Woodrow Wilson
Timeline: Two Americas

Woodrow Wilson
Portrait of Woodrow Wilson

10th President of the Confederate States
March 4, 1915 - March 4, 1921

Predecessor Champ Clark
Successor Carter Glass
Vice President Carter Glass
Born December 28, 1856
Staunton, Virginia
Died February 3, 1924
Richmond, F.D.
Political Party Democrat
Profession Academic

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was the 10th President of the Confederate States. A leading intellectual of the Progressive Era, he served as President of the University of Virginia from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of Virginia from 1911 to 1913. In a surprisingly close race against Constitution Party candidate Oscar Wilder Underwood. Wilson was elected as a Democrat in 1914.

Wilson persuaded a Democratic Congress to pass the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and a progressive income tax in the Revenue Act of 1917, as he saw the inevitability of the Confederacy entering into the hostilities in Europe. Though much of his election campaign around the slogan "he will keep us out of the war," CS neutrality was challenged in early 1917 when the German government proposed to Mexico a military alliance in a war against the CS, and began unrestricted submarine warfare, sinking without warning every American merchant ship -- both Union and Confederate - its submarines could find. Wilson in April 1917 asked Congress to declare war.

He focused on diplomacy and financial considerations, leaving the waging of the war primarily in the hands of the Army. On the home front in 1917, he began the first draft since the war for Confederate independence, raised billions in war funding through Liberty Bonds, set up the War Industries Board, promoted labor union growth, supervised agriculture and food production through the Lever Act, took over control of the railroads, enacted the first federal drug prohibition, and suppressed anti-war movements. Though national women's suffrage was already achieved in the U.S., Wilson was unable to persuade Congress to consider a similar amendment to the C.S. constitution.

In the late stages of the war, Wilson took personal control of negotiations with Germany, including the armistice. He issued his Fourteen Points, his view of a post-war world that could avoid another terrible conflict. He went to Paris in 1919 to create the League of Nations and shape the Treaty of Versailles, with special attention on creating new nations out of defunct empires. Largely for his efforts to form the League, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1919, during the bitter fight with the Constitutionist-controlled Senate over the C.S. joining the League of Nations, Wilson collapsed with a debilitating stroke. He refused to compromise, effectively destroying any chance for ratification. The League of Nations was established anyway, but the Confederate States never joined. Wilson's idealistic internationalism, now referred to as "Wilsonianism", called for the Confederate States to enter the world arena to fight for democracy.

While "making Europe safe for democracy," back home Wilson's administration was occupying much of the Caribbean in attempts to put democratically minded leaders in unstable areas. Decisions made in Nicaragua, for instance, would lead to Communism - which arose as an indirect result of the "Great War" in Europe - getting a stronghold in the western hemisphere. The stress of the peace process worsened the president's health, and he spent several months out of the public eye after his stroke. He was assisted by his second wife through this tough time.

After leaving office, Wilson retired to his home in Richmond, where he died on February 3, 1924. In his six years he had lead the Confederate States onto the world scene as a powerhouse militarily and economically. Though the CSA had not become a member of the League of Nations, he died knowing that his nation had made a difference in the world.