Woodrow Wilson

The Visionary President

A conservative is a man who sits and thinks; mostly sits.
~ Woodrow Wilson

A great industrial Nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the Nation and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter VIII. Monopoly, Or Opportunity?

A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the Great Goverment of the United States helpless and contemptible.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Of certain members of the United States Senate (4 March 1917)

A man has found himself when he has found his relation to the rest of the universe, and here is the Book in which those relations are set forth.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech (7 May 1911).

A man who is virtuous and a coward has no marketable virtue about him.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address before the American Bar Association (24 October 1914).

A nation is as great, and only as great, as her rank and file.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter IV. Life Comes From The Soil

A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (1911)

A presidential campaign may easily degenerate into a mere personal contest and so lose its real dignity and significance. There is no indispensable man.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech Accepting the Democratic Nomination in Sea Girt, New Jersey (7 August 1912)

All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.
~ Woodrow Wilson

All you have to do is to fight, not with cannon but with light.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at the Young Men's Christian Association's Celebration, Pittsburgh PA (24 October 1914)

America cannot be an ostrich with its head in the sand.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New York Times (2 February 1916). Speech at Des Moines, Iowa (1 February 1916)

America lives in the heart of every man everywhere who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (6 April 1912)

America is not a mere body of traders; it is a body of free men. Our greatness is built upon our freedom -- is moral, not material.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Affairs (11 December 1911). Termination of the Treaty of 1832 Between the United States and Russia

America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech, Pittsburgh PA (29 January 1916).

America is the place where you can not kill your government by killing the men who conduct it.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address, Helena MT (11 September 1919).

America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scriptures.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech in Denver, Colorado (7 May 1911). The Bible and Progress

America was created in order that every man should have the same chance as every other man to exercise mastery over his own fortunes.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter IX. Benevolence, or Justice?

America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal -- to discover and maintain liberty among men.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address, Chicago IL (1912).

Americanism consists in utterly believing in the principles of America.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy, West Point NY (13 June 1916)

Anyone who is not a socialist at 16 has no heart, but anyone who still is at 32 has no mind.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Anything that depresses, anything that makes the organization greater than the man, anything that blocks, discourages, dismays the humble man, is against all the principles of progress.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter IV. Life Comes From The Soil

Armed neutrality is ineffectual enough at best.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech to Congress (2 April 1917)

At every crisis in one's life, it is absolute salvation to have some sympathetic friend to whom you can think aloud without restraint or misgiving.
~ Woodrow Wilson, in The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 19: 1909-1910 (1975).

Business underlies everything in our national life, including our spiritual life. Witness the fact that in the Lord's Prayer the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech in New York City (23 May 1912)

By "radical," I understand one who goes too far; by "conservative," one who does not go far enough; by "reactionary," one who won't go at all.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Caution is the confidential agent of selfishness.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Lincoln Day Address in Chicago IL (12 February 1909).

Character is a by-product; it is produced in the great manufacture of daily duty.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Arlington VA (31 May 1915)

Conservatism is the policy of make no change and consult your grandmother when in doubt.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Dare we reject it and break the heart of the world?
~ Woodrow Wilson (regarding the Covenant of the League of Nations, 1918).

Democracy is not so much a form of government as a set of principles.
~ Woodrow Wilson, in the Atlantic Monthly (1901).

Democratic institutions are never done -- they are, like the living tissue, always a-making.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Each part of the government loses force and prestige in proportion as it ceases to give, and give publicly, conclusive reasons for what it is doing and for what it is declining to do.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Constitutional Government in the United States (1908).

