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CAREER OF WOODROW WILSON
TWENTY-EIGHTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES [Vice-President, two terms, Thomas R. Marshall]
The return of the Democratic party to power was made certain by the feeling of the country that the Payne-Aldrich tariff, enacted by the Republicans early in Mr. Taft's term, did not properly meet the pledge that the tariff should be thoroughly revised and substantially reduced by those responsible for the protective policy. In 1910, the Democrats elected a majority of the new Congress. In 1912, they carried the Presidential election as well as the Congressional. For the first time, the plan of popular primaries was used by the parties in the selection of candidates.
The Democratic primaries showed Champ Clark (Speaker of the House) to be a plurality favorite, while the Republican primaries showed a clear preference for Theodore Roosevelt. But the effort to secure a second term for Taft gave him control of the Republican convention at Chicago, with the result that the larger half of the Republican party supported Roosevelt on a separate ticket. Woodrow Wilson, Governor of New Jersey, had been a prominent Democratic candidate, and through the influence of Mr. Bryan, Wilson prevailed over Clark in the Democratic convention at Baltimore. Apart from the fact that it was logically a Democratic year, the split in the Republican party made Democratic victory quite inevitable.
Woodrow Wilson had not been in active politics, but he had long been a distinguished citizen and an eminent authority in the field of American history, government, and public policy. From his youth he had excelled in oratory, and his life study had been in the fields of jurisprudence and politics. After graduation from Princeton in 1879, he had studied law at the University of Virginia and had for a short time practiced law at Atlanta, Ga. His birthplace was Staunton, Va., and his boyhood had been spent in the States farther south. In 1883 he had entered upon special studies at Johns Hopkins University, where in 1886 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. .
He had not only obtained recognition at that time as an accomplished student in history, economics, and the science of government, but he had completed what has always held place as a very notable book, entitled “Congressional Government,” which deals with the American national system in contrast with the British. After some years of teaching elsewhere, Wilson returned to Princeton as professor, and in due time became president of that institution, having devoted himself constantly to work in the field of American history, comparative politics, and the principles of constitutional law and government.
The headship of an American educational institution is analagous, in the character of its executive authority, to the governorship of a State or the presidency of the Union. In 1910 he was made Governor of the State of New Jersey, and at once attracted notice throughout the country as a probable President of the United States. He was still Governor when elected to the Presidency.
Wilson's first term was notable for the vigor and success with which he led his party in the revision of the tariff, the important reconstruction of the country's banking and currency system, and in various other policies which were favorably received regardless of party divisions. The principal foreign situation with which he had to deal in the early part of his term was caused by the chaotic condition of Mexico. Later, however, and before he had been in the presidential chair a full year and a half, the great war in Europe began and his attention was absorbed by the problems due to the neutral position of the United States as
Career of Woodrow Wilson
among the most powerful commercial nations of the world which were now opposing each other in two belligerent groups.
President Wilson's renomination, in the summer of 1916, was unanimously accorded by the Democratic party. The Republicans nominated Charles E. Hughes (formerly Governor of the State of New York), who had for six years been an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The election was very close, and turned finally upon the count of votes in the State of California. Mr. Wilson's reëlection was, however, fully conceded by his opponents and accepted with characteristic good will by the entire country.
The most serious situation of the latter part of his first term had to do with his diplomatic controversy with Germany over the ruthless and illegal use of submarines against the world's merchant shipping in the North Sea and in waters adjacent to the British, French, and Italian coasts. The principal slogan used by the Democrats, particularly in the West and South, in reëlecting Mr. Wilson was found in the phrase: "He kept us out of war.” But just a month after his second inauguration he led the country into war, with the support of a Democratic Congress and the very general endorsement, regardless of party, of the entire country. This apparent change in his attitude was due to the resumption by Germany, on a far greater scale than two years previous, of reprisal methods in the form of unrestricted use of floating mines and submarine torpedoes in what the Germans denominated a “blockade" of England, France, and Italy—this policy being in violation of the rights of neutrals.
Mr. Wilson's leadership—his country having supported him in the great decision—was fully accepted at home and highly respected abroad. His object, which was to "make the world safe for democracy,” was acclaimed by the European Allies who were fighting Germany; and his official views were felt as strengthening movement for popular government everywhere in the world. He was visited by important commissions from the governments of France, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Japan, and several other countries; and his attitude toward these countries, and toward the support of the war against German aggression, secured in every case the confidence and admiration of these official visitors. His leadership in creating a National Army and in obtaining financial support for his war measures upon a scale of unparalleled magnitude, had resulted within six months after war was declared on April 6, 1917, in measures that were at once transforming a considerable part of the human energies and material resources of the country into effective agencies for the carrying-on of war.
Born, Staunton, Va., Dec. 28, 1856. Graduated, Princeton, 1879. Graduated in law, University of Virginia, 1881. Practised law at Atlanta, Ga., 1882-3. Post-graduate work at Johns Hopkins, 1883-5. Ph. D., 1886. Associate Professor of History and Political Economy, Bryn Mawr College, 1885-8; Professor of History and Political Economy, Wesleyan University; 1888-90; Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Economy, Princeton University, 1890-95; Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton, 1895-7; Professor of Jurisprudence and Politics, Princeton, 1897-1910; President of Princeton University, 1902-10. Governor of New Jersey, January 17, 1911March 1, 1912. Nominated for President of the United States, Democratic National Convention, Baltimore, 1912. Elected on Nov. 4, 1912, receiving 435 electoral votes, against 88 for Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive, and 8 for William Howard Taft, Republican. (Wilson's popular vote was 2,450,000 less than that of all other candidates combined.) Nominated for second term by the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis, June, 1916, and elected on Nov. 7, 1916 receiving 276 electoral votes against 255 for Charles E. Hughes, Republican, with a popular plurality of about 400,000. Author of: "Congressional Government, A Study in American Politics" (1885); “The State Elements of Historical and Practical Politics" (1889); “Division and Reunion, 1829-1889” (1893); “An Old Master, and Other Political Essays” (1893); "Mere Literature, and Other Essays" (1893); “George Washington" (1896); "A History of the American People" (1902); “Constitutional Government in the United States” (1908); "Free Life" (1913); “The New Freedom" (1913); “When a Man Comes to Himself" (1915).
WOODROW WILSON'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS
There has been a change of government. It began two years ago, when the House of Representatives became Democratic by a decisive majority. It has now been completed. The Senate about to assemble will also be Democratic. The offices of President and Vice-President have been put into the hands of Democrats. What does the change mean? That is the question that is uppermost in our minds to-day. That is the question I am going to try to answer, in order, if I may, to interpret the occasion.
It means much more than the mere success of a party. The success of a party means little except when the Nation is using that party for a large and definite purpose. No one can mistake the purpose for which the Nation now seeks to use the Democratic Party. It seeks to use it to interpret a change in its own plans and point of view. Some old things with which we had grown familiar, and which had begun to creep into the very habit of our thought and of our lives, have altered their aspect as we have latterly looked critically upon them, with fresh, awakened eyes; have dropped their disguises and shown themselves alien and sinister. Some new things, as we look frankly upon them, willing to comprehend their real character, have come to assume the aspect of things long believed in and familiar, stuff of our own convictions. We have been refreshed by a new insight into our own life.
We see that in many things that life is very great. It is incomparably great in its material aspects, in its body of wealth, in the diversity and sweep of its energy, in the industries which have been built up by the genius of individual men and the limitless enterprise of groups of men. It is great, also, very great, in its moral force. We have built up, moreover, a great system of government, which has stood through a long age as in many respects a model for