Comparative Analysis of Woodrow Wilson vs. Ronald Reagan

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Comparative Analysis of Woodrow Wilson vs. Ronald Reagan

Two American Presidents, both very influential in their time and both having had a great impact on history are Ronald Reagan and Woodrow Wilson. Both Presidents were advocates of peace even though they would not have hesitated to enter into a war if war was needed to insure the safety of the United States and Democracy as a whole. By use of small wars and political pressures both Reagan and Wilson, with the exception of Wilsons entering into WW-I, used diplomacy and these small conflicts to do what they thought was best and righteous to defend freedom and Democracy. But were they truly righteous individuals or did they just have their own ideas and agendas of what was best?

Woodrow Wilson: “The Ideals of America” speaks of how the United States evolved after throwing off the tyrannical yoke of English rule. He speaks of a time in which the United States was growing from what was once a colonial settlement into a nation of world power. With the United States now having a powerful presence in places like Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines due to Wilson’s use of military force and occupations between 1913-1916 it is as if Wilson has the passion and feelings of a Crusader in the days of Chivalry. “We look back to the great men who made our government as to a generation, not of revolutionists, but of statesmen.”
Despite this Wilson was one of the first modern leaders to clearly see the threat an all out war had for civilization at the time while at the same time Wilsons excessive actions would get the United States into perilous situations that could provoke a world threatening war. Wilsons had a vision of the United States having a global role in bringing about international peace and democracy through use of small scale military force in places like the Philippines and through political alliances like the League of Nations. Wilson had envisioned the League of Nations but the United States did not join the League of Nations, which was an obvious failure, but it did none-the-less evolve into what we now know as the United Nations which is a very effective alliance that helps to deter and settle conflicts as well as maintain a world peace and assist countries that can not properly defend themselves against aggression.

Wilson also despite his sentiment for not wanting to have an all out world war still brought the United States into the World War I which was in his opinion to preserve peace. “Let us put our leading characters at the front: let us pray that vision may come with power; let us ponder our duties like men of conscience and temper our ambitions like men who seek to serve, not subdue, the world” With this thinking it was Wilsons belief that preserving democracy as well as making the world safe for democracy would be best suited by extending the United States power and ideals through foreign nations. Wilson was a very idealistic yet inflexible but also very righteous in a time when the United States was up against vindictive allies each of whom had an imperialistic view of themselves. It was quite clear that the after the First World War the allies were more concerned with imperialism than the idealism that Wilson wanted to instill with the League of Nations. It was as if they were more interested in squabbling over who should rule what, get what, and gaining reparations from Germany than they were in making the world better for all. The allies as well as the United States resisted the League of Nations with their imperialism and began to think that Wilson had a Messiah complex.

Wilson was a righteous pacifist who was not much different from any of the other Presidents who had never considered the third world as anything other than beneath the United States and needing its guidance. During and after World War I, Wilson was expanding the United States presence throughout the world in places like South America and Southeast...
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