teach political science at Princeton University in 1886.[2][7] He became the director of Princeton University in 1902. Wilson kept in this position until 1910. Wilson's goal was to change the pedagogical system, the social system and the style of the campus.[1]

Political career[change | change source]

He was elected to be the Governor of New Jersey for the Democratic Party in 1911.[4] On November 4, 1912, Wilson became the 28th President of the United States.[5] He won with 42% against the incumbent president William Howard Taft. His time being president started in March 1913.

Wilson mostly handled domestic matters during his first term. He passed laws to prevent monopolies from forming, started a few business regulations, passed laws protecting workers, and created the Federal Reserve. During his second term, he also helped women gain the right to vote.

In 1914, his wife Ellen died of Bright's Disease.[8] His doctor, Cary Grayson, introduced him to a girl named Edith Galt, whose husband was also dead. After two months they fell in love and got married. For a long time he focused on her instead of his job as President. But soon, he got back to work.

In 1917, Wilson entered the country in World War One. America was previously neutral, but German submarines kept sinking American ships sailing in British waters and even tried to encourage Mexico to invade the United States, which was the final straw for Wilson. World War One was a war against the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire) and the Allied Powers (England, France, and Italy). America was on the Allies' side. The Allies won the war a year later.

Wilson took a ship to Europe to talk with the leaders of the other Allies about what to do with Germany. They came up with the Treaty of Versailles. A part of the Treaty of Versailles said that there will be a group of countries called the League of Nations. A lot of people in America did not like the League of Nations because they thought that it was none of America's business to mess with other countries' problems.

Wilson's political enemy, Senator Henry Lodge from Massachusetts, made a different version of the Treaty of Versailles. Even though Wilson was very sick, he traveled around the country asking people to like the Treaty and the League. Wilson ended up having a stroke. It was the first time he had one. It was very bad and Wilson was not able to run the country as best he could. His thinking also was not great because of the stroke. But, he stayed President and told Congress not to vote for Henry Lodge's new treaty. Congress listened but also said no to Wilson's treaty.

Wilson received criticism for many of his decisions. Theodore Roosevelt criticized him for entering the war too late. Overall, for his leadership during World War I, and for his plans for peace after the war, historians consider him a great president.

References[change | change source]