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Woodrow Wilson's Administration and Achievements
written by "Lord, Frank B."
...ssible candidate. In March, 1913, he had seemed almost like an outside expert called in for temporary service in readjusting some of the problems of public life; he was by no means the leader of the party. But long before Bryan resigned in alarm at the tendencies of a foreign policy over which the Secretary of State had no control the President had become the leader of the party, and by 1916 he was almost the only leader of prominence. In the record on which the electorate was to express its judgment only a minor place was taken by the issues which had seemed of such importance in 1913. The Federal Reserve Act had already proved its value so well that it was being taken as a matter of course, and people were forgetting that they had ever had to depend on a currency which ran for cover in every crisis and on a banking system where each bank was a source of weakness to its neighbors instead of strength. What effect the Underwood-Simmons Tariff and other measures of the first year might have had on American business no man could say, for conditions created by the war had left America the only great producer in a world of impatient consumers whose wants had to be met at any price. Mexico, which had provided the most pressing problem in foreign affairs during the Taft Administration, was still an unsolved problem in 1916, and more disturbing than ever. The President had indeed avoided war with Mexico, but had become involved in two invasions of the country and in an expensive mobilization. During the 1916 election the nation had in Mexico most of the drawbacks of war without any of the possible benefits. In forcing out Huerta the President had indeed won a notable diplomatic triumph, but he had not succeeded either in winning greater security for American life and property or in getting a Mexican Government more disposed to good relations with the United States; and the Republicans maintained that war had been avoided only at the sacrifice of both American pres...

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