The Legacy of Woodrow Wilson: American War Aims in World War I

By David M. Esposito | Go to book overview
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dependence, and market economics. Transnational corporations, technology and information systems have tied the world more closely together than ever before. Self-determination and collective security are no longer theories or slogans but pivots on which the modern world turns. Above all, there is the revitalized United Nations, more active in establishing peace around the world than at any time in a generation. Without Wilson, his hopes and strategic calculations, perhaps we would still be debating whether such a thing as the League was possible or even desirable. The world may never really be completely safe for democracy, and we surely have not seen the end of war, but the world is demonstrably better off because of him.

As long as his principles live in the hearts and minds of men and women around the world, Woodrow Wilson can never be deprived of glory.


NOTES
1.
An Unpublished Prolegomenon to a Peace Note, [c. November 25, 1916] PWW, XL, 67-9.
2.
For a parallel, but critical, interpretation of Wilson's view of global power politics see Lloyd Ambrosius, Wilsonian Statecraft: Theory and Practice of Liberal Internationalism during World War I ( Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1991).
3.
Whole U.S. regiments went into battle in 1918 without even knowing how to load and fire their rifles. Edward Coffman, The War to End All Wars ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1968), 66.
4.
Gardner, Safe for Democracy, 9.
5.
An Address in Sioux Falls, September 8, 1919, PWW, LXIII, 107-16.

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