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The Patrol was formed to put an end to seditious street oratory. The Department of Justice sponsored an American Protective League, which by June of had units in six hundred cities and towns, a membership of nearly , The press reported that their members were "the leading men in their communities. The League claimed to have found 3 million cases of disloyalty.

Fighting the Good Fight: Modern Wartime Presidents, Their Faith, & Foreign Policy

Even if these figures are exaggerated, the very size and scope of the League gives a clue to the amount of "disloyalty. The states organized vigilante groups. The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety, set up by state law, closed saloons and moving picture theaters, took count of land owned by aliens, boosted Liberty bonds, tested people for loyalty. The Minneapolis Journal carried an appeal by the Commission "for all patriots to join in the suppression of antidraft and seditious acts and sentiment.

The national press cooperated with the government. The New York Times in the summer of carried an editorial: "It is the duty of every good citizen to communicate to proper authorities any evidence of sedition that comes to his notice. Report him to the Department of Justice. Why these huge efforts? Senator Thomas Hardwick of Georgia said "there was undoubtedly general and widespread opposition on the part of many thousands Numerous and largely attended mass meetings held in every part of the State protested against it.

A march on Washington was planned for draft objectors throughout the country. This was called the Green Corn Rebellion because they planned to eat green corn on their march. Before the Union could carry out its plans, its members were rounded up and arrested, and soon individuals accused of rebellion were in the state penitentiary. Leaders were given three to ten years in jail, others sixty days to two years. The New York Call said eight thousand people marched, including " members of the Central Labor Union, members of the Leftist Socialist Organizations, Lithuanians, Jewish members of cloak trades, and other branches of the party.

The Post Office Department began taking away the mailing privileges of newspapers and magazines that printed antiwar articles. The Masses , a socialist magazine of politics, literature, and art, was banned from the mails. It had carried an editorial by Max Eastman in the summer of , saying, among other things: "For what specific purposes are you shipping our bodies, and the bodies of our sons, to Europe? For my part, I do not recognize the right of a government to draft me to a war whose purposes I do not believe in. In Los Angeles, a film was shown that dealt with the American Revolution and depicted British atrocities against the colonists.

It was called The Spirit of ' The man who made the film was prosecuted under the Espionage Act because, the judge said, the film tended "to question the good faith of our ally, Great Britain," He was sentenced to ten years in prison. The case was officially listed as U. Spirit of ' In a small town in South Dakota, a farmer and socialist named Fred Fairchild, during an argument about the war, said, according to his accusers: "If I were of conscription age and had no dependents and were drafted, I would refuse to serve.

They could shoot me, but they could not make me fight. And so it went, multiplied two thousand times the number of prosecutions under the Espionage Act. About 65, men declared themselves conscientious objectors and asked for noncombatant service. At the army bases where they worked, they were often treated with sadistic brutality. Three men who were jailed at Fort Riley, Kansas, for refusing to perform any military duties, combatant or noncombatant, were taken one by one into the corridor and:.

Schools and universities discouraged opposition to the war. At Columbia University, J. McKeen Cattell, a psychologist, a long-time critic of the Board of Trustees' control of the university, and an opponent of the war, was fired. A week later, in protest, the famous historian Charles Beard resigned from the Columbia faculty, charging the trustees with being "reactionary and visionless in politics, narrow and medieval in religion.

In Congress, a few voices spoke out against the war. The first woman in the House of Representatives, Jeannette Rankin, did not respond when her name was called in the roll call on the declaration of war. One of the veteran politicians of the House, a supporter of the war, went to her and whispered, "Little woman, you cannot afford not to vote.

You represent the womanhood of the country. I vote No. Socialist Kate Richards O'Hare, speaking in North Dakota in July of , said, it was reported, that "the women of the United States were nothing more nor less than brood sows, to raise children to get into the army and be made into fertilizer. In prison she continued to fight. When she and fellow prisoners protested the lack of air, because the window above the cell block was kept shut, she was pulled out in the corridor by guards for punishment. In her hand she was carrying a book of poems, and as she was dragged out she flung the book up at the window and broke it, the fresh air streaming in, her fellow prisoners cheering.

