Woodrow Wilson Quotes

The legislator must be in advance of his age. Across the mind of the statesman flash ever and anon the brilliant, though partial, intimations of future events.... Something which is more than fore-sight and less than prophetic knowledge marks the statesman a peculiar being among his contemporaries.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Speech, January 30, 1877, "The Ideal Statesman." The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 1, p. 242, ed. Arthur S. Link. The Princeton undergraduate seems to have had "a brilliant, though partial" knowledge of his own future career.
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There is ... but one response possible from us: Force, Force to the uttermost, Force without stint or limit, the righteous and triumphant Force which shall make Right the law of the world and cast every selfish dominion down in the dust.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address at Baltimore, Maryland (April 6, 1918). Wilson was speaking following Germany's vindictive peace imposed on Russia at Brest-Litovsk.
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The life—the home—of my youth is cut off, and now it is you and me, my sweet one.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Letter to Ellen Axson Wilson. The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 5, p. 468, ed. Arthur S. Link. Wilson was writing to his wife on learning of his mother's unexpected death. He confessed to having been in youth "a mother's boy."
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The way to be patriotic in America is not only to love America, but to love the duty that lies nearest to our hand, and to know that in performing it we are serving our country.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia (July 14, 1914).
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The greatest and truest models for all orators ... is Demosthenes. One who has not studied deeply and constantly all the great speeches of the great Athenian, is not prepared to speak in public. Only as the constant companion of Demosthenes, Burke, Fox, Canning and Webster, can we hope to become orators.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. "The Princetonian" (June 7, 1877). The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 1, p. 274, ed. Arthur S. Link. Wilson was a sophomore in college when he gave this advice. He was at the time intensively practicing public speaking.
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We set this nation up ... to vindicate the rights of man. We did not name any differences between one race and another. We opened our gates to all the world and said: "Let all men who want to be free come to us and they will be welcome."
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia (July 4, 1914).
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His [the President's] office is anything he has the sagacity and force to make it.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Constitutional Government in the United States (1908). The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 18, p. 115, ed. Arthur S. Link. The scholar foresees his own future role.
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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 (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia (July 4, 1914). These words were spoken a few weeks before the Great War broke out in Europe.
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The man who reads everything is like the man who eats everything: he can digest nothing, and the penalty of crowding one's mind with other men's thoughts is to have no thoughts of one's own.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Letter, April 22, 1884, to Ellen Axson. The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson, vol. 3, p. 144, ed. Arthur S. Link.
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What we seek is the reign of law, based upon the consent of the governed and sustained by the organized opinion of mankind.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president. Address at Mount Vernon (July 4, 1918). In this one sentence Wilson summed up his war aims. His speech set up the Four Points in addition to the earlier Fourteen Points.
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