Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    26 Nov '15 14:501 edit
    https://www.yahoo.com/politics/don-39-t-erase-woodrow-wilson-1307774047436854.html

    Woodrow Wilson was a visionary statesman and, at the same time, a racist with repugnant ideas. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    Several years ago now, a book editor suggested I write a biography of Woodrow Wilson. I declined, because, for one thing, I’m not really a historian, unless you go by the Twitter standard, in which anything that happened during the last presidency is considered obscure. And after watching “Cast Away” 100 times, I knew I could never take on a Wilson project without drawing a face on a volleyball and propping it up on my desk, and from there it would be a short leap to madness.

    What I did not think at the time was that Wilson, having been a racist, a bad husband and a demonstrably unpleasant guy in general, did not deserve to have his legacy as a statesman remembered or celebrated. Which is pretty much the case that’s now gaining ground at Princeton, where students are agitating to have Wilson’s name and image expunged from campus.

    This, amid a rash of similar protests around the country, is what university educators everywhere might call a “teachable moment” — if only they can summon the courage to actually teach.

    Wilson, as you may know from your history classes (or from one of the exhaustive biographies that actual historians have written), was both a Princeton alum and the university’s president before he went on to become the governor of New Jersey and, in 1912, only the second Democrat since Reconstruction to win the White House. He led the country through the First World War, founded the League of Nations and established the Federal Reserve system as we know it, among other things.

    Wilson can fairly be credited, along with Theodore Roosevelt, with having pioneered the modern concepts of American internationalism and progressive government. For this, in 1948, Princeton named its renowned school of public policy and international affairs in his honor.
  2. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    26 Nov '15 14:53
    I would just add that Wilson created a warmongering nation like the one he was fighting in Europe by centralizing the government like the ones he was fighting in Europe.

    But I guess one step at a time. At least they recognize he was filth.
  3. Account suspended
    Joined
    02 Jan '15
    Moves
    10189
    01 Dec '15 13:361 edit
    Dunno how factual this is, being the intraweb and all, but for what it's worth:

    http://www.thetrentonline.com/revealed-5-us-presidents-members-racists-cult-ku-klux-klan-photos/

    Edit: Here's another one, just google racist US presidents, it's loads of fun.

    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/who-was-most-racist-modern-president-5-surprising-candidates-who-fit-bill
  4. Standard memberAmaurote
    No Name Maddox
    County Doledrum
    Joined
    04 Feb '05
    Moves
    16084
    01 Dec '15 13:52
    Originally posted by whodey
    I would just add that Wilson created a warmongering nation like the one he was fighting in Europe by centralizing the government like the ones he was fighting in Europe.

    But I guess one step at a time. At least they recognize he was filth.
    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but didn't Wilson differ from his successor presidents in that he let the generals get on with the Great War, and simply focused his government on providing them with the materials necessary to fight it instead of meddling with strategy and producing blunders on the scale of Donald Rumsfeld's in Iraq? Racist as he was, if we really must have war presidents, this is precisely the kind of war president we'd surely want.
  5. Joined
    02 Jan '06
    Moves
    10087
    01 Dec '15 14:03
    Originally posted by Amaurote
    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but didn't Wilson differ from his successor presidents in that he let the generals get on with the Great War, and simply focused his government on providing them with the materials necessary to fight it instead of meddling with strategy and producing blunders on the scale of Donald Rumsfeld's in Iraq? Racist as he was, if we really must have war presidents, this is precisely the kind of war president we'd surely want.
    Where did you hear this?
  6. Standard memberAmaurote
    No Name Maddox
    County Doledrum
    Joined
    04 Feb '05
    Moves
    16084
    01 Dec '15 14:15
    Originally posted by whodey
    Where did you hear this?
    Sorry, I can't remember the particular source, it was a long time ago and I may be in error. Is it a false impression?
  7. Standard memberAmaurote
    No Name Maddox
    County Doledrum
    Joined
    04 Feb '05
    Moves
    16084
    01 Dec '15 14:501 edit
    Found a source to help solidify my vague sense of this: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/155786

    I can't claim to have seen this before, but it seems to both confirm my primary impression of Wilson's non-interference approach and undermine my secondary impression that it was a good thing. Still not entirely sure about the latter as the evidence for the following statement is not delineated:

