Thomas Woodrow Wilson

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wilson, Thomas Woodrow


Born Dec. 28, 1856, in Staunton, Va., died Feb. 3, 1924, in Washington, D.C. Statesman of the USA.

The son of a Presbyterian minister, Wilson graduated from Princeton University in 1879. He received the degree of doctor of philosophy in 1886. From 1890 to 1902 he was a professor of law and from 1902 to 1910, the president of Princeton University. Wilson was governor of New Jersey during 1910-12. A member of the Democratic Party, he was president of the USA from 1912 to 1921. During the first years of his presidency he implemented laws that won him fame in bourgeois circles as a progressive reformer. Among them were the law on tariffs and the income tax (1913), the Federal Reserve Act (1913), and the Clayton Antitrust Law (1914), as well as the Adamson eight-hour working day law for railroads (1916), the La Follette-Simmons law regulating seamen’s labor, and other laws containing certain concessions to workers. However, his domestic policy as a whole helped strengthen the position of monopoly capital in the USA. Criticizing Wilson’s social demagoguery, Lenin pointed out that the “roots” of his policies “lay in sanctimonious piffle, petit bourgeois phrase-mongering, and an utter inability to understand the class struggle” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 41, p. 224).

In foreign policy Wilson supported expansion in the Far East and Latin America in the interests of the monopolies (for example, the interventions of 1914 and 1916-17 in Mexico and the occupation of Haiti in 1915 and Santo Domingo in 1916). On Apr. 6, 1917, Wilson’s government declared war on Germany, with the intention of taking an active part in a new partition of the world. After the overthrow of the Russian Autocracy in 1917, Wilson sent a special mission to Russia, attempting to keep it from leaving the war and to subordinate its economy to the interests of the USA. After the establishment of Soviet power in Russia, Wilson’s government gave extensive support to the White Guards. In 1918 it carried out landings of American forces in the northern and far eastern parts of Russia, thus embarking on the path of direct anti-Soviet intervention. In January 1918, Wilson proposed a hypocritical peace program—the so-called Fourteen Points, which aimed at consolidating American domination in international affairs. The results of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919-20, however, were unfavorable for Wilson: Great Britain and France retained for themselves the leading role in world politics, particularly in European affairs. The United States refused to ratify the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919. After the conclusion of his presidency (1921), Wilson withdrew from political activity.


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Ocherki novoi i noveishei istorii SShA, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960. Pages 414-19, 446, 465-67.
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Beliavskaia, I. A. Burzhuaznyi reformizm v SShA (1900-1914). Moscow, 1968.
Berezkin, A. V. Oktiabr’skaia revoliutsiia i SShA, 1917-1922. Moscow, 1967.
Link, A. S. Wilson, vols. 1-3. Princeton, N. J., 1947-60.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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