Presidents Who Made The Most Important Contributions To Civil Rights?

Apr 2015
281
USA
#11
That is true if we are confining our sample to history buffs. Everybody else only knows that he mid-wifed the League of Nations into existence(if that much).

Hey, look at this -

Presidents and others who were members of the KKK

They kicked Truman out because he wanted to let the Catholics join!

I'm going to guess that back then politicians didn't get elected down South without the KKK endorsement, and maybe not just down south.
I think its common knowledge that Wilson showed the film The Birth of a Nation in the White House. Isn't it?
 

Lucius

Forum Staff
Jan 2007
16,363
Nebraska
#12
I think its common knowledge that Wilson showed the film The Birth of a Nation in the White House. Isn't it?
Again; yes, it is common knowledge among history buffs. Among the general population however, I daresay, hmmmm, half, would even know that the US had a President by that name.
 
Jan 2008
18,733
Chile, Santiago
#13
That is true if we are confining our sample to history buffs. Everybody else only knows that he mid-wifed the League of Nations into existence(if that much).
I would take a bet with you, that if some sort of poll was taken of non-history buffs regarding what (if anything) they knew about Woodrow Wilson, more people would recall that he was a colossal racist than would remember him as the father of the League of Nations.

Again; yes, it is common knowledge among history buffs. Among the general population however, I daresay, hmmmm, half, would even know that the US had a President by that name.
And only a fraction of those would even know what the League of Nations was, most likely. :(
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,141
Albuquerque, NM
#15
Not this one, and not for his prejudices alone. For me, Wilson stands only marginally above Franklin Pierce and Nixon's betrayal of trust.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,431
#17
Not this one, and not for his prejudices alone. For me, Wilson stands only marginally above Franklin Pierce and Nixon's betrayal of trust.
Maybe his national self determination policies were good for the US in the long run. He seemed to have kind of botched the peace negotiations though, with his moralistic approach, with agreeing to French demands to push Germany that may have helped cause WWII, and with his not getting the Senate to ratify the treaty.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,141
Albuquerque, NM
#20
I have ambivalent feelings about the Federal Reserve. One of the topics I've been meaning to look into is a comparison of Bank of the United States and the Federal Reserve signed into law in 1913, and amended thereafter.

It seems to me that the Federal Government has an implied duty to maintain a common currency, and, in the regulation of Interstate Commerce, control over the national economy. Two hundred years ago the solution was to charter a bank that would be the central hub from which the supply of currency could be stabilized without the Federal Government actually getting its hands dirty by becoming involved in matters outside the Constitutional constraints. Jackson, taking a progressive Westerner's POV, wanted the Federal Government to expand its development of infrastructure in what was then the Frontier. The Bank of the United States, was more conservative and was justly accused of looking after the financial interests of the Seaboard, rather than out on the frontier.

Jackson fought the war, and claimed victory. However, the economic dislocation of the battle over renewing the Bank Charter, resulted in banking chaos and a severe Depression during the Van Burin administration. From that time until the creation of the Federal Reserve, American Businesses had more or less a clear field to exploit while the Federal Government was never more than marginally successful in curbing economic and currency problems. The Federal Reserve Act had some role to play in the U.S. participation in the Great War, but how important and extensive, I'm unsure.

After the Great Crash in 1929, many banks and other financial institutions collapsed almost over-night. 1933, the Fed, began insuring deposits of approved banks up to $100K. That has protected American citizens from a lot of heartache. The Fed really gained a lot during FDR's New Deal, and after WWII it has played an important role in stabilizing the economy. The US, and most major nations, do not have sufficient reserve metals (Gold and Silver) to back more than a fraction of the currency required to run government and participate in the big money transactions common today.

Our currency, without a standard valuation, floats between Supply and Demand. When demand for currency is large, a dollar gains value, but when the printed currency outstrips deman, the value of a dollar decreases. If you print too much currency, then inflation begins. If uncurbed, uncontrolled, inflation makes the currency worthless, and you can't buy a loaf of bread for under a million dollars, and hoarding of goods and services results. If the currency supply becomes too low, the cost of borrowing rockets upward and no one can afford to invest or start new business. In either case, there is a national disaster waiting in the wings. Someone, with a lot of economic savvy has to be in control of the currency and involved in managing the national economy to provide a steady, but stable growth. Certainly the job is far beyond anything we could let Congress get involved in. Do you trust anyone from President to the Secretary of the Treasury to manage the economy skillfully, in a non-partisan way?

I know a lot of folks for whom the Federal Reserve is un-constitutional, and a scheme to maintain and grow the wealth of a few. There is some logic to their argument, but it is over simplified. The topic really should recieve more attention.
 

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