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Why Wilson MattersThe Origin of American Liberal Internationalism and Its Crisis Today$
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Tony Smith Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183480

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183480.001.0001

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Woodrow Wilson on Democracy Promotion in America

Woodrow Wilson on Democracy Promotion in America

(p.31) Chapter One Woodrow Wilson on Democracy Promotion in America
Why Wilson Matters

Tony Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses democracy promotion in America, which is the dominant theme of the Wilsonian tradition. The institutions and character that the spirit of democracy calls forth assure that the good functioning of the other aspects of liberal internationalism is reinforced. Woodrow Wilson's guiding concern from a young age was not simply to understand the historical origins of democratic life as a scholar, but as an activist to promote the well-being of democratic society and institutions at home and to do as best he could for the sake of world order to foster such ideals and practices elsewhere around the globe. In order to pursue his life's calling of explaining democracy to his fellow Americans so that its promise would be strengthened, Wilson turned himself to the complex and difficult task of laying out analytically the foundations of this way of life.

Keywords:   democracy promotion, American democracy, Wilsonian tradition, liberal internationalism, Woodrow Wilson, democratic life, democratic society, democratic institutions

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