The turn of century was an important time for pre-WWI America. National and
international affairs were in full swing, just as ever. America was trying hard to remain
with its Isolationism, yet could in no way thoroughly do so. Yet with this isolationistic
stance, that was deteriorating daily, much emphasis was put onto national affairs of the
United States by the government. Woodrow Wilson, the third president of this new
century, also had great concern with the national affairs of the U.S. Elected in 1912,
Wilson strongly believed in a government more concerned about human rights than
property rights (Comptons). Through these strong idealistic views, Wilson was in fact
the president of the common people. He proved this through his efforts for farmers and
other laborers. This also seen through his New Freedom basis of government, as
opposed to President Roosevelts New Nationalist form of government. On top of this,
Wilsons flood of social welfare legislation proved that he was definitely president of the
One thing must be known about Wilson before anything else. That is the fact that
he was a strong idealist. He had great visions of how to make the U.S. a better nation for
all. This is illustrated trough his many Acts that he sent through congress. He put in place
many systems that help benefit all the common people. Though he did not always follow
all the way through with his plans (he more or less put them in place and left them), his
strong devotion to the common people being treated equally cannot be overseen. The fact
is that Wilson truly cared about the farmer and the working man. For example, it is
known that he promised to return state government to the people (Bailey 703). He
believed in the struggles of people as a whole, rather than individually. One act that he put
into place was the Federal Farm Loan Act. Here, Wilson made credit very easily
accessible to those farmers in need. This law divided the country into twelve regions and
opened a Federal Land Bank inn each one of these regions (McDuffie 139) Wilson also
made the rate of interest towards these farmers very low and affordable. Wilson realized
the importance of the farmer upon American society, a fact that many other politicians of
the time easily ignored. So with his idealistic visions, Wilson brought a little ease upon the
farmers of America. In 1916, Wilson helped get the Warehouse Act into effect. This act
authorized loans on the security of staple crops (Bailey 709). Both of these acts were in
essence Populist ideas that the Populists wanted into effect for some number of years.
And it was only President Wilson who brought these issues to light and made a difference
for these common people.It is obvious that Wilson was concerned of the farmers and he
therefore acted upon the concerns and made life that much easier for them.

Wilson was also very concerned with the average workers of the U.S. His flood of
social welfare programs was clearly send and felt by hard working American citizens all
around the country. The combination of new acts being put in place targeting business in
general, along with those targeted specifically for the betterment of the welfare of working
Americans. In 1916, Wilson imposed the Workingmans Compensation Act. Under this
Act, assistance was given to federal civil service employees in the time of disability. Also,
Wilson put into place the Child Labor Act in the same year. Though this law was declared
unconstitutional in 1918, it was a definite step in the right direction. For it did not allow
the shipment of products that had been made by those under the age of fourteen or the age
of sixteen (the age limit was different for different products). Also in that same year, the
Adamson Act was put into effect. This law required a maximum of no higher than an
eight hour work day. This law was mainly meant for railway workers. This law was
considered a major victory for railroad unions, a averted a railroad strike in September
Wilsons whole form of government during his first term was based on his New
Freedom. In this New Freedom, Wilson put in effect a program to liberate American
economic energies by drastic tariff reduction, strengthening the antitrust laws, and
reorganizing of the banking and the credit system (Cink). This was in opposition to
Teddy Roosevelts New Nationalism which looked toward sweeping extension of

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During his term of presidency, Wilson introduced the Treaty of Versailles in order to assist in the “covenant” of the League of Nations. The Senate defeated this treaty after a long and tiring debate. Despite the strength of the opposition forces, both liberal and conservative, the treaty could still have been passed, had a few changes been made. It was Wilson?s stubbornness and ineptitude that resulted in the Senate ruling against the treaty.
When Wilsonfirst presented the treaty, the Senate posed numerous objections. Many of the people holding a position in the Senate were not fond of Wilson to begin with, causing them to question every aspect of the treaty. “Some senators ­ the fourteen so-called Œirreconcilables?, many of them western isolationists ­ opposed the agreement on principle. But other opponentsS were principally concerned with constructing a winning issue for the RepublicansS and with weakening a president who they had come to despise,” (Brinkley, 641). Henry Lodge, a senator from Massachusetts, held a powerful position is the Senate as a chairman of the Foreign Relations committee. He also held strong contempt for Wilson, and was opposed to the treaty, attempting to buy as much time as possible to convince other senators to disapprove of the treaty.
After over six weeks of public hearings to discuss public complaints about the Treaty of Versailles, the Senate finally composed a list of amendments in order to allow the constitution to pass. Had Wilson accepted these amendments, the treaty would have passed, and Wilson would have had a triumph. Wilson, however, would not accept these amendments, or any other amendments. He believed that the Treaty of Versailles was perfect as it was and needed no changes.
After suffering a major stroke, Wilson was even more obstinate than ever. The more the Senate suggested amendments, the more Wilson refused to consider them. According to his Democratic allies i

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