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A Peaceful ConquestWoodrow Wilson, Religion, and the New World Order$
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Cara Lea Burnidge

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226232317

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226232454.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2019

From Reconstruction to Regeneration

From Reconstruction to Regeneration

Chapter:
(p.10) 1 From Reconstruction to Regeneration
Source:
A Peaceful Conquest
Author(s):

Cara Lea Burnidge

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226232454.003.0002

This chapter provides foundational information for Wilson's religious self-description. Historians situate Wilson's ideological development within southern Presbyterianism, but rarely do they acknowledge how Presbyterianism, a religious institution with its own body of thought, changed between 1856 and 1924. The chapter locates Presbyterianism within white southern evangelical culture and the significant changes that shaped its development in the long nineteenth century. Rather than approach religion, race, gender, and politics as separate portions of Wilson's conceptual framework, it presents Wilson as an intersectional figure whose place within society and self-understanding resulted from multiple forms of privilege. From his family's support of the Confederacy to his tenure at Princeton, Wilson valued a social order that expected educated white male leaders to serve “the least” among them. Those who espoused this conception of society reinforced social divisions even as they sought to penetrate them with a Christian ethic of service.

Keywords:   Woodrow Wilson, religious self-description, Presbyterianism, social order, white southern evangelical culture

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