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General Discussion => History => Topic started by: A18 on December 06, 2004, 07:25:24 pm



Title: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: A18 on December 06, 2004, 07:25:24 pm
Rate Woodrow Wilson as president.

He's one of my least favorite. Maybe the third worst, after LBJ and FDR. Of the five Democratic presidents to serve two terms, the lastest was definitely the best.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Erc on December 07, 2004, 12:07:32 pm
I like Wilson the campaigner, and probably would have voted for him in 1912.  In office, however, he was pretty disastrous--although in terms of domestic policy, his impact has been far superseded by other 20th Century presidents.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: True Federalist on December 07, 2004, 06:01:52 pm
Woodrow Wilson, the man who was most responsible for WWI dragging out at least one year longer than it had to and for the occurence of WWII.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: patrick1 on December 07, 2004, 07:28:25 pm
Woodrow Wilson, the man who was most responsible for WWI dragging out at least one year longer than it had to and for the occurence of WWII.

Britain and France's policy of severe reparations had a lot more to do with the start of WWII than anything Wilson did.  Please provide some facts for your argument.  How did he prolong the war and start WWII? 


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: patrick1 on December 07, 2004, 07:41:29 pm
Woodrow Wilson, the man who was most responsible for WWI dragging out at least one year longer than it had to and for the occurence of WWII.

Britain and France's policy of severe reparations had a lot more to do with the start of WWII than anything Wilson did.  Please provide some facts for your argument.  How did he prolong the war and start WWII? 


If your argument will be that the U.S. should have let Britain and France lose the war, I will disagree pre-emptively.  I think it is a good thing that the "democratic" nations won. The Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and German empires were vestiges of an earlier era and I am glad they were dismantled. 


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Vincent on December 07, 2004, 09:13:26 pm
I believe the argument is that America's entrance into WWI allowed Britian and France to be in a position to demand such repremations. Which can be led to a 'butterfly effect' which led to WWII.

Woodrow Wilson, the man who was most responsible for WWI dragging out at least one year longer than it had to and for the occurence of WWII.

Britain and France's policy of severe reparations had a lot more to do with the start of WWII than anything Wilson did. Please provide some facts for your argument. How did he prolong the war and start WWII?


If your argument will be that the U.S. should have let Britain and France lose the war, I will disagree pre-emptively. I think it is a good thing that the "democratic" nations won. The Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and German empires were vestiges of an earlier era and I am glad they were dismantled.

I wouldnt neccesarly say that it was our bussiness to intervene. I dont know for sure. Keep in mind what *eventually* replaced the German Empire.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Compassion Fills the Void on December 07, 2004, 09:44:16 pm
Domestic-wise, he had a lot of important accomplishments, in the areas of anti-trust laws, increase of labor rights, child labor banned and the establishment of the income tax. Unfortunately, there also was the Palmer Raids, and the Espionage and Sedition Acts. That basically cancels it out. And of course his racism and setting back of the Civil Rights movement.

And he also go the US into a war we had no business of. WWI was a European war that we didn't belong in. That was after he ran for reelection on a campaign of "he kept us out of war"

First term: 4
Second term: 1

so 2.5 I guess.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: patrick1 on December 07, 2004, 10:22:54 pm
I believe the argument is that America's entrance into WWI allowed Britian and France to be in a position to demand such repremations. Which can be led to a 'butterfly effect' which led to WWII.

Woodrow Wilson, the man who was most responsible for WWI dragging out at least one year longer than it had to and for the occurence of WWII.

Britain and France's policy of severe reparations had a lot more to do with the start of WWII than anything Wilson did. Please provide some facts for your argument. How did he prolong the war and start WWII?


If your argument will be that the U.S. should have let Britain and France lose the war, I will disagree pre-emptively. I think it is a good thing that the "democratic" nations won. The Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and German empires were vestiges of an earlier era and I am glad they were dismantled.

I wouldnt neccesarly say that it was our bussiness to intervene. I dont know for sure. Keep in mind what *eventually* replaced the German Empire.