Eternal vigilance is the price, not only of liberty, but of a great many other things. It is the price of everything good. It is the price of one's own soul.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech in Washington, D.C. (October 1914)

Everybody knows that corruption thrives in secret places, and avoids public places, and we believe it a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter VI. Let There Be Light

Every country is renewed out of the unknown ranks and not out of the ranks of those already famous and powerful and in control.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter I. The Old Order Changeth

Every man who takes office in Washington either grows or swells, and when I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see whether he is swelling or growing.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Every people has a right to choose the sovereignty under which they shall live.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech in Washington, DC (27 May 1916)

Excesses accomplish nothing. Disorder immediately defeats itself.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Freedom exists only where people take care of the Government.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech in New York (22 September 1912)

Freedom is like steam, useless unless confined.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech in the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City (17 May 1918). "Red Cross Speech"

Generally young men are regarded as radicals. This is a popular misconception. The most conservative persons I ever met are college undergraduates. The radicals are the men past middle life.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Genius is divine perseverance. Genius I cannot claim, nor even extra brightness, but perseverance all can have.
~ Woodrow Wilson, in The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 1: 1856-1880 (1966).

Gentlemen, it is one of the handicaps of my physical condition that I cannot control myself as I've been accustomed to do. God bless you all.
~ Woodrow Wilson (final Cabinet meeting on March 1, 1921, marking the end of the Wilson presidency), in The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 67: December 24, 1920-April 7, 1922 (1992).

Give me right and justice and I will undertake to take care of myself.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter IX. Benevolence, or Justice?

Golf is a game in which one endeavors to control a ball with implements ill adapted for the purpose.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Gossip: sociologists on a mean and petty scale.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Human freedom consists in perfect adjustments of human interests and human activities and human energies.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter XII. The Liberation of a People's Vital Energies

Hunger does not breed reform; it breeds madness and all the ugly distempers that make an ordered life impossible.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Announcement to the Armistice, Delivered to Congress (11 November 1918).

I am all kinds of a democrat, so far as I can discover -- but the root of the whole business is this, that I believe in the patriotism and energy and initiative of the average man.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I am not one of those that have the least anxiety about the triumph of the principles I have stood for: I have seen fools resist Providence before, and I have seen their destruction, as will come upon these again, utter destruction and contempt. That we shall prevail is as sure as that God reigns.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Last public words (10 November 1923)

I am seeking only to face realities and to face them without soft concealments.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to the U.S. Senate (22 January 1917)

I am so glad that I am young, so that I may give my youth to you.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Letter to Ellen Axson (22 May 1885).

I am ready.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (1924).

I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at the Workingman's Dinner, Yorkville Casino NY (4 September 1912).

I believe that God planted in us the vision of liberty ... 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.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Campaign Speech, Jersey City NJ (25 May 1912).

I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (1919).

I don't believe any man was ever drawn into heaven for fear he would go to hell.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech (October 1904)

I don't let facts cloud my opinions.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech, the Institute of France, Paris (1919). That Quick Comradeship of Letters

I have long enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Republicans because I am by instinct a teacher, and I would like to teach them something.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I know not how better to describe our form of government in a single phrase than by calling it a government by the chairmen of the Standing Committees of Congress.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I make every effort not only to use all the brains that I've got, but also all the brains of anybody else, that I can beg, borrow or steal.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I remember how I clung to her (and laughed at "mama's boy") till I was a great big fellow. . . . But love of the best womanhood came to me and entered my heart through those apron strings. If I had not lived with such a mother I could not have won and seemed to deserve -- in part, perhaps, deserved, through transmitted virtues -- such a wife.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Letter to his wife Ellen Axson Wilson (Writing about his mother, Jessie Woodrow Wilson, 19 April 1888)

I think that in public affairs stupidity is more dangerous than knavery, because harder to fight and dislodge.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter III. Freemen Need No Guardians

I used to be a lawyer, but now I am a reformed character.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk half an hour with the man who wrote it.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address on Latin American Policy before the Southern Commercial Congress, Mobile AL (27 October 1913).

