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Wilson Thomas Woodrow 28th president of the United States enacted significant reform legislation and led the United States during World War I Wilsons belief in international cooperation through an association of nations led to the creation of the League of Nations and ultimately to the United Nations More than any president before him Wilson was responsible for increasing United States participation in world affairs A political novice who had held only one public office before becoming president Wilson possessed considerable political skill Wilson was born to religious and well-educated people mainly of Scottish background Wilsons father Joseph Ruggles Wilson studied for the clergy at the Presbyterian-directed College of New Jersey now Princeton University There in 1856 Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born the first son and third child Wilson had a good singing voice and played the violin The Civil War 1861-1865 was difficult for the Wilsons Dr Wilson was an ardent Confederate sympathizer and young Wilson witnessed the ruthless behavior of federal troops who under General William T Sherman invaded Georgia and South Carolina Wilson remained a Southerner throughout his life Wilsons was educated partly at home and partly at private schools in Augusta and after 1870 in war-ravaged Columbia South Carolina to which the Wilsons moved Like his father young Wilson had great admiration for English letters and history The young Wilson took a moral and religious attitude toward society In 1873 Wilson attended Davidson College a small Presbyterian school in North Carolina of which his father was a trustee Wilson worked less hard at achieving high grades than at deciding upon a career The essay revealed Wilsons gift for dramatizing ideas and giving them simple and urgent form His criticism of the powerful committees that dominated the Congress of the United States was largely a criticism of the Congress that had dictated policy to the defeated Southern states during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War but Wilsons essay went beyond sectional feelings
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