The turn of century was an important time for pre-WWI America.
National andinternational affairs were in full swing, just as ever. America was trying hard to remainwith its Isolationism, yet could in no way thoroughly do so. Yet with this isolationisticstance, that was deteriorating daily, much emphasis was put onto national affairs of theUnited States by the government. Woodrow Wilson, the third president of this newcentury, also had great concern with the national affairs of the U.
S. Elected in 1912,Wilson strongly believed in a government more concerned about human rights thanproperty rights (Comptons). Through these strong idealistic views, Wilson was in factthe president of the common people. He proved this through his efforts for farmers andother laborers. This also seen through his New Freedom basis of government, asopposed to President Roosevelts New Nationalist form of government. On top of this,Wilsons flood of social welfare legislation proved that he was definitely president of theOne thing must be known about Wilson before anything else.
That is the fact thathe was a strong idealist. He had great visions of how to make the U. S. a better nation forall. This is illustrated trough his many Acts that he sent through congress. He put in placemany systems that help benefit all the common people.
Though he did not always followall the way through with his plans (he more or less put them in place and left them), hisstrong devotion to the common people being treated equally cannot be overseen. The factis that Wilson truly cared about the farmer and the working man. For example, it isknown that he promised to return state government to the people (Bailey 703). Hebelieved in the struggles of people as a whole, rather than individually. One act that he putinto place was the Federal Farm Loan Act.
Here, Wilson made credit very easilyaccessible to those farmers in need. This law divided the country into twelve regions andopened a Federal Land Bank inn each one of these regions (McDuffie 139) Wilson alsomade the rate of interest towards these farmers very low and affordable. Wilson realizedthe importance of the farmer upon American society, a fact that many other politicians ofthe time easily ignored. So with his idealistic visions, Wilson brought a little ease upon thefarmers of America. In 1916, Wilson helped get the Warehouse Act into effect. This actauthorized loans on the security of staple crops (Bailey 709).
Both of these acts were inessence Populist ideas that the Populists wanted into effect for some number of years. And it was only President Wilson who brought these issues to light and made a differencefor these common people. It is obvious that Wilson was concerned of the farmers and hetherefore acted upon the concerns and made life that much easier for them. Wilson was also very concerned with the average workers of the U.
S. His flood ofsocial welfare programs was clearly send and felt by hard working American citizens allaround the country. The combination of new acts being put in place targeting business ingeneral, along with those targeted specifically for the betterment of the welfare of workingAmericans. In 1916, Wilson imposed the Workingmans Compensation Act.
Under thisAct, assistance was given to federal civil service employees in the time of disability. Also,Wilson put into place the Child Labor Act in the same year. Though this law was declaredunconstitutional in 1918, it was a definite step in the right direction. For it did not allowthe shipment of products that had been made by those under the age of fourteen or the ageof sixteen (the age limit was different for different products). Also in that same year, theAdamson Act was put into effect.
This law required a maximum of no higher than aneight hour work day. This law was mainly meant for railway workers. This law wasconsidered a major victory for railroad unions, a averted a railroad strike in SeptemberWilsons whole form of government during his first term was based on his NewFreedom. In this New Freedom, Wilson put in effect a program to liberate Americaneconomic energies by drastic tariff reduction, strengthening the antitrust laws, andreorganizing of the banking and the credit system (Cink). This was in opposition toTeddy Roosevelts New Nationalism which looked toward sweeping extension offederal