Woodrow Wilson: A Hero Trending Downward

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2 Responses to “Woodrow Wilson: A Hero Trending Downward”


  • Historical figures usually trend upward and downward depending on current political fashion– and which of their characteristics is emphasized. JFK was once glorified as the architect of the “New Frontier,” but in more conservative times is derided as a mere womanizer. Also, people seem to lack the ability to see beyond today’s zeitgeist– I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to respond to people who dismiss Thomas Jefferson with a sneer because he owned slaves. Also, if a survey ranks a finite number of individuals, then a change in one will trigger a change in another.

    That being said, I don’t have any strong feelings toward Wilson one way or the other; he is far from the best president, but far from the worst. I am curious as to why Grant is doing better, though– he’s always been quite near the bottom of my list. :D

  • The reason why Wilson’s rating is going down is because it should have never been that high to begin with!

    Wilson vigourously opposed women’s sufferage and imposed segregation into the federal government and supported the south’s right to deal with racial issues without federal interference. He also trampled on free speech with the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. He used both laws to arrest political prisoners who disagreed with him.

    He invaded one carribean or central american country after another during his term forcing them to “elect” leaders he liked, re-writing their constitutions and forcing treaties upon them. He also invaded Russia during the Russian revolution against the Bolsheviks, which prolonged that war and led to soviet mistrust of western democracies. This was definetly one of the causes of the cold war.

    Wison’s policies got us sucked into World War I, a war we should have never been in, that cost over 119,000 american lives. Had he been truely nuetral, that war probably would have been shorter, but Britain knew he would probaly enter on the side of the Allies, so they hung on.

    The punitive treaties forced upon the central powers led to economic chaos in eastern and cental europe, that eventual spread westward, helping to trigger the great depression. They led to the rise of Hitler in Germany. They cut the Austrian-Hungarian Empire into several weaker nations that were first dominated by Nazi Germany, then Communist Russia. The Allies promised Italy and Japan territory in exchange for joining them against the central powers, which could have wetted thier appetites leading into WWII. THe traties also gave Serbia, the country that started WWI, exactly what it wanted in the formation of Yugoslavia. Lets not forget the post cold war problems in Bosnia and Kosovo.

    Wilson also left the country in an economic mess, he increased the debt tenfold, and he failed to demobalize or get peace treaties more than a year after WWI had ended.

    Wilson is easily one of the two worst presidents we ever had, Jackson is the other.

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