The Fourteen Points was a statement of principles for peace that was to be used for peace negotiations in order to end World War I. The principles were outlined in a January 8, 1918 speech on war aims and peace terms to the United States Congress by President Woodrow Wilson. But his main Allied colleagues (Georges Clemenceau of France, David Lloyd George of the United Kingdom, and Vittorio Orlando of Italy) were skeptical of the applicability of Wilsonian idealism.
The United States had joined the Allied Powers in fighting the Central Powers on April 6, 1917. Its entry into the war had in part been due to Germany's resumption of submarine warfare against merchant ships trading with France and Britain and also the interception of the Zimmermann Telegram. However, Wilson wanted to avoid the United States' involvement in the long-standing European tensions between the great powers; if America was going to fight, he wanted to try to separate that participation in the war from nationalistic disputes or ambitions. The need for moral aims was made more important, when after the fall of the Russian government, the Bolsheviks disclosed secret treaties made between the Allies. Wilson's speech also responded to Vladimir Lenin's Decree on Peace of November 1917, immediately after the October Revolution in 1917.
The speech made by Wilson took many domestic progressive ideas and translated them into foreign policy (free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination). Three days earlier United Kingdom Prime Minister Lloyd George had made a speech setting out Britain's war aims which bore some similarity to Wilson's speech but which proposed reparations be paid by the Central Powers and which was more vague in its promises to the non-Turkish subjects of the Ottoman Empire. The Fourteen Points in the speech were based on the research of the Inquiry, a team of about 150 advisers led by foreign-policy adviser Edward M. House, into the topics likely to arise in the anticipated peace conference.
The immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War I in April 1917 was the German announcement of renewed unrestricted submarine warfare and the subsequent sinking of ships with Americans on board. But President Wilson's war aims went beyond the defense of maritime interests. In his War Message to Congress, Wilson declared that the United States' objective was "to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world." In several speeches earlier in the year, Wilson sketched out his vision of an end to the war that would bring a "just and secure peace," not merely "a new balance of power."
President Wilson subsequently initiated a secret series of studies named the Inquiry, primarily focused on Europe, and carried out by a group in New York which included geographers, historians and political scientists; the group was directed by Colonel House. Their job was to study Allied and American policy in virtually every region of the globe and analyze economic, social, and political facts likely to come up in discussions during the peace conference. The group produced and collected nearly 2,000 separate reports and documents plus at least 1,200 maps. The studies culminated in a speech by Wilson to Congress on January 8, 1918, wherein he articulated America's long-term war objectives. The speech was the clearest expression of intention made by any of the belligerent nations, and it projected Wilson's progressive domestic policies into the international arena.
The speech, known as the Fourteen Points, was developed from a set of diplomatic points by Wilson and territorial points drafted by the Inquiry's general secretary, Walter Lippmann, and his colleagues, Isaiah Bowman, Sidney Mezes, and David Hunter Miller. Lippmann's draft territorial points were a direct response to the secret treaties of the European Allies, which Lippmann had been shown by Secretary of War Newton D. Baker. Lippmann's task according to House was "to take the secret treaties, analyze the parts which were tolerable, and separate them from those which we regarded as intolerable, and then develop a position which conceded as much to the Allies as it could, but took away the poison. ... It was all keyed upon the secret treaties."
In the speech, Wilson directly addressed what he perceived as the causes for the world war by calling for the abolition of secret treaties, a reduction in armaments, an adjustment in colonial claims in the interests of both native peoples and colonists, and freedom of the seas. Wilson also made proposals that would ensure world peace in the future. For example, he proposed the removal of economic barriers between nations, the promise of self-determination for national minorities, and a world organization that would guarantee the "political independence and territorial integrity [of] great and small states alike"—a League of Nations.
Though Wilson's idealism pervades the Fourteen Points, he also had more practical objectives in mind. He hoped to keep Russia in the war by convincing the Bolsheviks that they would receive a better peace from the Allies, to bolster Allied morale, and to undermine German war support. The address was well received in the United States and Allied nations, and even by Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, as a landmark of enlightenment in international relations. Wilson subsequently used the Fourteen Points as the basis for negotiating the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war.
In his speech to Congress, President Wilson declared fourteen points which he regarded as the only possible basis of an enduring peace. They were according to him:
I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.
II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.
III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.
IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.
V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable government whose title is to be determined.
VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.
VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.
VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.
XI. Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.
XII. The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.
XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.
XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.