Germany sank our merchant shipping and conspired with Mexico.  The Nazi parties rise was due more to economics and an abusive peace treaty not really anything that Wilson did.  Had the Central powers one you would have seen a strengthening of un-natural hegemonies.  The Versailles treaty failed in many ways but at least it somewhat attempted to give ethnic minorities self determination.  i.e. creation of Poland, Czech-slovak state and a nation for South slavs.  The central powers had no such designs. The allies had their faults but I feel that an allied victory was vastly superior to the alternative.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: True Federalist on December 08, 2004, 11:32:20 am
Britain mined international waters and seized neutral assets back in 1914, so any claims to Allied moral superiority are pure propoganda.  However, if we were to side with the Allies, if we had done so earlier, the war would have ended by 1917 at the latest.  Instead, Wilson's pseudo-neutrality dragged out the war.  With a quicker war, there would have been no Soviet Union.  A quicker war would likely have ended in a negotiated peace that would have left no side so humiliated that WWII would have been inevitable just 20 years later.    Wilson meant well, but his policies ended up dooming Europe to millions more violent deaths in the 20th Century than needed to have been.  Even given a Central Powers victory, the collapse of the ramshackle Hapsburg empire was inevitable, altho like our own history, it may have taken the entirety of the 20th century to see its final collapse, as the last remnants of Hapsburgism only ended in the last decade with the break up of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.  And finally given our own sorry treatment of Mexico in the early part of the 20th century (let alone the 19th), it could well be argued that Germany was offerring to help Mexico with its overbearing neighbor to the north that coveted its oil fields, just as we helped Kuwait with its overbearing neighbor to the north that coveted its oilfields.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: minionofmidas - supplemental forum account on December 08, 2004, 11:37:40 am
Germany sank our merchant shipping and conspired with Mexico. 
Now you're being very much unjust to the Mexicans, who immediately informed the world about the Zimmermann telegram.
Quote
The Nazi parties rise was due more to economics and an abusive peace treaty not really anything that Wilson did. 
hat treaty gets maligned a lot. It wasn't that bad.
Quote
Had the Central powers one you would have seen a strengthening of un-natural hegemonies. 
At no point past ca. late 1915 was there any chance of that. 
Quote
The allies had their faults but I feel that an allied victory was vastly superior to the alternative.
Word.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on December 08, 2004, 11:46:01 am
hat treaty gets maligned a lot. It wasn't that bad.

True. The one big flaw in it was the reparations... territorially Germany lost a lot less than would have been expected/normal for the time.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: MAS117 on December 09, 2004, 12:24:47 am
I gave him a 2.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: patrick1 on December 09, 2004, 12:45:08 am
Britain mined international waters and seized neutral assets back in 1914, so any claims to Allied moral superiority are pure propoganda.  However, if we were to side with the Allies, if we had done so earlier, the war would have ended by 1917 at the latest.  Instead, Wilson's pseudo-neutrality dragged out the war.  With a quicker war, there would have been no Soviet Union.  A quicker war would likely have ended in a negotiated peace that would have left no side so humiliated that WWII would have been inevitable just 20 years later.    Wilson meant well, but his policies ended up dooming Europe to millions more violent deaths in the 20th Century than needed to have been.  Even given a Central Powers victory, the collapse of the ramshackle Hapsburg empire was inevitable, altho like our own history, it may have taken the entirety of the 20th century to see its final collapse, as the last remnants of Hapsburgism only ended in the last decade with the break up of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.  And finally given our own sorry treatment of Mexico in the early part of the 20th century (let alone the 19th), it could well be argued that Germany was offerring to help Mexico with its overbearing neighbor to the north that coveted its oil fields, just as we helped Kuwait with its overbearing neighbor to the north that coveted its oilfields.

I agree with the majority of what you are saying but I just felt that Wilson was getting an unfair bad rap.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I commend Wilson for his efforts to have small nations and peoples gain some form of self determination.He was a little too idealistic about a lot of things but his heart was in the right place..  At least Poland had a twenty year run while it lasted. 


