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Lamar FinleyDr. RomigEnglish Comp I30 November 2017Woodrow Wilson, an American HeroWorld War I was one of the most cataclysmic wars in the history of the United States. It led to the downfall of four different imperial dynasties (Link 67.) World War I was nicknamed “The War to End Wars” due to how horrific it was. New technology was being used that made killing people much easier, which led to extraordinary amounts of soldiers being killed. Many different fighting tactics were introduced during World War I, including chemical warfare, flamethrowers, tank battles, aerial warfare, and blood banks. This war was said to have lasted much longer without Woodrow Wilson’s decision to enter the United States into the war. Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia, on December 29, 1856 (Link 1). Wilson was the child of Joseph and Janet Wilson. Wilson had two siblings, one older sister, and one younger brother(Link 1).  He was raised in both Georgia and South Carolina. Wilson watched Union soldiers march into his town, he saw his mother tend to Confederate soldiers, and he witnessed General Robert E. Lee pass through his city after his surrender at Appomattox Court House (Link 2.). Effects of war were not new to Woodrow Wilson. He witnessed first-hand the poverty and devastation caused by war. Because of the destruction of the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson was schooled by his father until he left to attend school at the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton, in 1875(Link 2). He later attended Law School at the University of Virginia in 1879, but decided to pursue a career in history and Political Science at John Hopkins University (Link 2.) From there he pursued a teaching career as a professor at multiple colleges including Bryn Mawr College, Wesleyan University, and Princeton University(Link 2.) Wilson became the president of Princeton in 1902. His efforts to reform Princeton University earned him the attention of New Jersey Democrats, who requested he runs as a candidate for governor of the state. Woodrow Wilson accepted the request to run for governor. The party was looking for a leader who could help win back democratic voters, and they believed Wilson was capable of doing so.  They decided they needed someone in which they could control, and they believed a naive college professor would be an ideal candidate. Wilson ended up becoming a first-ballot nominee and surprised professional politicians by going against the status quo and distancing himself from party bosses (Link 8). He wound up winning the election and immediately started reforming New Jersey. Wilson believed that campaigning in New Jersey was corrupt, and forced candidates to file financial statements relevant to the campaign. He instituted a workers compensation law would allow families of workers who had been injured or killed on the job to receive benefits. Woodrow had such an impact on the state of New Jersey that his efforts were nationally recognized by progressive leaders. In 1912 Woodrow Wilson was nominated as the Democratic Party representative for the President of the United States (Link 9). Woodrow Wilson narrowly won the party convention of 1912 (Link 9). The party was divided. The possible candidates were Woodrow Wilson, Oscar Underwood, Champ Clark, William Jennings Bryan, and Judson Harmon. It took forty-six different ballots to nominate Woodrow (Link 10). As the presidential candidate, Wilson ran on his New Freedom program, which emphasized individualism and states’ rights. Some of the individual campaign claims were “Limits on campaign contributions by corporations, tariff reductions, new and more grounded antitrust laws, banking and currency reform, a federal income tax, direct election of senators, a solitary term administration, and the independence of the Philippines.”(Wilson) He also decided that he no longer wished to put strict confinements on monopolies, but rather break them up altogether by claiming they were all harmful to the country. Wilson ended up facing a divided Republican Party, who had been the majority party for over a dozen years. Wilson wound up with only 42% of the popular vote but vastly won the electoral votes with 435 votes. Theodore Roosevelt had the second most electoral votes with 88. Wilson was confident throughout the election that God would guide him to victory. In 1912, Woodrow Wilson became the President of the United States (Link 12).World War I took up the majority of Wilson’s  presidency. He initially declared that the United States would remain neutral. Wilson did this for two reasons, he didn’t want to upset the large amount of Austrians and Germans in America, and he wanted to keep the United States an isolationist country, or a country not involved in foreign affairs. Two major events influenced Wilson to go against his word and enter the United States into the war. Germany set up a blockade on the Atlantic Ocean which prevented the United States from trading with Europe.(Wilson) The German blockade fired a missile at an American ship called the Lusitania and ended up killing over 1,000 passengers (Wilson.) Germany’s foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann sent out a telegram to Mexico saying that Mexico should declare war on the United States, Germany would assist them, and Mexico would receive back all of the territories they lost during the Mexican-American War. The British intercepted the letter and sent it to the United States. Wilson still did not want to enter the war and proposed a peaceful alternative to Germany. The peaceful alternative was peace without victory, which would simply stop the war without any reparations. The Germans refused this proposal. In 1917, the United States entered World War I (Wilson 14.) Wilson was very detailed with the United States entry into the war. He started the United States Food Administration program and put Herbert Hoover in charge of it. This program fed the allied armies and the American people without rationing by proposing ideas such as Wheatless Wednesday, and Meatless Monday.  The program was a huge success, it cut America’s food consumption by over 15%, and tripled the amount of exported food (Link 54.) Another contribution Wilson had was the War Production Board. The WPM encouraged American industry to use more efficient equipment and create less waste. Products could be made more affordable this way. The WPM also enforced 8-hour work days and banned child labor. Another measure taken was the Selective Service Act. This act increased the size of the US Army, which registered all men between 21 and 30 for the military (Link 55.) A man’s name would be drafted at random and sent to war. The War ended with an allied victory just nineteen months after the United States entered. Wilson’s final and most important contribution to the war was his Fourteen Points. These points were meant to quickly mend relationships with Germany after they lost the war. His points included the evacuation of German troops from all the lands they conquered, safe and open seas, and a collaboration of nations to come together peacefully to solve problems. This became known as the League of Nations (Link 64.) Woodrow Wilson was one of America’s greatest Presidents. His contributions to World War I greatly impacted the war. It is said that Wilson won the war for the Allies. The war may have extended for years without the American forces. Wilson’s League of Nations were the foundation for the United Nations that we have today. Works Cited