Emma Goldman and her fellow anarchist, Alexander Berkman he had already been locked up fourteen years in Pennsylvania; she had served a year on Blackwell's Island , were sentenced to prison for opposing the draft. She spoke to the jury:. The war gave the government its opportunity to destroy the IWW. The IWW newspaper, the Industrial Worker , just before the declaration of war, wrote: "Capitalists of America, we will fight against you, not for you! There is not a power in the world that can make the working class fight if they refuse.

In early September , Department of Justice agents made simultaneous raids on forty-eight IWW meeting halls across the country, seizing correspondence and literature that would become courtroom evidence. Later that month, IWW leaders were arrested for conspiring to hinder the draft, encourage desertion, and intimidate others in connection with labor disputes. One hundred and one went on trial in April ; it lasted five months, the longest criminal trial in American history up to that time.

The IWW people used the trial to tell about their activities, their ideas. Sixty-one of them took the stand, including Big Bill Haywood, who testified for three days. One IWW man told the court:. The jury found them all guilty. The judge sentenced Haywood and fourteen others to twenty years in prison; thirty-three were given ten years, the rest shorter sentences.

The IWW was shattered. Haywood jumped bail and fled to revolutionary Russia, where he remained until his death ten years later. The war ended in November Fifty thousand American soldiers had died, and it did not take long, even in the case of patriots, for bitterness and disillusionment to spread through the country. This was reflected in the literature of the postwar decade. John Dos Passos, in his novel , wrote of the death of John Doe:. Harding prayed to God and the diplomats and the generals and the admirals and the brass hats and the politicians and the handsomely dressed ladies out of the society column of the Washington Post stood up solemn.

Where his chest ought to have been they pinned the Congressional Medal.. Ernest Hemingway would write A Farewell to Arms.

The great game

Years later a college student named Irwin Shaw would write a play, Bury the Dead. And a Hollywood screenwriter named Dalton Trumbo would write a powerful and chilling antiwar novel about a torso and brain left alive on the battlefield of World War 1, Johnny Got His Gun.

With all the wartime failings, the intimidation, the drive for national unity, when the war was over, the Establishment still feared socialism. There seemed to be a need again for the twin tactics of control in the face of revolutionary challenge: reform and repression. The first was suggested by George L. Record, one of Wilson's friends, who wrote to him in early that something would have to be done for economic democracy, "to meet this menace of socialism.

That summer of , Wilson's adviser Joseph Tumulty reminded him that the conflict between the Republicans and Democrats was unimportant compared with that which threatened them both:. Mitchell Palmer. Six months after that bomb exploded, Palmer carried out the first of his mass raids on aliens-immigrants who were not citizens. A law passed by Congress near the end of the war provided for the deportation of aliens who opposed organized government or advocated the destruction of property.

Palmer's men, on December 21, , picked up aliens of Russian birth including Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman , put them on a transport, and deported them to what had become Soviet Russia. The Constitution gave no right to Congress to deport aliens, but the Supreme Court had said, back in , in affirming the right of Congress to exclude Chinese, that as a matter of self-preservation, this was a natural right of the government. In January , four thousand persons were rounded up all over the country, held in seclusion for long periods of time, brought into secret hearings, and ordered deported.

In Boston, Department of Justice agents, aided by local police, arrested six hundred people by raiding meeting halls or by invading their homes in the early morning. A troubled federal judge described the process:. In the spring of , a typesetter and anarchist named Andrea Salsedo was arrested in New York by FBI agents and held for eight weeks in the FBI offices on the fourteenth floor of the Park Row Building, not allowed to contact family or friends or lawyers.


