Woodrow Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow
Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson
1856
1924

American Politician, President of the United States, Governor of New Jersey, President of Princeton University

Author Quotes

The example of America must be the example not merely of peace because it will not fight, but of peace because peace is the healing and elevating influence of the world, and strife is not. There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince others by force that it is right.

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.

The world is not looking for servants, there are plenty of these, but for masters, men who form their purposes and then carry them out, let the consequences be what they may.

Tolerance is an admirable intellectual gift; but it is worth little in politics. Politics is a war of causes; a joust of principles.

We have not given science too big a place in our education, but we have made a perilous mistake in giving it too great a preponderance in method in every other branch of study.

When you come into the presence of a leader of men, you know that you have come into the presence of fire - that it is best not uncautiously to touch that man - that there is something that makes it dangerous to cross him.

Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America, my fellow citizens — I do not say it in disparagement of any other great people—America is the only idealistic Nation in the world. When I speak practical judgments about business affairs, I can only guess whether I am speaking the voice of America or not, but when I speak the ideal purposes of history I know that I am speaking the voice of America, because I have saturated myself since I was a boy in the records of that spirit, and everywhere in them there is this authentic tone of the love of justice and the service of humanity. If by any mysterious influence of error America should not take the leading part in this new enterprise of concerted power, the world would experience one of those reversals of sentiment, one of those penetrating chills of reaction, which would lead to a universal cynicism, for if America goes back upon mankind, mankind has no other place to turn. It is the hope of nations all over the world that America will do this great thing.

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.

The only way your powers can become great is by exerting them outside the circle of your own narrow, special, selfish interests… 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.

The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.

Too much law was too much government; and too much government was too little individual privilege,- as too much individual privilege in its turn was selfish license

We have restricted credit, we have restricted opportunity, we have controlled development, and we 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 by 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.

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.

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.

The person who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.

There are blessed intervals when I forget by one means or another that I am President of the United States.

Uncompromising thought is the luxury of the closeted recluse.

We have stood apart, studiously neutral.

Wilson was once asked how long it took him to write a speech. He answered, 'That depends. If I am to speak 10 minutes, I need a week for preparation. If 15 minutes,3 days. If half hour, two days. If an hour, I am ready now.'

Surely a man has come to himself only when he has found the best that is in him, and has satisfied his heart with the highest achievement he is fit for.

The great malady of public life is cowardice. Most men are not untrue, but they are afraid. Most of the errors of public life, if my observation is to be trusted, come not because men are morally bad, but because they are afraid of somebody. God knows why they should be: it is generally shadows they are afraid of.

The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit; and if Congress be overborne by him, it will be no fault of the makers of the Constitution, – it will be from no lack of constitutional powers on its part, but only because the President has the nation behind him, and the Congress has not.

There are two beings who assess character instantly by looking into the eyes,—dogs and children. If a dog not naturally possessed of the devil will not come to you after he has looked you in the face, you ought to go home and examine your conscience; and if a little child, from any other reason than mere timidity, looks you in the face, and then draws back and will not come to your knee, go home and look deeper yet into your conscience.

Unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us.

Author Picture
First Name
Woodrow
Last Name
Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson
Birth Date
1856
Death Date
1924
Bio

American Politician, President of the United States, Governor of New Jersey, President of Princeton University