I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately triumph that to triumph in a cause that will ultimately fail.
~ Woodrow Wilson

I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a cause that will some day lose.
~ Woodrow Wilson

If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.
~ Woodrow Wilson

If a thing is good to-day, I should like to have it stay that way to-morrow.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter II. What is Progress? (1912 campaign speech)

If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.
~ Woodrow Wilson, in The Wilson Era: Years of War and After (1946)

If there is one thing we love more than another in the United States, it is that every man should have the privilege, unmolested and uncriticized, to utter the real convictions of his mind.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at a Luncheon of the Associated Press, New York NY (20 April 1915). America First

If you think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (October 1914).

If you think too much about being reelected, it is very difficult to be worth reelecting.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (1913).

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at the Salemanship Congress, Detroit MI (10 July 1916).

If you wish your children to be Christians you must really take the trouble to be Christian yourselves. Those are the only terms upon which the home will work the gracious miracle.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (October 1914).

I'm a vague, conjunctured personality, more made up of opinions and academic prepossessions than of human traits and red corpuscles.
~ Woodrow Wilson

In politics some deceit or moral dishonesty is the oil without which the machinery will not work.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Interest does not tie nations together; it sometimes separates them. But sympathy and understanding does unite them.
~ Woodrow Wilson

It does not become America that within her borders, where every man is free to follow the dictates of his conscience, men should raise the cry of church against church. To do that is to strike at the very spirit and heart of America.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (4 November 1915)

It is a strenuous thing, this of living the life of a free people: and we cannot escape the burden of our inheritance.
~ Woodrow Wilson

It is as hard to do your duty when men are sneering at you as when they are shooting at you.
~ Woodrow Wilson

It is like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.
~ Woodrow Wilson (on seeing D.W. Griffith's film "The Birth of a Nation" at the White House, 18 February 1915).

It is not men that interest or disturb me primarily; it is ideas. Ideas live; men die.
~ Woodrow Wilson

It is not patriotic to concert measures against one another; it is patriotic to concert measures for one another.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia PA (4 July 1914).

[I]t is one thing to love the place where you were born and it is another thing to dedicate yourself to the place to which you go.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Convention Hall, Philadephia PA (10 May 1915).

It must be a peace without victory. . . . Only a peace between equals can last.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech to U.S. Senate (22 January 1917)

Let us show ourselves Americans by showing that we do not want to go off in separate camps or groups by ourselves, but that we want to co-operate with all other classes and all other groups in the common enterprise which is to release the spirits of the world from bondage. ...That is the meaning of democracy.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address Before the American Federation of Labor Convention, Buffalo NY (12 November 1917).

Liberty cannot live apart from constitutional principle.
~ Woodrow Wilson, in Political Science Quarterly. Volume II, Number 2 (June 1887). The Study of Administration

Liberty does not consist ... in mere general declarations of the rights of man. It consists in the translation of those declarations into definite action.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia PA (4 July 1914).

Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to the New York Press Club (9 September 1912)

Liberty is its own reward.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Life does not consist in thinking, it consists in acting.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (28 September 1912)

Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice.
~ Woodrow Wilson

May it not suffice for me to say . . . that, of course, like every other man of intelligence and education, I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Letter to an academic (29 August 1922)

Most men are individuals no longer so far as their business, its activities, or its moralities are concerned. They are not units but fractions.
~ Woodrow Wilson

[M]ost men are the servants of corporations.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter I. The Old Order Changeth

Most of the errors of public life come, not because men are morally bad, but because they are afraid of somebody.
~ Woodrow Wilson

My best training came from my father.
~ Woodrow Wilson

My dream is that as the years go by and the world knows more and more of America, it . . . will turn to America for those moral inspirations that lie at the basis of all freedom . . . that America will come into the full light of the day when all shall know that she puts human rights above all other rights, and that her flag is the flag not only of America but of humanity.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia (4 July 1914)

My message today was a message of death for our young men. How strange it seems to applaud that.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Never murder a man who is committing suicide.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Letter to Bernard Baruch (19 August 1916)

No man ever saw the people of whom he forms a part. No man ever saw a government. I live in the midst of the Government of the United States, but I never saw the Government of the United States.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech, Pittsburgh PA (29 January 1916).

