A Peaceful ConquestWoodrow Wilson, Religion, and the New World Order

A Peaceful ConquestWoodrow Wilson, Religion, and the New World Order

Cara Lea Burnidge

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780226232317

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

A century after his presidency, Woodrow Wilson remains one of the most compelling and complicated figures ever to occupy the Oval Office. A political outsider, Wilson brought to the presidency a distinctive, strongly held worldview, built on powerful religious traditions that informed his idea of America and its place in the world. This book presents a detailed analysis of how Wilson's religious beliefs affected his vision of American foreign policy, with repercussions that lasted into the Cold War and beyond. Framing Wilson's intellectual development in relationship to the national religious landscape, and paying attention to the role of religion, the book shows how Wilson's blend of Southern evangelicalism and social Christianity became a central part of how America saw itself in the world, influencing seemingly secular policy decisions in subtle, lasting ways. Ultimately, the book makes a case for Wilson's religiosity as one of the key drivers of the emergence of the public conception of America's unique, indispensable role in international relations.