Woodrow Wilson (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: As twenty-eighth president of the United States (1913-1921), Wilson was responsible for American entry into World War I, was one of the formulators of the Paris peace settlement, and was the principal architect of the League of Nations.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson’s passion for constitution-making came from his childhood experience in drafting a set of rules for a neighborhood club that met in a hayloft. From then on, he tried to reform any organization he joined, crafting new sets of procedures and aims and then going on to repeat the procedure somewhere else. He rarely let himself get involved with practical application; he was essentially a policymaker. Also from his early days, or more specifically from his stern father, Joseph Ruggles Wilson, a Presbyterian minister and theologian, came his highly developed sense of moral righteousness. This was reinforced by his mother, the daughter of a minister, Thomas Woodrow, pastor of a church in Carlisle, England, before he migrated to the United States in 1836. As President of the United States, Wilson would have the privilege of preaching a sermon from his grandfather’s old pulpit in 1919. It was one of the high points of his life.
When Wilson was a year old, his family moved to Augusta, Georgia, where he lived during the Civil War, a conflict which influenced his later determination to create an organization to guarantee...
(The entire section is 2688 words.)
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Woodrow Wilson (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Wilson, the first world leader to wrestle with the rights of a neutral nation affected by submarine warfare, led the United States to war in 1917, turning the tide against the Central Powers.
After four decades in higher education, Woodrow Wilson served as governor of New Jersey starting in 1910. His reform reputation propelled him to victory in the presidential election of 1912. During the next eight years, he would be forced to deal with international confrontations in China, Mexico, Europe, and Russia. His achievements illustrate the strengths and drawbacks of the internationalist approach to war and peace.
Wilson promoted neutrality when war broke out in Europe in 1914. However, the effect of German submarine warfare on U.S. shipping eventually shifted Wilson to a pro-Allied point of view. Wilson led the United States to war in April, 1917, and harnessed the talents of Newton Baker and Herbert Hoover to organize the war effort at home. As wartime leader, Wilson played a key role in insisting that the Allies refuse to negotiate with William II of Germany. The collapse of Germany in November, 1919, would have long-range consequences Wilson never anticipated.
During the peace negotiations after the German defeat, Wilson’s...
(The entire section is 313 words.)