Woodrow Wilson was the president who led the United States through World War I. As President of the United States, Wilson was responsible for the passage of many social and economic reforms. His New Freedom platform was very progressive and called for tariff reduction and reform of the banking and monetary system. His greatest achievement was the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, creating a system that still provides the framework for regulating the nation's banks, credit, and money supply today. Wilson sponsored legislation that supported unions to ensure fair treatment of working Americans and the development of the Child Labor Reform Act. Wilson also was instrumental with the passage of the 19th Amendment during his second term, guaranteeing all women the right to vote.
Tommy Wilson, as he was called, was barely a year old when his family moved to Augusta, Georgia. He would live there until his early teens when the Wilson family moved to Columbia, South Carolina. Young Tommy spent most of his childhood in the South before and during the Civil War. While in Georgia, his father served as a chaplain in the Confederate Army and his mother helped set up a hospital in their church. Perhaps this close experience with war is what led Wilson to work so hard for peace while president.
Wilson briefly attended Davidson College and later transferred to Princeton University, graduating with the class of 1879. He attended the University of Virginia Law School and later received a PhD. from Johns Hopkins University. He was one of the most educated presidents and was known as a scholar, orator and author of many books on government. Before entering politics, Wilson spent many years as a college professor, and later he became president of Princeton University.
His growing national reputation led some conservative Democrats to consider him as a possible President. First they persuaded him to run for Governor of New Jersey in 1910. In the campaign he...