President Wilson at first considered abandoning his speech after Lloyd George delivered a speech outlining British war aims, many of which were similar to Wilson's aspirations, at Caxton Hall on January 5, 1918. Lloyd George stated that he had consulted leaders of "the Great Dominions overseas" before making his speech, so it would appear Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Newfoundland were in broad agreement. Wilson was persuaded by his adviser Colonel House to go ahead, and his speech overshadowed Lloyd George's, and is better remembered by posterity.
The speech was made without prior coordination or consultation with Wilson's counterparts in Europe. Clemenceau, upon hearing of the Fourteen Points, was said to have sarcastically proclaimed The good Lord only had ten! (Le bon Dieu n'en avait que dix !). As a major public statement of war aims, it became the basis for the terms of the German surrender at the end of the First World War. After the speech, Colonel House worked to secure the acceptance of the Fourteen Points by Entente leaders. On October 16, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson and Sir William Wiseman, the head of British intelligence in America, had an interview. This interview was one reason why the German government accepted the Fourteen Points and the stated principles for peace negotiations.
The report was made as negotiation points, and later the Fourteen Points were accepted by France and Italy on November 1, 1918. Britain later signed off on all of the points except the freedom of the seas. The United Kingdom also wanted Germany to make reparation payments for the war, and thought that should be added to the Fourteen Points. The speech was delivered 10 months before the Armistice with Germany and became the basis for the terms of the German surrender, as negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
The speech was widely disseminated as an instrument of Allied propaganda and was translated into many languages for global dissemination. Copies were also dropped behind German lines, to encourage the Central Powers to surrender in the expectation of a just settlement. Indeed, in a note sent to Wilson by Prince Maximilian of Baden, the German imperial chancellor, in October 1918 requested an immediate armistice and peace negotiations on the basis of the Fourteen Points.
Theodore Roosevelt, in an article "The League of Nations" published by Metropolitan Magazine (January 1919), warned: "If the League of Nations is built on a document as high-sounding and as meaningless as the speech in which Mr. Wilson laid down his fourteen points, it will simply add one more scrap to the diplomatic waste paper basket. Most of these fourteen points ... would be interpreted ... to mean anything or nothing."
Senator William Borah after 1918 wished "this treacherous and treasonable scheme" of the League of Nations to be "buried in hell" and promised that if he had his way it would be "20,000 leagues under the sea".
President Wilson became physically ill at the beginning of the Paris Peace Conference, giving way to French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau to advance demands substantially different from Wilson's Fourteen Points. Clemenceau viewed Germany as having unfairly attained an economic victory over France, due to the heavy damage German forces dealt to France's industries even during the German retreat, and expressed dissatisfaction with France's allies at the peace conference.
Notably, Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles, which would become known as the War Guilt Clause, was seen by the Germans as assigning full responsibility for the war and its damages on Germany; however, the same clause was included in all peace treaties and historian Sally Marks has noted that only German diplomats saw it as assigning responsibility for the war. The Allies would initially assess 269 billion marks in reparations. In 1921, this figure was established at 192 billion marks. However, only a fraction of this total had to be paid. The figure was designed to look imposing and show the public that Germany was being punished, while it also recognized what Germany could not realistically pay. Germany's ability and willingness to pay that sum continues to be a topic of debate among historians. Germany was also denied an air force, and the German army was not to exceed 100,000 men.
The text of the Fourteen Points had been widely distributed in Germany as propaganda prior to the end of the war, and was well known by the Germans. The differences between this document and the final Treaty of Versailles fueled great anger in Germany. German outrage over reparations and the War Guilt Clause is viewed as a likely contributing factor to the rise of National Socialism. At the end of World War I, foreign armies had only entered Germany's prewar borders twice: the advance of Russian troops into the Eastern border of Prussia, and following the Battle of Mulhouse the settlement of the French army in the Thann valley. This lack of any important Allied incursions contributed to the popularization of the stab-in-the-back myth in Germany after the war.
Woodrow Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize for his peace-making efforts.
The 1894 Victorian Football Association season was the 18th season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Essendon Football Club by a margin of fourteen points, finishing with a record of 16 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss from 18 matches. It was Essendon's fourth consecutive premiership.1918 United States elections
The 1918 United States elections elected the 66th United States Congress, and took place in the middle of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson's second term. The election was held during the Fourth Party System. It was the lone election to take place during America's involvement in World War I. Republicans won control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since the 1908 election.
