Woodrow Wilson was the 28th United States President who led the country through World War I. Although he was initially elected on his promise to keep the United States out of the war, he was forced to declare war on Germany and join the Allied Powers. However, he succeeded at leading the nation during this tough period of time and ultimately out of the war. He also assisted with forming the League of Nations. The League of Nations was considered the parent idea of the UN, as a way to keep the world away from another world war.
President Wilson’s Childhood
Woodrow’s father was a preacher who lived in many states and moved around with his family. As a result, Woodrow spent his childhood in multiple places, including North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.
As a child, Woodrow had a challenging learning experience at school because he had dyslexia. However, that didn’t stop him from making the extra effort to become a brilliant student. He studied history and got his degree from Princeton University.
Wilson’s interest in law and politics
In 1882, Wilson got a law degree from the University of Virginia and passed the bar exam to become a lawyer. However, after a while of practicing law, he decided that he did not like his job. He moved back to New Jersey and started working at Princeton University as a political science professor. Wilson spent 23 years working at Princeton, 15 years as a professor and then 8 years as the President of the University.
As a political science professor, Wilson had many theories on how the government should work. In 1911, he took his first step into putting his theories to action as he started his political career and became the Governor of New Jersey. Wilson did a great job at this position and the people loved him so much that they asked him to run for presidency!
Wilson becomes the President
In 1913, Woodrow Wilson won the elections over two former presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. As the 28th President of the United States, this was Wilson’s biggest opportunity to execute the ideas he had.
Wilson created the Federal Reserve System, which helped regulate the American economy. He also implemented the graduated tax system, which meant people who made less money paid less taxes and those who made more money paid more taxes. Both of these systems are still used to this day. He also made the Federal Trade Commission to ensure fair trade and better business practices.
Woodrow Wilson and World War I
World War I started one year after Wilson became the president. Since he experienced the Civil War as a child in the southern states, he did his best to keep the United States out of war. He succeeded at doing that for his entire first term and was elected to another term. In fact, this was the basis of his campaign.
However, shortly after his second term as president started, Wilson was forced to declare war on Germany, since it attacked American ships going in and out of Britain. He said that the purpose of this war was to end all wars and he did all he could to make it so.
After World War I ended, Wilson advised against putting harsh punishments on Germany. He also participated in the forming of the League of Nations to prevent any future wars. He really did want to and worked towards stopping all wars once and for all. All this effort caused President Wilson to have a stroke in 1919 that kept him very ill until he passed away in 1924.
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