In his book, “Woodrow Wilson Revolution, War, and Peace” by Arthur Link, Link walks step by step through President Woodrow Wilson’s career beginning from the time he was born and focuses on his role during and after World War I. Through his entire book, Link acts as an apologist for the actions of Wilson as well as argues against the opinions of other historians. Link speaks about Wilson almost as if he idolizes him; as if despite what other historians and public opinion might say that he can do no wrong.
Link starts his book by giving details on Wilson’s life starting in Staunton, Virginia on December 29, 1856 when Wilson was born.(Link.pg1) Wilson was a scholar. He attended Davidson College and Princeton University. Next, he attended University of Virginia where he studied law. Finally, Wilson studied political science and history at John Hopkins University. Next, with his numerous degrees and extensive knowledge, Wilson taught at a verity of universities between 1885 and 1902, as well as being the dean of a graduate school in 1910. (Link.pg1). Finally in 1912 Wilson ran for president of the United States and won.
According to Link, Wilson served two consecutive terms totaling eight years in office. During his time in office Wilson faced quite a few hardships, but perhaps the most significant event that Wilson was consumed in was World War I. From the beginning of his presidency Wilson was always looking ahead for long term goals and had a strong faith in democracy. Wilson had always had an interest in foreign affairs and policies, and was determined to end US isolation through practice of fair trade. (Link.pg3&8) Wilson took a personal role in foreign affairs as well as ones on the US home front. He was also extremely anti-imperialist as well as extremely opposed to war as a means for steeling international problems.
When World War I started in 1913 between England and Germany Wilson took a neutral standpoint, acting as a mediator between the two great powers. Link explained that Wilson believed he was chosen by god to protect and preserve democracy. Wilson fought tooth and nail to keep America out of the war and remain completely neutral, however due to unavoidable foreign aggression and loss of American life and economic despair, Wilson declared war in April 1917. Throughout the entire war Wilson campaigned for “Peace without Victory” and “self-determination” amongst the belligerent countries. As the war progressed it seems less and less likely that Wilson would get his wishes until finally in November 1918 World War I came to a halt. As peace negotiations began Wilson still had high hopes that the Allies and Germany could still work things out peacefully. Unfortunately things didn’t run as smoothly as planned. Wilson ended up sacrificing many principals for overall peace. Though international issues were eventually settled there was much criticism towards Wilson during and after the negations were settled.
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