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Nym90 on December 10, 2004, 05:01:01 am
4.5

As that's not an option, I voted 5.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Webb on December 12, 2004, 10:03:21 pm
Wilson also brought segregation to DC


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Jake on December 12, 2004, 11:44:28 pm
Did Wilson not push for us to join the League of Nations. I thought I learned that. Anyway, if he did that is the cause of WW2. A League of Nations without America was doomed to fail from the beginning and fail it did.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Hitchabrut on December 13, 2004, 07:13:02 pm
2


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Bugs on December 14, 2004, 12:48:59 am
He was a 3.  A lot of the judgements in this thread have the benefit of hindsight that Wilson did not have.  His 14 points were not universally endorsed or adopted by the other victors.  Consider this quote from Clemenceau: "God gave us his ten commandments, and we broke them.  Wilson gives us his fourteen points, and we shall see."   Wilson cannot be held responsible for WWII.  It was a European problem.  It would have happened with Hughes as president as well as with Wilson.  It would have happened if we would have entered the war in 1914 or stayed out all together.  It would have happened with the complete adoption or complete rejection of the 14 points.  Even a Marshall plan type response wouldn't have prevented it.  Too much nationalism and distrust in Europe at the time.  Wilson could have done better with the war, and he could have done worse.  Similar fir domestic issues.  He was a mediocer president.   


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Beet on December 15, 2004, 06:47:37 am
4.

Wilson was a great president.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: True Federalist on December 16, 2004, 10:37:24 pm
The convential wisdom is that Wilson became too stubborn after his stroke.  In any case, had he been willing to compromise on Article 10 of the Treaty of Versailles, then the US would have joined the League of Nations.  Quite frankly tho, given the lack of American enthusiasm in the inter-war period, I can't see American involvement in the League changing very much.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: J. J. on December 17, 2004, 11:13:52 am
   Wilson cannot be held responsible for WWII.  It was a European problem.  It would have happened with Hughes as president as well as with Wilson.  It would have happened if we would have entered the war in 1914 or stayed out all together.  It would have happened with the complete adoption or complete rejection of the 14 points.  Even a Marshall plan type response wouldn't have prevented it.  Too much nationalism and distrust in Europe at the time. 

On this point I disagree.  Imperial Germany probably would have "won" World War I had the US not sent in troops.  By "won" I mean that the monarchies would have remained and there would have been no dismemberment of continental Germany.  It is likely that there would have been a negotiated settlement.  We might have seen a more hostile France, however.

Colonies are another matter; Germany's colonies were not particularly profitable and were very sparsely populated.  The Soviet Union would have been weakened.

The only really strong nations would have been Japen and the US, with the Second Reich being strong on paper, but greatly weakened.  British decolonialization may have started two decades earlier.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Erc on December 17, 2004, 04:51:26 pm
If we hadn't intervened when we did (in any form), the allies would have collapsed.  Unrestricted submarine warfare was actually beginning to work...the UK would have had to pull out in late 1917.  Even if they had stayed in, it's likely revolution would have forced them to bring troops home...and if not, without American supplies and troops, the German offensive would have been much more successful--probably wouldn't take Paris, though.

Remember, after 1914, World War I became a war of who would collapse first--in which Germany had a distinct advantage.  Eventually, someone's getting forced to the peace table--and without the Americans, it ain't gonna be Germany.

But whoever won would have nothing better than a pyrrhic victory, at the most.

What would have happened in the East would be the most interesting thing, in my opinion?  Germany would have to keep its allies (Turkey and Austria) propped up, while having to deal with the Reds.  Would they support the Whites?  Hard to say...but if the Communists continued talking about World Revolution, it's likely they would have picked the fractious Whites.  Whether they would have been successful or not....depends on morale back in Germany.



Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: True Federalist on December 17, 2004, 09:48:06 pm
I doubt if the Bolsheveks could have come to power if a peace had occurred in 1917, of whatever variety.  I doubt if the Tsar could have kept his throne unless a peace was worked out in 1916.  By mid-1917, the end of Romanov rule was inevitable, the only thing that remained to be seen was what course Russia would take afterwards.


Title: Re: Woodrow Wilson
Post by: Dr. Cynic on December 23, 2004, 05:16:55 pm
2.5