Woodrow Wilson Speech Analysis

An Analysis of President Woodrow Wilson’s Address in Pueblo, Colorado
The international system Woodrow Wilson sought to establish represented his principles. Wilson wanted to establish a system of international governance that encouraged global reform and peace (Rosenberg 63). A large part of this envisioned system consisted of the League of Nations, an organization designed to defend world peace and order. Yet despite being an avowed pacifist (Merrill and Paterson 49), Wilson is perhaps best known for his role in bringing America into World War I. After the war, he attempted to capitalize upon global momentum for reform by advocating American entry into the League of Nations. But Wilson faced a great deal of domestic opposition to this proposal.
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He does so in suggesting that the involvement of the United States is critical for the success of the League of Nations. Wilson states at the beginning of the speech that “great injustices” ran throughout the European and Asian systems, and advocated treaties associated with the League as a means of fixing these injustices (2). Later in the speech, Wilson suggests more broadly that the international community needed space to “cool off” from the “passions of nations” (12). But to do so, the participation of the “great Governments of the world” is necessary (3). This implies the necessity of American participation in and supervision of the League. These comments indicate that Wilson viewed the world as chaotic and in need of an overarching international system. In essence, Wilson argues that the war in Europe epitomized greater problems present in the world and that the League of Nations is a means of fixing these problems, but it needed American …show more content…
The core implicit idea of Wilson’s speech is that the war was meaningful and that its progress must be protected. The war, as Wilson portrays it, represented a call to defend democracy and international order (Merrill and Paterson 31). Wilson shows that the U.S. must honor both the financial and personal commitment that the war took. To demonstrate that the war’s greater meaning must be defended, Wilson asks “What of our pledges to the men that lie dead in France?” (10). This implicit idea is largely due to Wilson’s own outlook. Wilson, being a principled, religious man, likely needed to justify the war using those very same principles. The language of the speech illustrates a moral burden that Wilson confronted as a result of ordering American troops to their deaths (10). If the war had no meaning as a struggle against autocracy, Wilson had shed American blood with little inherent

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