Inspirational quotes to feed your soul and brighten your day.

201 Inspiring Quotes by Woodrow Wilson

  • Last updated Oct 07 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Woodrow Wilson.

Wikipedia Summary for Woodrow Wilson

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As President, Wilson changed the nation's economic policies and led the United States into World War I in 1917. He was the leading architect of the League of Nations, and his progressive stance on foreign policy came to be known as Wilsonianism.

Wilson grew up in the American South, mainly in Augusta, Georgia, during the Civil War and Reconstruction. After earning a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University, Wilson taught at various colleges before becoming the president of Princeton University and a spokesman for Progressivism in higher education. As governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913, Wilson broke with party bosses and won the passage of several progressive reforms. To win the presidential nomination he mobilized progressives and Southerners to his cause at the 1912 Democratic National Convention. Wilson defeated incumbent Republican William Howard Taft and third-party nominee Theodore Roosevelt to easily win the 1912 United States presidential election, becoming the first Southerner to do so since 1848.

Wilson allowed the continuing imposition of segregation inside the federal bureaucracy. His first term was largely devoted to pursuing passage of his progressive New Freedom domestic agenda. His first major priority was the Revenue Act of 1913, which lowered tariffs and began the modern income tax. Wilson also negotiated the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which created the Federal Reserve System. Two major laws, the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, were passed to promote business competition.

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the U.S. declared neutrality as Wilson tried to negotiate a peace between the Allied and Central Powers. He narrowly won re-election in the 1916 United States presidential election, boasting how he kept the nation out of wars in Europe and Mexico. In April 1917, Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany in response to its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare that sank American merchant ships. Wilson nominally presided over war-time mobilization and left military matters to the generals. He instead concentrated on diplomacy, issuing the Fourteen Points that the Allies and Germany accepted as a basis for post-war peace. He wanted the off-year elections of 1918 to be a referendum endorsing his policies, but instead the Republicans took control of Congress. After the Allied victory in November 1918, Wilson went to Paris where he and the British and French leaders dominated the Paris Peace Conference. Wilson successfully advocated for the establishment of a multinational organization, the League of Nations. It was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles that he signed. Wilson had refused to bring any leading Republican into the Paris talks, and back home he rejected a Republican compromise that would have allowed the Senate to ratify the Versailles Treaty and join the League. Wilson had intended to seek a third term in office but suffered a severe stroke in October 1919 that left him incapacitated. His wife and his doctor controlled Wilson, and no significant decisions were made. Meanwhile his policies alienated German and Irish Democrats and the Republicans won a landslide in the 1920 presidential election. Scholars have generally ranked Wilson in the upper tier of U.

S presidents, although he has been criticized for supporting racial segregation. His liberalism nevertheless lives on as a major factor in American foreign policy, and his vision of ethnic self-determination resonated globally.

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lThere is such a thing as man being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince others by force that it is right.


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Uncompromising thought is the luxury of the closeted recluse. Untrammeled reasoning is the indulgence of the philosopher, of the dreamer of sweet dreams.



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We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.




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But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts--for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own Governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.


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One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat. Ay any rate, if it is heat it ought to be white heat and not sputter, because sputtering heat is apt to spread the fire. There ought, if there is any heat at all, to be that warmth of the heart which makes every man thrust aside his own personal feeling, his own personal interest, and take thought of the welfare and benefit of others.


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Just what is it that America stands for? If she stands for one thing more than another, it is for the sovereignty of self-governing people, and her example, her assistance, her encouragement, has thrilled two continents in this western world with all those fine impulses which have built up human liberty on sides of the water. She stands, therefore, as an example of independence, as an example of free institutions, and as an example of disinterested international action in the main tenets of justice.


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We live in an age disturbed, confused, bewildered, afraid of its own forces, in search not merely of its road but even of its direction. There are many voices of counsel, but few voices of vision; there is much excitement and feverish activity, but little concert of thoughtful purpose. We are distressed by our own ungoverned, undirected energies and do many things, but nothing long. It is our duty to find ourselves.


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