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Then his crushed body was found on the pavement below the building and the FBI said he had committed suicide by jumping from the fourteenth floor window. Two friends of Salsedo, anarchists and workingmen in the Boston area, having just learned of his death, began carrying guns. They were arrested on a streetcar in Brockton, Massachusetts, and charged with a holdup and murder that had taken place two weeks before at a shoe factory. These were Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. They went on trial, were found guilty, and spent seven years in jail while appeals went on, and while all over the country and the world, people became involved in their case.

The trial record and the surrounding circumstances suggested that Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death because they were anarchists and foreigners. In August , as police broke up marches and picket lines with arrests and beatings, and troops surrounded the prison, they were electrocuted. Sacco's last message to his son Dante, in his painfully learned English, was a message to millions of others in the years to come:.

There had been reforms. The patriotic fervor of war had been invoked. The courts and jails had been used to reinforce the idea that certain ideas, certain kinds of resistance, could not be tolerated.

Who Was Woodrow Wilson?

And still, even from the cells of the condemned, the message was going out: the class war was still on in that supposedly classless society, the United States. A leading opponent was House Speaker Champ Clark , a prominent progressive strongest in the border states. They lacked Wilson's charisma and dynamism. Clark was supported by publisher William Randolph Hearst , a leader of the left-wing of the party.

The critical role was played by William Jennings Bryan , the nominee in , and , who blocked the nomination of any candidate who had the support of 'the financiers of Wall Street. Many historians believe that Wilson's election was a defining moment in American history. The former political science professor's views on government and human nature and our relationship to the state became the foundations of Democratic Party liberalism.

Historians also agree that Wilson had a dark side. He had a strong dislike of immigrants, particularly Catholics and African-Americans. Wilson enjoyed the support of many black leaders including W. DuBois a liberal at the time. Wilson's speeches and letters expressed the sentiments of a defender of the underprivileged. However the rejoicing over Wilson's victory was short-lived among blacks as segregationist white Southerners took control of Congress and many executive departments. In the campaign Wilson promoted the "New Freedom," emphasizing limited federal government and opposition to monopoly powers—positions that he reversed on coming to office.

President William Howard Taft defeated ex-President Theodore Roosevelt in a bitter contest for the Republican nomination, but Roosevelt walked out of the Republican convention and ran as a third party candidate. Wilson's success in the electoral college was assured, despite his Wilson twice vetoed the Burnett Immigration Restriction Bill, which required a literacy test for immigrants and would have sharply reduced the number of poor immigrants from Poland, Italy and other parts of eastern and southern Europe.

As a moderate progressive, Wilson believed southern and eastern European immigrants, though often poor and illiterate, to be capable of assimilation into a homogeneous middle class with other whites. He considered so-called hyphenated immigrants unacceptable because they acted as groups rather than blending into the common population. Indeed, he denounced the hyphenates. Wilson sought to achieve American strength through unity, blending together the best characteristics of every nationality to create the ideal citizenry, opposing Henry Cabot Lodge 's nativist view that American civilization must be based on an Anglo-Saxon foundation.

Immigration from Europe practically ended when the war began, so the issue was postponed ino the s, when a quota system was set up to keep the country's ethnic balance unchanged. The extremely violent civil war that broke out in Mexico in drove hundreds of thousands of refugees north across the border, and forced Wilson to intervene. Francisco Madero , an idealistic reformer who came to power in Madero tried to violently upend the social order in Mexico by destroying the landed aristocracy and the Catholic Church.

When Madero was overthrown and murdered by Victoriano Huerta in February , days before Wilson took office, he refused to recognize the new Mexican government. Relations deteriorated between the two countries. After American sailors were arrested in Tampico in April by Huerta's soldiers, the armed conflict loomed. American soldiers occupied Vera Cruz. In July Huerta fled to Spain. Pershing deep into Mexico to capture Villa. Villa escaped the Americans.

