The Importance Of Woodrow Wilson's Presidency

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American presidents have faced a variety of political, economic and social issues that have defined their era. For instance, Abraham Lincoln not only faced the issue of slavery, but a nation that had erupted into civil war. Similarly, during Woodrow Wilson presidency, the first world war had emerged. Finally, prior to facing the second world war, Franklin D. Roosevelt inherited a struggling economy via the Great Depression. Indubitably, these events defined distinctive eras in American presidencies. However, the editors of The American Presidency, describe “four broad themes” (Brinkley, Dryers ix), or a string that connect these presidencies and their distinctive eras. To begin with, there is “the symbolic importance of presidency” (Brinkley,…show more content…
In times of distress for the nation, the president acts as the voice of the people. Electing a president can embody hope for the American public. For example, Roosevelt embodied the hope of the nation during the Great Depression. Roosevelt considered himself responsible for lifting the psychology of despair during the economic crisis (Leff 353). During his presidency, he created variety of programs that responded to the needs and demands of the people. Other presidents such as Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson, choose to act as “the voice of the people” by understanding themselves to be the heads of their political parties and making executive decisions. It is important to understand that the symbolic importance of a presidency can lead to the transcending of formal constitutional powers. However, what happens when a president seemly transcends his constitutional power, by executive action? When President Lincoln employed a war power when he announced a blockade on Southern ports without the declaration of war (Baker 177), he caused much controversy. Although, the president argued that his symbolic importance as the voice of the people led to his actions, stating that, “as the only nationally elected official in government…he embodied the peoples will” (Baker…show more content…
President Lincoln, did not rely on his adviser like Woodrow Wilson or Franklin D. Roosevelt. Abraham Lincoln viewed his cabinet’s responsibilities as to run their administrative departments rather than be a consultative body. Unlike, President Franklin D. Roosevelt who’s administrations influence was evident through his executive decisions. The New Deal was a prominent group of government programs designed to improve conditions for those suffering form the Great Depression. Such programs included the Social Security Act and many others. To illustrate the influence of President Roosevelt’s advisers, it is important to note that although the president himself embodied the “New Dealer” vision, it was his idealistic administration who wee by far the greatest advocates of the New Deal (Leff
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