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Robert A. Pastor, Woodrow Wilson: Father of the Future - Essay Example

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This paper is a summary of Robert A. Pastor “Woodrow Wilson: Father of the Future”. Pastor notes that discussions were resolved in favor of America standing distant from the rest of the world. As described by Pastor, Wilson’s goals went beyond World War I…
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Robert A. Pastor, Woodrow Wilson: Father of the Future
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Summary of Robert A. Pastor, “Woodrow Wilson: Father of the Future” Essay
Since independence, America had viewed itself as unique and different from European countries, and this self-image confused the Americans on how to translate it into a policy. The Spanish-American war of 1898 engrossed a dividing line of America’s relation with the world. Pastor notes that discussions were resolved in favor of America standing distant from the rest of the world. As described, Americans realized that they had an imperative role to play in the world, but still debated on what role to play (Pastor 184). As the Americans continued to debate, one thing that came out was that the United States policy was aimed not just to advance its interests but to transform the world. With deep roots in the nation’s exclusive heritage and favorable topography, an American idea of a new international system gently began to fall into place.
As described by Pastor (184), Wilson’s goals went beyond World War I. He aimed at preventing future wars and making the world safe for democracy. He proposed the disbandment of the European balance of power system in favor of a “community of power”. With this, the defeated countries in the World War I would get a stake in the new systems. This idealism delineated the world’s mission, and the realism protected its security. America maintained its neutrality in the World War I. However, Theodore accused Wilson as being neutral to a war between autocracy and democracy. Though German authority decided not to go into war with America in January 1917, Wilson asked the congress to declare war on April 1917 (Pastor 186) after attacks by Germans on three United States ships on March 1917. The congress and senate declared war and Wilson saw it as the only way to bring peace.
One year down the war, Wilson and House sat down and came up with a fourteen point peace plan, which he termed as principles of mankind. Aiming to uphold peace, Wilson reached unto Germany proclaiming that America is not jealous of German’s greatness, and that there is nothing in the program that would impair it. However, the Germans declined and only succeeded in bringing them into an armistice. According to Pastor (188), Wilson aimed at reducing colonialism, which was the cause of wars. Through the deep roots of American idealism, Wilson offered answers to the underlying questions of why wars happen and how they can be stopped. His proposal was eminently practical, and as Pastor notes, he changed the rules and the game of international politics and made the world different (189).
Works Cited
Pastor, Robert. A “Woodrow Wilson: Father of the Future” in Cobbs, Hoffman E, Edward J. Blum, and Jon Gjerde. Major Problems in American History: Documents and Essays / Edited by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Edward J. Blum, Jon Gjerde. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012. Print. Read More
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