Woodrow Wilson Fact Sheet: Who was Woodrow Wilson? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Woodrow Wilson.
Woodrow Wilson Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1856 - 1924 *** Full Name: Thomas Woodrow Wilson *** Occupation: American Academic, Historian, Political Scientist and 28th President of the United States *** Date of Birth: Woodrow Wilson was born on December 28th 1856 *** Place of Birth: Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia, U.S. *** Family background: His father was Joseph Ruggles Wilson and his mother was Jessie Janet Woodrow. His father’s grandparents were originally from Ireland and his mother had been born in Carlisle in Cumberland in England and was the daughter of Reverend Dr Thomas Woodrow who had been born in Paisley, Scotland *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with two siblings a brother, Joseph and sister Anne. His father was pro slavery, owned his own slaves and his mother and father both identified with the Confederacy with his father serving as chaplain for the Confederate Army briefly *** Education: Woodrow Wilson began his education when he was ten years old. It is thought he may have been dyslexic. He studied with his father as well as at a local school. He would attend Davidson College in North Carolina and when his father began teaching at Princeton he transferred there ***
Woodrow Wilson Fact 1: Woodrow Wilson was born on December 28th 1856 and during the 19th century period in history when slavery would largely become abolished during this century with salve revolts in Britain, Haiti and France. In particular in America the Civil War of 1861 to 1864 saw the abolition of slavery and in England the Slavery Abolition Act saw the British Royal Navy put an end to the global slave trade.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 2: He had completed his education in 1883 he left Johns Hopkins University with a completed doctoral dissertation, Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics and had earned his Ph.D.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 3: While attending to a family matter in Rome, Georgia in 1883, after his uncle had passed, he met Ellen Louise Axson. Although she would go through a rather turbulent time within her own family over the next couple of years, the pair finally married in 1885.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 4: Woodrow Wilson began his career in academia as a lecturer at Cornell University. In 1885 he moved to Bryn Mawr College and taught ancient Greek as well as Roman history. While he was working at Bryn Mawr College his family grew and he and his wife Ellen had two daughters.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 5: By 1888 Wilson moved on to another college, this time Wesleyan University where he would also teach football and would found the debate teams as well.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 6: Woodrow Wilson was a strong advocate of a parliamentary system and considered the United States Constitution to be unmanageable and could be easily exploited, he wrote "I ask you to put this question to yourselves, should we not draw the Executive and Legislature closer together? Should we not, on the one hand, give the individual leaders of opinion in Congress a better chance to have an intimate party in determining who should be president, and the president, on the other hand, a better chance to approve himself a statesman, and his advisers’ capable men of affairs, in the guidance of Congress.".
Woodrow Wilson Fact 7: In 1890 he would produce another tomb called The State, which would become widely used in colleges across the country right up until the 1920’s. His next book, Division and Reunion, published in 1893 would be hailed as a phenomenal piece of American historical writing.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 8: He strongly believed that public administration would considerably increase the governments efficiency.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 9: Having been previously offered the presidency in both the University of Illinois and the University of Virginia he would however accept the presidency of Princeton University in June of 1902.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 10: In an effort to develop expertise he introduced a system of core requirements for each department his philosophy would become “to transform thoughtless boys performing tasks into thinking men.”.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 11: Waking one morning in 1906 he found he had no sight in his left eye. At the time it was felt he was suffering with hardening of the arteries. He also began to show similar traits to his father of intolerance and impatience.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 12: By 1910 Woodrow Wilson began to draw attention from the U.S. Senator James Smith Jr and George Harvey who felt he could be the next Democratic standard bearer and in September he received his nomination and by October had submitted his resignation to Princeton
Woodrow Wilson Fact 13: In 1911 he took the office as the 34th Governor of New Jersey and began to concentrate on four key state reforms namely, election law changes, Workmen’s Compensation, an founding of a commission to control utilities and a corruption practices act.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 14: In 1912 Woodrow Wilson accepted the nomination for the Democratic presidential election. Woodrow Wilson was elected at the 28th President of the United States.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 15: His style of governing was one of quite private reflection as well as obtain the opinions of his advisers and then making his decisions. He would also introduce twice weekly press conferences from the White House. In 1913 he would become the very first President to deliver the State of the Union address in over one hundred years. Also that year he in began his reform of the banking industry.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 16: As war raged across Europe Wilson’s singular objective was to keep the United States on a neutral footing and said his policy was "the true spirit of neutrality, which is the spirit of impartiality and fairness and friendliness to all concerned." At the same time Theodore Roosevelt was advocating that the U.S. Army begin to prepare for war.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 17: After the Germans sank the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania in 1915 with Americans losing the lives as well still Woodrow insisted "There is such a thing as a 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". These words where met with much disgust and contempt but still through correspondence with the German ambassador he received assertions that no ocean liners would be targeted by German submarines.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 18: However, in view of the what was happening in Europe Wilson bid for funds in the 1916 appropriations bill to secure 500,000 troops as well as a five year plan for construction of battleships, destroyers, cruisers and submarines for the Navy.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 19: Woodrow Wilson stood and won a second election as President. At this point in 1917, having tried to maintain a neutral relationship with Germany it was proving ever more difficult especially when Germany sunk several American vessels in March of 1917. By April 4th of 1917 the declaration of war by the United States against German was passed by Congress. At wars end he would be the first American President to personally travel to Europe while in office and also to meet the Pope.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 20: His health began to go into decline but he was adamant on the issues of the chartered proposed League of Nations and that it be assimilated into the conference’s Treaty of Versailles.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 21: In September of 1919 his health took a decided turn for worst and by October he had suffered a stroke.
Woodrow Wilson Fact 22: Woodrow Wilson died on February 3rd 1924 at his home. He had completed his second term as President and had retired to Embassy Row, in Washington D.C. His body was laid to rest in Washington National Cathedral.
Influence & Legacy: He would be honored by many good works during his term as President, the signing of the Jones Act granting Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship as well as the introduction of the State of the Union address given in person. He averted a major crises by introducing an eight hour workday. Wilson would also be responsible for the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, in that year he would also take a huge step in endorsing the Nineteenth Amendment which ratified that all women would have the right to vote.