No man is a true Christian who does not think constantly of how he can lift his brother, how he can assist his friend, how he can enlighten mankind, how he can make virtue the rule of conduct in the circle in which he lives.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (October 1914).

No man that does not see visions will ever realize any high hope or undertake any high enterprise.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Convention Hall, Philadephia PA (10 May 1915).

No nation is fit to sit in judgment upon any other nation.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at a Luncheon of the Associated Press, New York NY (20 April 1915). America First

No one but the President seems to be expected . . . to look out for the general interests of the country.
~ Woodrow Wilson

No one who has read official documents needs to be told how easy it is to conceal the essential truth under the apparently candid and all-disclosing phrases of a voluminous and particularizing report. . . .
~ Woodrow Wilson, Congressional Government

No people are true Christians who do not think constantly of how they can lift their brother, how they can assist their friends, how they can enlighten mankind, how they can make virtue the rule of conduct in the circle in which they live.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Nothing checks all the bad practices of politics like public exposure. You can't be crooked in the light.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter VI. Let There Be Light

Nothing chills pretense like exposure.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Remark to the Motion Picture Board of Trade, New York City (27 January 1916).

[N]othing was ever done so systematically as nothing is being done now.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to Naval Officers aboard the USS Pennsylvania. Yorkstown (11 August 1917).

One can not pay the price of self-respect.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at Des Moines IA (on "The Westerm Preparedness Tour"; 1 February 1916)

One cool judgment is worth a dozen hasty councils. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech, Pittsburgh PA (29 January 1916)

[O]ne of our American wits said that it took only half as long to train an American army as any other because you only had to train them to go one way.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at Convention Hall, Kansas City MO (6 September 1919).

Once lead this people into war and they will forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (attributed, 1917).

Open covenants of peace must be arrived at.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech to a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress (8 January 1918). Fourteen Points

[O]ur civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually.
~ Woodrow Wilson, in the Atlantic Monthly (August 1923). The Road Away From Revolution

[P]eace is the healing and elevating influence of the world.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Convention Hall, Philadephia PA (10 May 1915).

Politics is a war of causes; a joust of principles.
~ Woodrow Wilson, University of Virginia Magazine (March 1880)

Power consists in one's capacity to link his will with the purpose of others, to lead by reason and a gift of cooperation.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Letter to Mary A. Hulbert (21 September 1913).

Progress! Did you ever reflect that that word is almost a new one? No word comes more often or more naturally to the lips of modern man, as if the thing it stands for were almost synonymous with life itself.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter II. What is Progress? (1912 campaign speech)

Provision for others is a fundamental responsibility of human life.
~ Woodrow Wilson

[R]ight is more precious than peace.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to U.S. Congress, asking for a declaration of war (2 April 1917)

Some Americans need hyphens in their names because only part of them has come over.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Some people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. . . . America is the only idealistic nation in the world.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Sioux Falls, South Dakota (8 September 1919)

[T]he American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Adddress to the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington DC (11 October 1915)

The Constitution of the United States is not a mere lawyers' document; it is a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The Constitution was not made to fit us like a straightjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people. He cannot be of the school of the prophets: he must be of the number of those who studiously serve the slow-paced daily need.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at the University of Tennesse, Knoxville TN (17 June 1890). The Leaders of Men

The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history. It represents the experiences made by men and women, the experiences of those who do and live under that flag.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (14 June 1915)

The future is not for parties "playing politics," but for measures conceived in the largest spirit, pushed by parties whose leaders are statesmen, not demagogues, who love, not their offices, but their duty and their opportunity for service.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Trenton, New Jersey (5 September 1910)

The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter II. What is Progress? (1912 campaign speech)

The great curse of public life is that you are not allowed to say all the things you think.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (1916)

The Great White Father now calls you his brother, not his children.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech to a congress of Native Americans (1913)

The history of government is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of government, not the increase of it.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to the New York Press Club (9 September 1912)

The law that will work is merely the summing up in legislative form of the moral judgment that the community has already reached.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (December 1915).

