Wilsonian Progressivism at Home and Abroad
Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.
The over-arching theme of chapter 29 is that Woodrow Wilson was an idealist (he had high principles and would not bend them for practical purposes).
- Wilson won the presidency mainly because Teddy Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate and split the Republican vote with Taft.
- Wilson was an idealist and progressive who sought to clean up problems. He attacked the tariff as too high, banks as corrupt tools used by the rich, and trusts as milking the people.
- Wilson hated war and wanted American foreign policy to be fair and just to all. Conditions in Latin America, however, forced this peaceful president to take military action. Notably, he ordered the US Army to chase Pancho Villa in Mexico.
- In Europe, war had begun. In the Atlantic ocean, German subs began to sink ships carrying Americans, notably the Lusitania. Wilson tried to keep America out of the war, and did, for the time being.