Despite the demands of outraged senators, Wilson did not declare war on Mexico. He ran for reelection in on the slogan, "He kept us out of war," meaning out of a war with Mexico. In the s, suffragists campaigned for the passage of a federal constitutional amendment that would grant women the right to vote. They argued it would purify politics because the new voters would be far less liable to corruption and saloon influences. The movement was led by Protestant northern women, many of whom were active in the prohibition movement at the same time. Wilson, originally opposed to the amendment, was converted through the efforts of women suffragists and became an advocate of critical importance.

In practice Wilson hedged, realizing that male Democrats in the big city machines in the North and in the rural South were hostile to woman suffrage. Both organizations played essential roles in the passage of the 19th Amendment. After , the absence of a common goal was a contributing factor to the subsequent divisions within the woman's rights movement, as was the loss of a unique adversary. Wilson established the Committee on Public Information to disseminate approved information, and nationalized the railroads under the control of the United States Railroad Administration. Wilson's commitment to the principle of self-determination affected his decision to intervene in Russia in , as the Bolsheviks Communists took power.

Unswayed by British, French, and Japanese pressure, Wilson insisted that, unless the Russians invited them, the Allies should not interfere with Russia's internal affairs. In the summer of , the president sent American troops into Siberia with the sole purpose of protecting Czechoslovak soldiers who had broken out of POW camps and were an independent force. Later Wilson realized that the other Allied nations were using the rescue mission as an 'anti-Bolshevik' crusade and for imperialistic motives.

As a result, the president ordered US forces to withdraw. Wilson and subsequent presidents until refused to recognize the new Communist government, and Russia was not invited to the Paris Peace Conference. Wilson's aims in this endorsement were both practical and religious.

His deep Christian sentiment led him to seek 'a direct governing role in the Near East in the name of peace, democracy and, especially, Christianity. By agreeing to the use of the mandate system by which the transition governments of the Middle East were partially controlled by Britain and France after the war, Wilson was both contradicting and reaffirming his own ideals by allowing only limited self-determination of Middle-Eastern peoples while assuring some respect for property and order.

When President Wilson left for Europe in to establish a new world order at the Versailles Conference, European Catholics were justifiably concerned about the treatment their former homelands would receive from the victorious allies. President Wilson pushed for terms that were not too harsh on the already war-crippled Germany, though the British and French leaders pushed for the infamous 'War Guilt Clause' that declared Germany guilty of the war and forced her to pay harsh reparations.

To save his League of Nations, Wilson abandoned his mighty rhetoric and ideals at Versailles and managed to alienate almost every Catholic by surrendering to the demands of the vengeful leaders of the victorious allies. He planted the seeds of World War II when he rearranged the boundaries of Eastern Europe without regard for the ethnic or religious origins of millions of people.

Wilson particularly pushed for the League of Nations to be created, a precursor to today's United Nations. After the Paris Peace conference, Wilson came home to try to convince the Senate to ratify the treaty which would create the League. But on September 26, , Wilson came home from a series of speeches he was making around the country, because of a series of strokes he had suffered which left him debilitated. In , during the time period of which Wilson was incapacitated, Wilson's wife Edith allowed for Louis Seibold of the New York World to conduct an interview with Wilson.

After the conclusion of World War I and the closing year of the Wilson presidency, there was a sharp depression , which many historians have decided not to write about. A Presbyterian of deep religious faith, he appealed to a gospel of service and infused a profound sense of moralism into Wilsonianism.

Link finds that Wilson from his earliest days had imbibed the beliefs of his denomination - in the omnipotence of God, the morality of the Universe, a system of rewards and punishments and the notion that nations, as well as man, transgressed the laws of God at their peril. Moral principle, constitutionalism, and faith in God were among the prerequisites for alleviating human strife. While he interpreted international law within such a brittle, moral cast, Wilson remained remarkably insensitive to new and changing social forces and conditions of the 20th century.

He expected too much justice in a morally brutal world which disregarded the self-righteous resolutions of parliaments and statesmen like himself. Wilson's triumph was as a teacher of international morality to generations yet unborn.