The literary gift is a very dangerous gift to possess if you are not telling the truth, and I would a great deal rather, for my part, have a man stumble in his speech than to feel he was so exceedingly smooth that he had better be watched both day and night.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter IV. Life Comes from the Soil

The most solid and satisfying peace is that which comes from this constant spiritual warfare.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (May 1911).

The nation's honor is dearer than the nation's comfort; yes, than the nation's life itself.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The originative part of America, the part of America that makes new enterprises, the part into which the ambitious and gifted workingman makes his way up, the class that saves, that plans, that organizes, that presently spreads its enterprises until they have a national scope and character, -- that middle class is being more and more squeezed out by the processes which we have been taught to call processes of prosperity.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter I. The Old Order Changeth

The president is a superior kind of slave, and must content himself with the reflection that the kind is superior!
~ Woodrow Wilson

The seed of revolution is repression.
~ Woodrow Wilson, State of the Union Address (2 December 1919).

The State exists for the sake of society, not society for the sake of the State.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The State: Elements Of Historical And Practical Politics (1889). XVI. The Objects of Government

The sum of the whole matter is this -- our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The things that the flag stands for were created by the experiences of a great people. Everything that it stands for was written by their lives.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (14 June 1915)

The trustworthiness of men trusted seems often to grow with the trust.
~ Woodrow Wilson, When a Man Comes to Himself (1901).

The truth is the most robust and indestructible and formidable thing in the world.
~ Woodrow Wilson (1919).

The truth is, we are all caught in a great economic system which is heartless.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter I. The Old Order Changeth

The truths which are not translated into lives are dead truths, and not living truths.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address (October 1904).

The use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The War between the States established . . . this principle, that the federal government is, through its courts, the final judge of its own powers.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Constitutional Government in the United States (1908).

The war we have just been through, though it was shot through with terror, is not to be compared with the war we would have to face next time.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The way to stop financial joy-riding is to arrest the chauffeur, not the automobile.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The way you let your hand rest in mine fills me with happiness. It is the perfection of confiding love.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The whole purpose of democracy is that we may hold counsel with one another, so as not to depend upon the understanding of one man, but to depend upon the counsel of all. for only as men are brought into counsel, and state their own needs and interests, can the general interest of a great people be compounded into a policy suitable to all.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The wisest thing to do with a fool is to encourage him to hire a hall and discourse to his fellow citizens. Nothing chills nonsense like exposure to air.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The world must be made safe for democracy.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to U.S. Congress, asking for a declaration of war (2 April 1917)

The world of affairs is so old no man can know it who knows only that little last segment of it which we call the present.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at Princeton University (21 Ocotober 1896).

There are times when words seem empty and only actions seem great. Such a time has come, and in the Providence of God America will once more have an opportunity to show the world that she was born to save mankind.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Memorial Day Address (30 May 1917)

There is no cause half so sacred as the cause of a people. There is no idea so uplifting as the idea of the service of humanity.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Presidential campaign address, Madison Square Garden, New York City (31 October 1912).

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.
~ Woodrow Wilson

There is no indispensable man.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Acceptance Speech at the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland (7 August 1912)

There is no question what the roll of honor in America is. The roll of honor consists of the names of men who have squared their conduct by ideals of duty.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech, Washington, DC. (27 February 1916).

There is one thing that the American people always rise to and extend their hand to, and that is the truth of justice and of liberty and of peace.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address, Pueblo CO (25 September 1919).

There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Convention Hall, Philadephia PA (10 May 1915).

There must be, not a balance of power, but a community of power; not organized rivalries, but an organized common peace.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to the U.S. Senate (22 January 1917).

