President Wilson at His Desk in the White House
Local Accession Number: 154..Description: Photograph of President Wilson at his desk in the White House...Photographer: Underwood and Underwood..Source: Purchased from Underwood and Underwood..Size: 6.5x8.5..Medium: Print, Black and White..Date: c. 1915
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921. Wilson earned a PhD in political science at Johns Hopkins University, served as a professor and scholar at various institutions, as President of Princeton University. In 1910 he was elected the 34th Governor of New Jersey, serving from 1911 to 1913. He became the first Southerner elected as president since Zachary Taylor in 1848. He became the first Democrat since Andrew Jackson elected to two consecutive terms. He oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. Upon the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Wilson maintained a policy of neutrality and his second term was dominated by American entry into World War I. During the war, Wilson focused on diplomacy and financial considerations, leaving military strategy to the generals, especially General John J. Pershing. Loaning billions of dollars to Britain, France, and other Allies, the United States aided their finance of the war effort. Following years of advocacy for suffrage on the state level, in 1918 he endorsed the Nineteenth Amendment, whose ratification in 1920 provided an equal right to vote for women. Early in 1918, he issued his principles for peace, the Fourteen Points, and in 1919 he traveled to Paris, promoting the formation of a League of Nations, concluding the Treaty of Versailles. A devoted Presbyterian, Wilson infused morality into his internationalism, an ideology now referred to as "Wilsonian"—an activist foreign policy calling on the nation to promote global democracy. For his sponsorship of the League of Nations, Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize, the second of three sitting presidents so honored. "Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world."