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Wilson, Woodrow (Administration)

Histories of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency (1913–1921) often focus on his internationalism, particularly his role in bringing the United States into World War I. However, during the first of his two terms in office, Wilson undertook significant domestic action that served the interests of the poor.

In 1910, while serving as president of Princeton University, Wilson was elected governor of New Jersey. He ran as a strong Progressive, surprising state Democratic Party leaders who had nominated him based on his reputation as a moderate. During his brief tenure as governor, Wilson succeeded in creating a state Public Utilities Commission, establishing a statewide accident insurance program, and enacting massive electoral reform, including the introduction of party primary elections in New Jersey.

In 1912, Wilson was elected president of the ...

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