There was a time when corporations played a very minor part in our business affairs, but now they play the chief part, and most men are the servants of corporations.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter I. The Old Order Changeth

These men who lie here are men of unique breed. Their like has not been seen since the far days of Crusades. Never before have men crossed the seas to a foreign land to fight for a cause of humanity which they did not pretend was particularly their own, but knew was the cause of humanity and of mankind. ... [T]hese, the men of America gave that greatest of all gifts, the gift of life and the gift of spirit.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Memorial Day Address, Suresnes Cemetery Near Paris France (30 May 1919)

This is the mission upon which Democracy came into the world. Democracy is an assertion of the right of the individual to live and to be treated justly as against any attempt on the part of any combination of individuals to make laws which will overburden him or which will destroy his equality among his fellows in the matter of right or privilege; and I think we all realize that the day has come when Democracy is being put upon its final test. . . . It is surely the manifest destiny of the United States to lead in the attempt to make this spirit prevail.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Eighth Annual Message to Congress (7 December 1920)

To conquer with arms is to make only a temporary conquest; to conquer the world by earning its esteem is to make permanent conquest.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Announcement to a Joint Session of Congress, Revealing the Armistice Terms (11 November 1918).

To do things today exactly the way you did them yesterday saves thinking.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address at the Salemanship Congress, Detroit MI (10 July 1916).

To fight you must be brutal and ruthless, and the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fiber of our national life.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (attributed, 1917).

To such a task we dedicate our lives, our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to U.S. Congress, asking for a declaration of war (2 April 1917)

Tolerance is an admirable intellectual gift, but it is worth little in politics.
~ Woodrow Wilson, in The University of Virginia Magazine (March 1880). Oration on John Bright, delivered before the Jeffersonian Society

Uncompromising thought is the luxury of the closeted recluse.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at the University of Tennesse, Knoxville TN (17 June 1890). The Leaders of Men

[U]nless justice be done to others it will not be done to us.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech to a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress (8 January 1918). Fourteen Points

War is only a sort of dramatic representation, a sort of dramatic symbol of a thousand forms of duty.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech (11 May 1914).

We are not put into this world to sit still and know; we are put into it to act.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Presidential Inaugural Address at Princeton University (25 October 1902). Princeton for the Nation's Service

We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.
~ Woodrow Wilson

We cannot, we will not, choose the path of surrender.
~ Woodrow Wilson

We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope their dreams will come true.
~ Woodrow Wilson

We have a great ardor for gain; but we have a deep passion for the rights of man.
~ Woodrow Wilson, New York (6 December 1911)

[W]e have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world -- no longer a government bt free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.
~ Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913). Chapter IX. Benevolence, or Justice?

We have stood apart, studiously neutral.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech to U.S. Congress (7 December 1915).

We shall fight for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.
~ Woodrow Wilson

We should not only master questions, but also act upon them, and act definitely.
~ Woodrow Wilson

What I fear ... is a government of experts.
~ Woodrow Wilson, (1912).

When I resist ... the concentration of power, I am resisting the processes of death, because the concentration of power is what always precedes the destruction of human initiative and, therefore, of human energy.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address, New York NY (4 September 1912).

When peace is made, upon whose promises and engagements besides our own is it to rest?.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Announcement to the Armistice, Delivered to Congress (11 November 1918).

When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.
~ Woodrow Wilson

Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up by itself.
~ Woodrow Wilson

You are not here to merely 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.
~ Woodrow Wilson

You cannot be friends upon any other terms than upon the terms of equality.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech (27 October 1913)

You cannot become thorough Americans if you think of yourselves in groups. America does not consist of groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech at Convention Hall, Philadephia PA (10 May 1915).

You deal in the raw material of opinion, and, if my convictions have any validity, opinion ultimately governs this world.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address to the Associated Press (20 April 1915)

You know that human life is a constant struggle. For a man who has lost the sense of struggle, life has ceased.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Speech in Denver, Colorado (7 May 1911). The Bible and Progress

You must act in your friend's interest whether it pleases him or not; the object of love is to serve, not to win.
~ Woodrow Wilson, Address, Princeton (9 May 1907).

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A Collection of Quotes Based on the Name William