In an example of the six-year itch phenomenon, Republicans took complete control of Congress from the Democrats. The Republicans won large gains in the House, taking 25 seats and ending coalition control of the chamber. In the Senate, Republicans gained 5 seats, taking control of the chamber by a slim majority.The elections were a major defeat for progressives and Wilson's foreign policy agenda, and foreshadowed the Republican victory in the 1920 election. Republicans ran against the expanded war-time government and the Fourteen Points, especially Wilson's proposal for the League of Nations. The Republican victory left them in control of both houses of Congress until the 1930 election.1935 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1935 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1935 college football season. The Commodores were led by Ray Morrison, who was serving in the second stent as head and 2nd year overall as head coach. Vanderbilt went 7–3–1 Vanderbilt has been a member of the Southeastern Conference since 1932, the Commodores went 5–1 in conference play and finished 2nd. They played their six home games at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The 5–1 mark is the best record that Vanderbilt has had since joining the SEC. The five wins is the high mark for Vanderbilt and was not matched until 2012, 77 years later.
Team captain was Willie Geny, Vandy started out with three wins and then lost the next three, Vanderbilt bounced back by winning out the last 4 games, beating Georgia Tech, Rivals Sewanee and Tennessee and Alabama. Vanderbilt's three losses where all close games being outscored by only fourteen points. In the 3 game slide Vandy lost to LSU who was 9–2 overall and 6–0 in SEC play. This is the best Vandy has been in the SEC to this day.1947 NFL playoffs
The 1947 National Football League season resulted in a tie for the Eastern Division title between the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers; both finished the regular season at 8–4, requiring a one-game playoff. They had split their two-game series in the season, with the home teams prevailing; the Steelers won by eleven on October 19, while the Eagles carded a 21–0 shutout on November 30 at Shibe Park.
The Steelers and Detroit Lions opened their seasons a week before the rest of the ten-team league on September 21, and completed their schedules on December 7. Philadelphia needed a win over the visiting Green Bay Packers on December 14 to force a playoff the following week, and won by fourteen points.
This division playoff game, the Steelers' sole postseason appearance until 1972, was played on December 21 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The winner traveled to Chicago to play in the NFL championship game the following week against the Cardinals (9–3) at Comiskey Park. Originally scheduled for December 21, the playoff pushed the title game to December 28.
Scoring touchdowns in each of the first three quarters, the Eagles posted another 21–0 shutout to win the East title and advanced to the championship game in Chicago.1956 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
The 1956 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships were contested in March 1956 at Kiputh Pool at Payne Whitney Gymnasium at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut at the 20th annual NCAA-sanctioned swim meet to determine the team and individual national champions of men's collegiate swimming and diving in the United States.
Ohio State once again retained the national title, the Buckeyes' tenth, after finishing fourteen points ahead of hosts Yale in the team standings.1960 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships
The 1960 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships were contested in March 1960 at Perkins Natatorium at Southern Methodist University in University Park, Texas at the 24th annual officially NCAA-sanctioned swim meet to determine the team and individual national champions of men's collegiate swimming and diving in the United States. Including the championships held before NCAA sponsorship in 1937, this was the 37th overall American collegiate championship.
USC claimed its first national title after finishing fourteen points ahead of three-time defending champions Michigan in the team standings.1977 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships
The 1977 NCAA Men's Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships were contested May 31−June 4 at the 55th annual NCAA-sanctioned track meet to determine the individual and team national champions of men's collegiate Division I outdoor track and field events in the United States.
This year's meet was hosted at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois in Champaign.Arizona State finished fourteen points ahead of UTEP in the team standings and captured their first national title.Chelsea Newton
Chelsea Newton (born February 17, 1983) is an American women's college basketball coach, currently as assistant at the University of Georgia. She is also a former WNBA player, who last played for the Sacramento Monarchs. She signed with the Seattle Storm, but later retired before even playing a game with them.
Born in Monroe, Louisiana, Newton played for Carroll High School in Monroe, Louisiana, where she was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2001 WBCA High School All-America Game where she scored fourteen points.Czechoslovak declaration of independence
The Czechoslovak Declaration of Independence or the Washington Declaration (Czech: Washingtonská deklarace; Slovak: Washingtonská deklarácia) was drafted in Washington, D.C. and published by Czechoslovakia's Paris-based Provisional Government on 18 October 1918. The creation of the document, officially the Declaration of Independence of the Czechoslovak Nation by Its Provisional Government (Czech: Prohlášení nezávislosti československého národa zatímní vládou československou), was prompted by the imminent collapse of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire, of which the Czech and Slovak lands had been part for almost 400 years, following the First World War.Declaration of Rights and Grievances
The Declaration of Rights and Grievances was a document written by the Stamp Act Congress and passed on October 14, 1765. It declared that taxes imposed on British colonists without their formal consent were unconstitutional.
