New Jersey’s Modern Radical: Governor Woodrow Wilson and the Pragmatist Tradition in American Politics
For more than a century the presidency of Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924; POTUS 1913–1921) has been recognized as a pivotal phase in the evolution of the American political system. In just the first year of his first term, Wilson amassed a record of legislative achievements placing him among the office’s greatest constructive reformers, establishing an independent tariff commission to equalize the costs and benefits of foreign trade; the Federal Trade Commission to interpret and enforce the strengthened antitrust provisions of the Clayton Act; and most consequentially, the Federal Reserve system, to prevent financial panics and increase access to credit for a nation of entrepreneurs. Later Wilson capitalized on the exigencies of war to weave the graduated income tax, eight-hour workday, and collective bargaining into the basic fabric of American politics (Brownlee 2008).
KeywordsAmerican Politics Federal Trade Commission Democratic Leadership Electoral Reform Interstate Commerce Commission
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