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Bitter Rivals Woodrow Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge Political rivalries define American government The dual-party system by nature sets up partisan rivalries between members of all three branches of our government rivalries that have at times pushed our government to progress and at other times slowed it to a grinding halt The contrasting backgrounds and resulting political ideologies of Woodrow Wilson and Henry Cabot Lodge created a modern rivalry that defined American foreign policy in the twentieth century Woodrow Wilsons religious background and academic pursuits shaped his personality into one characterized by impatience Born in Virginia in 1856 Wilson grew up around strict Calvinist doctrine in the Presbyterian church Lafeber 269-270 This theology served as the foundation for all of Wilsons endeavors as he believed he was guided by Gods will Lafeber 270 The future Presidents first career path was law but Wilsons inability to excel in the field bred in him distaste for the profession Wilson hastily abandoned any thoughts of being a lawyer and pursued an academic career in political science His refusal to give his law profession time to prosper represents a larger trend in Wilsons behavior of acting rashly when faced with adversity Despite this impatience he quickly rose to a high level of respect as a political scientist while attending Princeton University Lafeber 269 Wilsons faith in God bred from his Calvinist upbringing further fueled his impatient personality as he believed that God would eventually guide him in the right direction if he made efforts to improve Lafeber 270 This impatience defined most of Wilsons political philosophies and foreign policies Like Wilson Henry Cabot Lodges educational background shaped his views toward American foreign policy His family instilled in Lodge conservative values that melded the Senator as a man whose nature and upbringing disposed him to be out of step with his times His fiery personality that emerged during Lodges tenure as a Senator was most likely a direct result
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