Tags: Presidential History | Woodrow Wilson | peacetime | speeches | quotes

Woodrow Wilson Peacetime Address Highlights: 5 Quotes From Speeches

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 12:34 PM

Woodrow Wilson was one of the most influential peacetime presidents when it came to foreign policy, due to his Fourteen Points plan. His presidency lasted from 1913-1921 through both wartime and peacetime. Wilson was in office for the entirety of World War I and he advocated for a policy of neutrality, until it was apparent that the United States needed to intervene in order to protect democracy around the world, giving citizens in every nation the same voice as those that resided in the U.S.

Wilson was elected as a progressive reformer who, according to Whitehouse.gov "regarded himself as a personal representative of the people." Due to how influential Wilson was on foreign policy, here are five quotes from Woodrow Wilson's peacetime speeches that highlight the president's beliefs.
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  1. "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."  Wilson made this point in his address to his alma mater, Princeton University, in 1896. A little known fact about Wilson is that he served as the president of Princeton before he became president of the U.S.
  2. "I cannot be deprived of the hope that is in me – in the hope not only that concerns myself, but the confident hope that concerns the nation – that we are chosen and prominently chosen to show the way to the nations of the world how they shall walk in the paths of liberty." This statement was from Wilson's campaign trail speech made in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1912. This quote is indicative of Wilson's idealism and the promise he saw in the U.S.
  3. "The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people." Wilson made this statement in 1890 as he cemented his opinion that leaders should represent the ideals of the people in their nation, not the desires of one person or political party. Wilson attempted to follow his own advice throughout his presidency.
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  5. "One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to be supplied is light, not heat." This quote is from an address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1916, where Wilson makes a profound point on the importance of well-thought-out decisions. On a larger scale, this can be applied to the way Wilson approached World War I.
  6. "The concentration of power is what always precedes the destruction of human initiative, and, therefore of human energy." Wilson delivered this line on September 4, 1912, in New York City, affirming him as a staunch Democrat.
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Woodrow Wilson was one of the most influential presidents when it came to foreign policy, due to his Fourteen Points plan. His presidency lasted from 1913-1921 through both wartime and peacetime.
Woodrow Wilson, peacetime, speeches, quotes
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2015-34-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 12:34 PM
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