How successful was Wilson in enlisting the force of humanity to help in issues such as child labor, farmers' conditions, railroad and federal workers?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In his first term, I think that you can find much to demonstrate that Wilson was rather successful in "enlisting the force of humanity" in his attempts to be a Progressivist leader.  On one hand, the establishment of a Federal Reserve bank that appeased the Populist wing of the Democratic party with public, government ownership or advising helped to bring more people into the role of economic power on a government level.  At the same time, Wilson was able to help farmers in a couple of ways.  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 Board" issued low-cost long-term mortgages to farmers.  Wilson ensured that railroads safeguarded the rights of workers with specific hour workdays and preventing abuse of workers' conditions.  This helped him to ensure that workers had rights that were respected by businesses, and supported by the federal government.  Child labor was curtailed in Wilson's time, although it would take about another fifteen years to eliminate through the case U.S. vs. Darby Lumber. Additionally, the passage of the 19th Amendment helped to secure women's rights to suffrage.

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