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What Was Woodrow Wilson’s Plan To Win the Presidency?

Woodrow Wilson had served two full terms as President of the United States. Being the only president to attain a Ph.D., his doctorate in political science aided him in times of crisis, especially during his uncertain renomination for the presidential elections. 

Before Woodrow Wilson secured his renomination against Charles Hughes, Wilson devised a plan to give Hughes the presidency early to avoid the period between Hugh’s election and inauguration.  

Woodrow Wilson’s and His Beginnings

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who we all know now as the 28th United States President, was born in Staunton, Virginia, on December 28, 1856. Before pursuing law at the University of Virginia, Wilson had graduated from Princeton University.

Esteemed to be the only United States President to acquire a Ph.D. degree, he earned his doctorate in political science from the John Hopkins University in 1886 after practicing law in Georgia, Atlanta. With his educational attainment, he became a professor at Bryn Mawr College and Wesleyan College.

He then transferred to teaching at Princeton University in 1890, where he became a professor of jurisprudence and politics. Twelve years pass, and he’s climbed his way to the top by being the president of Princeton. He served as the head of Princeton for eight years, with his name becoming widespread through the educational reform policies he established.

With that said, he infamously hindered the enrollment of Black students into Princeton University. In 1902, he published a textbook entitled The History of the American People that heavily romanticized the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan. 

With his career in politics, Woodrow Wilson first gathered a national reputation as a reformer in 1910 when he was elected governor of New Jersey. Two years pass and in 1912, Woodrow Wilson became the presidential pick of the Democrats with Thomas Marshall as his vice president. Wilson emerged victorious, gaining 42% of the vote with Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft as his competition. (Source: History

The Strategized Presidential Plan

Before it became official for Woodrow Wilson to serve his second term, a period occurred during 1916 when he worried about his slim chances of winning against his rival, Charles Evan Hughes. 

In the beginning, success seemed to be evident for Hughes as bulletins that favored Hughes became prevalent. Soon enough, more and more tallies came in, and eventually, Wilson once again succeeded in the presidential elections.

Unbeknownst to many, Wilson had secretly devised a plan he would execute if Hughes were to win the elections. This plan aimed to give the presidency early as Wilson deemed that waiting a long transition would pose much risk in the American war diplomacy.

Wilson devised to appoint Hughes as the secretary of state to replace Robert Lansing. Once Hughes took this role, President Wilson and Vice President Thomas Marshall would resign, prematurely making Hughes the President of the United States.

What would it be my duty to do were Mr. Hughes to be elected? Four months would elapse before he could take charge of the affairs of the government, and during those four months, I would be without such moral backing from the nation as would be necessary to steady and control our relations with other governments. I would be known to be the rejected, not the accredited, spokesman of the country; and yet the accredited spokesman would be without legal authority to speak for the nation. Such a situation would be fraught with the gravest dangers.

Woodrow Wilson

(Source: Lawfare)

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