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Woodrow Wilson - 28th President of the United States

Photograph of Woodrow Wilson(National Archives)
Photograph of Woodrow Wilson(National Archives)

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th (1913-1921) President of the United States.

From 1890 to 1910 he was a professor of Jurisprudence & Political Economy at Princeton University. In 1910 he was elected governor of New Jersey. He was nominated as the Democratic Party candidate for President at the party convention in 1912. William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt split the Republican Party by running against each other, allowing Wilson's victory.

He kept the United States neutral in the early years of World War I, which contributed to his popular re-election in 1916. However the following year the USA joined the allied side in the war.

After the Great War, Wilson worked with mixed success to assure statehood for formerly oppressed nations and an equitable peace. The League of Nations was established according to his ideals, but he failed to get congress to allow the USA to join.

Wilson suffered a stroke and was seriously incapacitated his final year in office, although the extent of his disabilities was kept from the public until after his death.

Woodrow Wilson was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternal organization.

Woodrow Wilson's ancestral home is at Strabane, Northern Ireland.

Major Accomplishments:

  • Underwood Act lowering tariffs
  • Implemented a graduated Federal income tax
  • 1913 - Federal Reserve Act
  • 1914 - Antitrust legislation that established the Federal Trade Commission.
  • 1916 - Signed law prohibiting child labor.
  • 1916 - Limiting railway workers to an eight-hour workday.
  • 1917 - Asked U.S. Congress to declare war against Germany.
  • Successfully led the United States to victory in World War I.
  • 1918 - Announced The Fourteen Points as guiding principles to the world after World War I. His allies adopted the "Treaty of Versailles."
  • 1918 - Proposed "League of Nations" but failed to convince Congress to pass the enabling legislation and thus the United States never joined the "League of Nations."



Photographs and Illustrations of Woodrow Wilson

How They're Acting and How They Feel - 11/05/1912 (National Archives)
“How They're Acting and How They Feel” - 11/05/1912
(National Archives) This cartoon depicts Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and William Howard Taft before the 1912 Presidential Election. The divided cartoons reveals the confident public persona each candidate projects--how they're acting-- versus the nervousnous each candidate undoubtedly feels.

Miss Democracy: Lan sakes, what'll i do with 'em?, 11/07/1912 (National Archives)
Miss Democracy: “Lan sakes, what'll i do with 'em?”, 11/07/1912
(National Archives) This cartoon shows Miss Democracy, with the White House tucked under her arm, carrying figures representing the House and Senate. In the 1912 elections, Woodrow Wilson was elected president, and the Democratic party gained a commanding majority in the House and a slim majority in the Senate. The Democratic victories were the result of a split in Republican party ranks produced by Theodore Roosevelt's independent Progressive (Bull Moose) party candidacy.

Reasonable Program of National Defense, 11/20/1915 (National Archives)
“Reasonable Program of National Defense”, 11/20/1915
(National Archives) This cartoon features President Woodrow Wilson researching national defense.

President Calls Congress April 2 to Act on Grave National Policy, 03/21/1917(National Archives)
President Calls Congress April 2 to Act on Grave National Policy, 03/21/1917
(National Archives) This political cartoon was in response to continued German u-boat attacks at sea in World War I, and features President Woodrow Wilson.

Council of Four of the Peace Conference. Mr. Lloyd George; Signor Orlando; M. Clemenceau; President Woodrow Wilson. Hotel Crillon, Paris, France., 05/27/1919(National Archives)
Council of Four of the Peace Conference. Mr. Lloyd George; Signor Orlando; M. Clemenceau; President Woodrow Wilson. Hotel Crillon, Paris, France., 05/27/1919(National Archives)

Quick Facts about President Woodrow Wilson

Rank: 28th (1913-1921)
Followed: William Howard Taft
Succeeded by: Warren G. Harding
Date of Birth December 28, 1856
Place of Birth: Staunton, Virginia
Date of Death: February 3, 1924
Place of Death: Washington, D.C.
First Lady: Ellen Louise Axson
Edith Bolling Galt

Profession: teacher
Political Party: Democrat
Vice President: Thomas R. Marshall

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