    Wilson tapped General John J. Pershing to command the American Expeditionary Force, but he gave him complete autonomy — unlike war leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who supervised their generals closely and played an active role in formulating strategy. Wilson would pay heavily for this abdication in the following year.
  8. Account suspended
    Joined
    02 Jan '15
    Moves
    10189
    01 Dec '15 15:53
    Originally posted by Amaurote
    Found a source to help solidify my vague sense of this: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/155786

    I can't claim to have seen this before, but it seems to both confirm my primary impression of Wilson's non-interference approach and undermine my secondary impression that it was a good thing. Still not entirely sure about the latter as the evidence for t ...[text shortened]... ormulating strategy. Wilson would pay heavily for this abdication in the following year.[/quote]
    Considering the state of communication at the time what else could Wilson have done? Pershing was 3000 miles away and needed autonomy.
  9. The Catbird's Seat
    Joined
    21 Oct '06
    Moves
    2598
    01 Dec '15 16:09
    Originally posted by Amaurote
    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but didn't Wilson differ from his successor presidents in that he let the generals get on with the Great War, and simply focused his government on providing them with the materials necessary to fight it instead of meddling with strategy and producing blunders on the scale of Donald Rumsfeld's in Iraq? Racist as he was, if we really must have war presidents, this is precisely the kind of war president we'd surely want.
    I forgive. Wilson wanted into the War, because he wanted a place at the table when the spoils were divided. He was deeply involved in that War, at the insistence of his adviser E.M. House.

    By the way, Rumsfeld was never President.
  10. The Catbird's Seat
    Joined
    21 Oct '06
    Moves
    2598
    01 Dec '15 16:11
    Originally posted by Amaurote
    Found a source to help solidify my vague sense of this: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/155786

    I can't claim to have seen this before, but it seems to both confirm my primary impression of Wilson's non-interference approach and undermine my secondary impression that it was a good thing. Still not entirely sure about the latter as the evidence for t ...[text shortened]... ormulating strategy. Wilson would pay heavily for this abdication in the following year.[/quote]
    Hard to compare Lincoln with Wilson. Lincoln had less direct communications with his Generals than did Wilson, except for those in Washington.
  11. Account suspended
    Joined
    02 Jan '15
    Moves
    10189
    01 Dec '15 16:19
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Hard to compare Lincoln with Wilson. Lincoln had less direct communications with his Generals than did Wilson, except for those in Washington.
    I would think Lincoln had better access to his generals who were never more than a few hundred miles away as compared to Pershing being in Europe.
    Lincoln had telegraph, railroad, dispatch riders, etc that could get messages back and forth pretty quickly, and Lincoln himself was pretty close to where the action was a number of times.
    I think.
    I dunno I could be wrong.
  12. Standard memberAmaurote
    No Name Maddox
    County Doledrum
    Joined
    04 Feb '05
    Moves
    16084
    01 Dec '15 16:322 edits
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I forgive. Wilson wanted into the War, because he wanted a place at the table when the spoils were divided. He was deeply involved in that War, at the insistence of his adviser E.M. House.

    By the way, Rumsfeld was never President.
    I never said he was...neither did I assert that Wilson didn't want to participate in the Great War. Other than these imaginary points, I'm more than happy to stand corrected on the tentative point I actually made - do you have a source to contradict the one above in relation to the autonomy on strategy of General Pershing?
  13. The Catbird's Seat
    Joined
    21 Oct '06
    Moves
    2598
    01 Dec '15 16:36
    Originally posted by FishHead111
    I would think Lincoln had better access to his generals who were never more than a few hundred miles away as compared to Pershing being in Europe.
    Lincoln had telegraph, railroad, dispatch riders, etc that could get messages back and forth pretty quickly, and Lincoln himself was pretty close to where the action was a number of times.
    I think.
    I dunno I could be wrong.
    That was true of the Army of the Potomac, but not so of the MIssissipi war, and even further to the west.

    http://www.britannica.com/technology/military-communication

    By WWI wireless telegraph could be used across the ocean as easily as land based telegraph in the 1860s. In the 1860s cavalry often destroyed telegraph lines.
Back to Top