Black Excellence

28th Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921 Democrat

  • Blacks welcomed his election in 1912, but were worried too
  • Wilson oversaw unprecedented segregation in federal offices
  • Wilson accepted segregation as part of a policy to “promote racial progress… by shocking the social system as little as possible.”
  • His new Postmaster General also ordered that his Washington offices be segregated, with the Treasury and Navy soon doing the same. Suddenly, photographs were required of all applicants for federal jobs. When pressed by black leaders, Wilson replied, “The purpose of these measures was to reduce the friction. It is as far as possible from being a movement against the Negroes. I sincerely believe it to be in their interest.”
  • A Postmaster within the Wilson administration once told reporters “There are no government positions for Negroes in the South. A Negro’s place is in the corn field
  • He blocked a Japanese proposal to include racial equality as a founding principle of the League of Nations

Woodrow Wilson was a racist. He gets a thumb down because of the horrible way he treated Black people and did nothing directly to help their cause. One thing we do owe Woodrow Wilson for is being part of the landscape of changing American government.  His progressive doctrines set the stage for a party that would look out for the modern American’s needs 

  • Increased the role of government 
  • Regulated workplaces, food and drugs 
  • barred child labor and mandated school attendance 
  • broke up corporate monopolies 
  • Clayton Antitrust Act, which blocked price-fixing and prevented the same people from sitting on the boards of competing companies
  • Instituted the Federal Trade Commission, which investigates unfair business practices
  • Started the Federal Reserve 

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