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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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Democracy Promotion through Progressive Imperialism

Democracy Promotion through Progressive Imperialism

(p.65) Chapter Two Democracy Promotion through Progressive Imperialism
Why Wilson Matters

Tony Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Woodrow Wilson's efforts, first as an academic, later as president of the United States, to promote democracy through “progressive imperialism.” A first step for Wilson was to embrace America's democratizing mission in the Philippines. Later, he would continue in this fashion after he became president and faced the challenge of providing stability in the Western Hemisphere during the Mexican Revolution and with the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914—the same year that war broke out in Europe. Wilson's driving concern now became focused: how to provide for a stable peace based on freedom. His answer: through protecting, indeed if possible expanding, democratic government the world around as the best way to end violence among states and provide freedom to peoples.

Keywords:   Woodrow Wilson, democracy, progressive imperialism, Philippines, Mexican Revolution, Panama Canal, freedom, democratic government

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