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Wilson was a Presbyterian elder and the son of a leading theologian. He read the Bible daily; he felt 'sorry for the men who do not read the Bible every day. He held that the Bible "is the one supreme source of revelation, the revelation of the meaning of life, of the nature of God and the spiritual nature and need of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. God was central in Wilson's life and thought.

His profound Presbyterian style of thinking assured him that he was following God's guidance. Wilson personified American optimism and considered the United States a Christian nation destined to lead the world. He was a prophet and a postmillenarian, and if idealism clashed with reality, he was certain idealism would prevail.

He saw himself as God's messenger and statesman in a divinely predestined nation; thus he saw himself as God's agent in promoting democracy and world peace. His Fourteen Points and his Covenant of the League of Nations, were, in his view, divinely inspired paths to achieving a new world order.

Throughout his presidency Wilson had rocky relations with Roman Catholics. The Catholic hierarchy forcefully complained that the United States should not support a government that restricted the public practice of Catholicism. Wilson objected to the new wave of Catholic immigrants coming through the gates of Ellis Island.

These charges appeared to have had an effect. A poll of 2, Catholic priests in major inner-city Catholic strongholds revealed that 90 percent of the Italian and 70 percent of Polish priests intended to vote for Bull Moose candidate Theodore Roosevelt. Wilson's discussions with Presbyterian missionaries visiting Princeton shaped his diplomacy toward China. Wilson viewed Christianity as a unifying force in the world and the Chinese Revolution of as the first step toward the spread of Christianity and democracy for China.

Wilson gained the admiration of the missionaries and Chinese when he prohibited US participation in a European loan to China. He moved to recognize the government of Yuan Shih-k'ai, hoping that that regime could bring stability to China favorable to the introduction of Christianity. After leaving office in , the Wilsons moved to a home in northwest Washington, D.

Tommy, as Woodrow Wilson was called in his youth, was the third of four children. Living in the South and witnessing the ravages of the Civil War up close, Reverend Wilson, a Northern transplant, adopted the Confederate cause. Tommy's mother nursed wounded soldiers during the conflict. After the war, Tommy saw Confederate president Jefferson Davis march through Augusta in chains, and always remembered looking up into the face of the defeated General Robert E. Less than stellar in school — scholars now think that Woodrow had a form of dyslexia — Wilson was rigorously trained by his father Reverend Wilson in oratory and debate, which became a particular passion for the boy.

He enrolled at nearby Davidson College but transferred to Princeton in known as the College of New Jersey until Wilson went on to study law at the University of Virginia and earned his Ph. His thesis, Congressional Government , was published, launching a university career.

Prof. Robert Weiner: The Origins of World War II

Woodrow Wilson was appointed to teach at Bryn Mawr and Wesleyan. He achieved his dream job, a professorship at Princeton, in In , he became the university's 13th president. It was largely due to Wilson's efforts that the College of New Jersey evolved into the prestigious Princeton University. In addition to a focus on innovative curriculum upgrades, he was often voted the most popular teacher on campus, renowned for his caring demeanor and high ideals. But it was his oratory skill that brought him renown beyond the university setting.

Wilson's first stroke occurred while at Princeton in May , seriously threatening his life. Political ambitions and university politics had transformed Wilson into a social Democrat, and he was tapped for the governorship of New Jersey in A determined reformer, his successes made him the darling of Progressives preceding his election to the presidency in Woodrow Wilson died from a stroke and heart complications at the age of 67, on February 3, Wilson was buried in the Washington National Cathedral.

Wilson was driven by a sense of mission and an ideal his father had instilled in him to leave the world a better place than you found it. Wilson left a legacy of peace, social and financial reform, and statesmanship with integrity, which lives on at the many schools and programs named after him, most notably the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and his old alma mater, Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

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  8. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Sign up for the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. His story was told in the book and film Charlie Wilson's War. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only U.