The Declaration of Rights raised fourteen points of colonial protest but was not directed exclusively at the Stamp Act of 1765, which required that documents, newspapers, and playing cards be printed on special stamped and taxed paper. In addition to the specific protests of the Stamp Act taxes, it made the assertions which follow:
Colonists owe to the crown "the same allegiance" owed by "subjects born within the realm".
Colonists owe to Parliament "all due subordination".
Colonists possessed all the rights of Englishmen.
Trial by jury is a right.
The use of Admiralty Courts was abusive.
Without voting rights, Parliament could not represent the colonists.
There should be no taxation without representation.
Only the colonial assemblies had a right to tax the colonies.Decree on Peace
The Decree on Peace, written by Vladimir Lenin, was passed by the Second Congress of the Soviet of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies on the 8 November [O.S. 26 October] 1917, following the success of the October Revolution. It was published in the Izvestiya newspaper, #208, 9 November [O.S. 27 October] 1917. It proposed an immediate withdrawal of Russia from World War I. Woodrow Wilson's famous "Fourteen Points" of January 1918 were largely a response to this Decree.Flag of Malaysia
The flag of Malaysia, also known as the Malay: Jalur Gemilang ("Stripes of Glory"), is composed of a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along the fly and a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan (Federal Star). The 14 stripes, of equal width, represent the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal territories, while the 14 points of the star represent the unity between these entities. The crescent represents Islam, the country's state religion; the blue canton symbolises the unity of the Malaysian people; the yellow of the star and crescent is the royal colour of the Malay rulers.In blazon, the Malaysian flag is described as: "A banner Gules, seven bars Argent; the canton Azure charged with decrescent and mullet of fourteen points Or". This means "a red flag with seven horizontal white stripes; the upper-left (hoist) quarter is blue with a yellow waning crescent (i.e. horns pointing to sinister) and a yellow 14-pointed star".Fourteen Points of Jinnah
The Fourteen Points of Jinnah were proposed by Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a constitutional reform plan to safeguard the political rights of Muslims in a self-governing India.In 1928,an All Parties Conference was convened to solve the constitutional problems of India.A committee was set up under Moti Lal Nehru.That committee prepared a report which is known as "Nehru Report".This report demanded "Dominion Status" for India.Separate electorates were refused and the reservation of seats for the Muslims of Bengal and Punjab was rejected.In this report,not a single demand of the Muslims was upheld.
Since Nehru Report was the last word from Hindus therefore Mr.Jinnah was authorized to draft in concise term the basis of any future constitution that was to be devised for India Jinnah's aim was to get rights for Muslims. He therefore gave his 14 points. These points covered all of the interests of the Muslims at a heated time and in this Jinnah stated that it was the "parting of ways" and that he did not want and would not have anything to do with the Indian National Congress in the future. The League leaders motivated Jinnah to revive the Muslim League and give it direction. As a result, these points became the demands of the Muslims and greatly influenced the Muslims' thinking for the next two decades till the establishment of Pakistan in 1947.Khaksars
The Khaksar movement (Urdu: تحریکِ خاکسار) was a social movement based in Lahore, Punjab, British India, established by Allama Mashriqi in 1931, with the aim of freeing India from the rule of the British Empire and establish a Hindu-Muslim government in India. The membership of the Khaksar movement was open to everyone and had no membership fee regardless of the person's religion, race and caste or social status. The emphasis was on the brotherhood of mankind and being inclusive for all people.Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference, also known as Versailles Peace Conference, was the meeting of the victorious Allied Powers following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers.
Involving diplomats from 32 countries and nationalities, the major or main decisions were the creation of the League of Nations, as well as the five peace treaties with the defeated states; the awarding of German and Ottoman overseas possessions as "mandates", chiefly to Britain and France; reparations imposed on Germany; and the drawing of new national boundaries (sometimes with plebiscites) to better reflect ethnic boundaries.
