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Amer. Hist.

The administration of Woodrow Wilson appears “noble” when viewed in retrospect. More humanitarian than politician, Wilson was basically a pacifist at heart-a position that did little to endear him to more aggressive and combative leaders like Teddy Roosevelt. Wilson was determined to bring humanity to “every process of our common life”, but entry into World War I would shatter many of his ideals regarding the power of humanism in an often brutal and inhumane world, (Wilson 1). With a background more that of literary scholar and author than politician, Wilson fought at home against the abuses of government and big business. In this manner he more resembled Teddy Roosevelt’s domestic policies. However, Wilson was prejudiced against women and minorities. He was not a believer in women’s suffrage, and to his eternal shame he bowed to pressure from Southern Senators and segregated the Nation’s Capital for the first time in U.S. History. Yet, Wilson did believe in the power of government to improve the lives of all citizens, and he fought against monopolies, corruption in business and government, child labor and poor industrial working environments. Towards these efforts, he established the Federal Reserve and Federal Trade Commission.

Internationally, Wilson was at his best once he accepted the undeniable fact that American must enter World War I. He fought against American intervention in foreign disputes until his hand was forced by threat from Mexico and Germany combined. Wilson’s sympathies were firmly with the allies, but he was under no illusion that they had entered the war for any higher purpose than had Germany-national self-interest. However, he was determined to construct an international body that would help keep world peace and promote the right of all nations to self-determinism. This would lead to the forming of the League to Enforce Peace, the League of Nations and, eventually, the United Nati...

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