Woodrow Wilson's Legacy Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

The word leadership can be defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. This word comes from the verb ‘to lead’, meaning to influence or induce, or to guide. As head of the country, the capability to lead, and to do so effectively plays a key part in the country’s opinion on the president during and after their term(s). The legacy left behind this leadership also plays a key role in its effectiveness. President Woodrow Wilson provides a primary illustration of this type of legacy. Though he achieved many goals throughout the course of his two-term presidency, the passing of the Federal Reserve Act was one of the fundamental events that occurred under his administration. It could be argued that Wilson’s signing of the Federal Reserve Act does not show effective leadership; however, his willingness to sign off on to a document with which he didn’t agree with personally shows his capability to put the country before himself, and make decisions that he believes will benefit the people, which can be considered an important quality of leadership. Woodrow Wilson’s signing of the controversial Federal Reserve Act can be considered a portrayal of effective leadership because the system that was created by the act erased the common status of economic instability present at the time, the act was still signed even though at the time more than half of the country disagreed with it, and the end results of his decision to sign the act left a legacy that has lasted until modern times.
To begin, before the creation of the Federal Reserve, a long lasting and efficient banking system in the United States did not exist. In 1791, the First Bank arises, and stands in history today as the first attempt at a national banking system. As the charter keeping the bank alive continued, the large influence that it had over the nation scared the people, leading to the charter not being renewed after it ended in 1811 (New York Fed). The bill promoting the Second Bank of the United States was introduced to Congress in 1816. This bank was similar to the first in the aspect that it had great power, and the people thought of this much power ‘wielded to so few men’ as being illogical. This bank’s charter was also not renewed once it ended. (New York Fed). The National Banking System that followed also ended in failure. Throughout the trial and error process used in the creation of these banks, the economy continually grew worse. Economic instability was common in households and panics continued to occur. In 1907, a particularly severe panic occurred and forced several banks into failure. . Woodrow Wilson was elected in 1912, and entered the office in 1913. Having been the president of Princeton University and governor of New Jersey, he was accustomed to how to affectively rule over a body of people and how to lead effectively. He saw the need for a financial system so that the country did not fall into economic ruin, and as all good leaders do, began...

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