The main result was the Treaty of Versailles with Germany, which in section 231 laid the guilt for the war on "the aggression of Germany and her allies". This provision proved humiliating for Germany and set the stage for the expensive reparations Germany was intended to pay (it paid only a small portion before reparations ended in 1931). The five major powers (France, Britain, Italy, Japan and the United States) controlled the Conference. The "Big Four" were French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, US President Woodrow Wilson, and Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando. They met together informally 145 times and made all the major decisions, which in turn were ratified by the others. The conference began on 18 January 1919, and with respect to its end date Professor Michael Neiberg has noted: Although the senior statesmen stopped working personally on the conference in June 1919, the formal peace process did not really end until July 1923, when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed".Star (glyph)
In typography, a star is any of several glyphs with a number of points arrayed within an imaginary circle.Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles (French: Traité de Versailles) was the most important of the peace treaties that brought World War I to an end. The Treaty ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919 in Versailles, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which had directly led to World War I. The other Central Powers on the German side of World War I signed separate treaties. Although the armistice, signed on 11 November 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of Allied negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty. The treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 October 1919.
Of the many provisions in the treaty, one of the most important and controversial required "Germany [to] accept the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage" during the war (the other members of the Central Powers signed treaties containing similar articles). This article, Article 231, later became known as the War Guilt clause. The treaty required Germany to disarm, make ample territorial concessions, and pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers. In 1921 the total cost of these reparations was assessed at 132 billion marks (then $31.4 billion or £6.6 billion, roughly equivalent to US $442 billion or UK £284 billion in 2019). At the time economists, notably John Maynard Keynes (a British delegate to the Paris Peace Conference), predicted that the treaty was too harsh—a "Carthaginian peace"—and said the reparations figure was excessive and counter-productive, views that, since then, have been the subject of ongoing debate by historians and economists from several countries. On the other hand, prominent figures on the Allied side such as French Marshal Ferdinand Foch criticized the treaty for treating Germany too leniently.
The result of these competing and sometimes conflicting goals among the victors was a compromise that left no one content: Germany was neither pacified nor conciliated, nor was it permanently weakened. The problems that arose from the treaty would lead to the Locarno Treaties, which improved relations between Germany and the other European powers, and the re-negotiation of the reparation system resulting in the Dawes Plan, the Young Plan, and the indefinite postponement of reparations at the Lausanne Conference of 1932.
Although it is often referred to as the "Versailles Conference", only the actual signing of the treaty took place at the historic palace. Most of the negotiations were in Paris, with the "Big Four" meetings taking place generally at the Quai d'Orsay.Wilsonianism
Wilsonianism or Wilsonian are words used to describe a certain type of ideological perspective on foreign policy. The term comes from the ideology of United States President Woodrow Wilson and his famous Fourteen Points that he believed would help create world peace if implemented. Wilsonianism is a form of liberal internationalism. Wilson learned from American history and applied that knowledge to his international relations. Wilson's principles expressed the values of democracy and capitalism.Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was an American statesman and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He also led the United States during World War I, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism."
Born in Staunton, Virginia, Wilson spent his early years in Augusta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina. After earning a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University, Wilson taught at various schools before becoming the president of Princeton. As governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913, Wilson broke with party bosses and won the passage of several progressive reforms. His success in New Jersey gave him a national reputation as a progressive reformer, and he won the presidential nomination at the 1912 Democratic National Convention. Wilson defeated incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft and Progressive Party nominee Theodore Roosevelt to win the 1912 presidential election, becoming the first Southerner to serve as president since the Civil War.
During his first term, Wilson presided over the passage of his progressive New Freedom domestic agenda. His first major priority was the passage of the Revenue Act of 1913, which lowered tariffs and implemented a federal income tax. Later tax acts implemented a federal estate tax and raised the top income tax rate to 77 percent. Wilson also presided over the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which created a central banking system in the form of the Federal Reserve System. Two major laws, the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, were passed to regulate and break up large business interests known as trusts. To the disappointment of his African-American supporters, Wilson allowed some of his Cabinet members to segregate their departments. Upon the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Wilson maintained a policy of neutrality between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. He won re-election by a narrow margin in the presidential election of 1916, defeating Republican nominee Charles Evans Hughes.
In early 1917, Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany after Germany implemented a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, and Congress complied. Wilson presided over war-time mobilization but devoted much of his efforts to foreign affairs, developing the Fourteen Points as a basis for post-war peace. After Germany signed an armistice in November 1918, Wilson and other Allied leaders took part in the Paris Peace Conference, where Wilson advocated for the establishment of a multilateral organization known as the League of Nations. The League of Nations was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles and other treaties with the defeated Central Powers, but Wilson was unable to convince the Senate to ratify that treaty or allow the United States to join the League. Wilson suffered a severe stroke in October 1919 and was incapacitated for the remainder of his presidency. He retired from public office in 1921, and died in 1924. Scholars generally rank Wilson as one of the better U.S. presidents, though he has received strong criticism for his actions regarding racial segregation.