Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was the American president during the first world war. He was born in Virginia during the year 1856 and died in February 4th in the year the 1924. He won election in 1912 with 42% of the vote. During the World war his slogan was ”He kept us out of war” and was reelected in 1916. However after the discovery of the Zimmerman telegraph which was a message from Germany to the Mexicans asking them to declare war on America and the sinking of the Lusitania a commercial ship sunk by German U-boats Woodrow Wilson asked congress for a deceleration of war in the year 1917 April 2nd. What Woodrow Wilson was most famous for however was his fourteen points which he gave at congress in January 1918 and was the terms in which Germany and the triple entrant signed an armistice. His fourteen points were based around the idea that governments should be able to make their own decisions that that everyone was given equal rights to live where they want and to be governed by whom they wanted. He was a pioneer in politics in his time campaigning for every one to have the chance for a Republic and to have the right to decide what happens. I chose him because I am fascinated with politics and how the world works and he was a very advanced person for his time which makes me want to learn more about how he was raised and what made him the person he was.

Wilson was married two times first to Ellen Louise Axson who was an extremely smart and talented artist. The two of them had three daughters. However Wilson had an affair while on a trip to Bermuda but the pair of them moved on from that incident. Ellen died in Wilson’s first year of office from kidney disease. A few months after his wives death he met a women named Edith Bolling Galt  and by late December 1915 the two were married. Wilson trusted Edith with codes allowing her access to confidential war documents and allowed her to sit in many of his meetings in the oval office . After Wilson had his second stroke in October 1919 Edith hid how severe his illness was and started to make decisions for him, because of this Edith is considered to be the first female president.

His fourteen points were as follows


1. No more secret agreements

2. Free navigation of all seas

3. An end to economic barriers between countries

4.Countries should lower weapon numbers

5. All decisions between colonies should be impartial

6. The German army must be removed from Russia

7.Belgium should be independent

8. France should be fully liberated

9.All Italians should be allowed to live in Italy

10.Self -determination should be allowed for everyone living in Austria-Hungary

11. Self-determination should be allowed to all Balkan states

12.The Turkish people should be governed by Turkish government

13.An independent  Poland should be created

14. A league of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial independence of all states

During the Treaty of Versailles instead of wanting Germany to be overly punished he wanted  to keep the punishment to a minimum and try remove American soldiers and influence from Europe.

One of his greatest achievements apart from helping win the war was receiving the Nobel Peace prize in May 5th. He received the war for starting a League of Nations which was supposed to be a sort of UN. He created the league of nations to make sure that peace was ensured after the war ended. However the American senate did not allow America to enter the League of Nations and it thus never became a real organization.

He also signed the 19th amendment of the American constitution which gave women the right to vote. In fact when the women rights movement was starting he actively supported their cause and with members of the senate fought and won the right for women to vote.






I could not get the pictures to work so type in Woodrow Wilson in Google then the treaty of Versailles- big four


What to do about the Senate?

The Canadian Senate

As was mentioned in class last week, there has been much discussion in Ottawa (and across the country) about the state of affairs in Canada’s Senate to the point that this week the NDP has tabled a bill which proposes abolishing the Red Chamber altogether.

But before we get to all of that, a little background (courtesy of Wikipedia):

The Senate of Canada (French: Sénat du Canada) is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the House of Commons, and the monarch (represented by the governor general). The Senate is modelled after the House of Lords and consists of 105 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister. Seats are assigned on a regional basis, with each of the four major regions receiving 24 seats, and the remainder of the available seats being assigned to smaller regions. The four major regions are Ontario, Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and the Western provinces. The seats for Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut are assigned apart from these regional divisions. Senators may serve until they reach the age of 75.

The Senate is the upper house of Parliament, and the House of Commons is the lower house. This does not, however, imply that the Senate is more powerful than the House of Commons, merely that its members and officers outrank the members and officers of the House of Commons in the order of precedence for the purposes of protocol. Indeed, as a matter of practice and custom, the Commons is by far the dominant chamber. Although the approval of both houses is necessary for legislation, the Senate rarely rejects bills passed by the directly elected Commons. Moreover, the government is responsible solely to the House of Commons; the Prime Minister of Canada and Cabinet stay in office only while they retain the confidence of the Commons. The Senate does not exercise any such control. Although legislation can normally be introduced in either house, the majority of government bills originate in the House of Commons. Under the Constitution, money bills must always originate in the House of Commons.

So what to make of the discussion of the Senate in recent weeks? (See the links below to get a clearer picture of the situation.) 

Despite Senate reform being part of Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party platform during their minority governments, the recent controversy began surrounding several Senators’ places of residence, and whether they were eligible to claim travel benefits and living expenses from the government (one of these Senators, Conservative appointee Patrick Brazeau, was also arrested for assault related to a domestic disturbance in one of his homes).

Suffice it to say that the above flurry of relevant current events has sparked much legal debate about how Senators’ expense reports are documented and overseen by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (who the Toronto Star recently hailed as a “National Hero“), and even prompted the Senate to seek out a way to have Kevin Page drop his legal challenge against the federal government for failing to disclose its data.

BC has introduced in its own legislature a bill to elect its own Senators, following reforms in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and Conservatives in the House of Commons await advice from the Supreme Court as to whether Stephen Harper can begin reforming the Senate without approval from the provinces.

Not only that, in a bold play that some of the linked headlines might make slightly more feasible, the NDP has tabled bills in the House of Commons that – among other things – propose “immediate steps towards abolishing” the upper chamber.

It is indeed an exciting time to be engaged with our Federal politics, as these to gentlemen may agree:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBycHDhNxuk]

Further Reading:

Quebec’s Senate appeal proceeds ahead of Supreme Court case

House votes to keep Senate