He Did Not Win At Everything
His life-prize was to be the League of Nations. He did not win that prize, in the end. But he did a great deal of good anyway, he changed the world.
First Name – Did You Know? – Was Thomas
Thomas Woodrow Wilson, born December 28, 1856, died February 3, 1924, was the presidential from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he had served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910.
He was Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. With the Republican Party split in 1912, he led his Democratic Party to control both the White House and Congress for the first time in nearly two decades.
Some of the Good He Accomplished
In his first term as President, Wilson persuaded Congress to pass a legislative agenda that few presidents have equaled, remaining unmatched up until the New Deal in 1933. This agenda included the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and an income tax.
Child labor was curtailed by the Keating–Owen Act of 1916, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1918. Wilson also had Congress pass the Adamson Act, which imposed an 8-hour workday for railroads.
Although considered a modern liberal visionary giant as President, Wilson was “deeply racist in his thoughts and politics” and his administration racially segregated federal employees and the Navy.
The War To End All Wars
Narrowly re-elected in 1916 around the slogan, “He kept us out of war”, Wilson’s second term was dominated by American entry into World War I. While American non-interventionist sentiment was strong, American neutrality was challenged in early 1917 when the German Empire began unrestricted submarine warfare despite repeated strong warnings.
In April 1917, Wilson asked Congress to declare war in order to make “the world safe for democracy.” During the war, Wilson focused on diplomacy and financial considerations, leaving the waging of the war itself primarily in the hands of the Army.
On the home front in 1917, he began the United States’ first draft since the American Civil War; borrowed billions of dollars in war funding through the newly established Federal Reserve Bank and Liberty Bonds; set up the War Industries Board; promoted labor union cooperation; supervised agriculture and food production through the Lever Act; took over control of the railroads; and gave a well-known Flag Day speech that fueled the wave of anti-German sentiment sweeping the country.
Stroke Ended His Presidency
In the late stages of the war, Wilson took personal control of negotiations with Germany, including the armistice. In 1918, he issued his Fourteen Points, his view of a post-war world that could avoid another terrible conflict. In 1919, he went to Paris to add the formation of a League of Nations to the Treaty of Versailles, with special attention on creating new nations out of defunct empires.
During an intense fight with Henry Cabot Lodge and the Republican-controlled Senate over giving the League of Nations power to force the U.S. into a war, Wilson suffered a severe stroke that left his wife largely in control of the White House until he left office in March 1921.
For his sponsorship of the League of Nations, Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize.
Not Everyone Who Changes the World Has Success Every Try
I understand that some folks don’t start out to change the world because they are afraid of failure. I can empathize. Failure hurts. Failure feels humiliating.
Yet, it is those who face the possibility of failure, or even actual failure itself, who make a real difference. Woodrow Wilson attempt to establish a world body, The League of Nations, to help extend peace and democracy to the world set the stage for the United Nations some years later. Sometimes it takes an idea some time to bear fruit. Some blossoms never turn into apples.
Are going to let that stop you? I hope not. I hope you will face your fear of failure and move on. Move on to change the world. You have that opportunity. You deserve that opportunity. The world deserves that opportunity.
Source: Wikipedia.org (Please donate to this fine resource.)
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