Wilson, Woodrow°

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WILSON, WOODROW ° (1856–1924), 27th president of the United States (1913–21). Wilson tried to remain neutral during World War i but finally led his country into the conflict. After victory, he helped design the Versailles settlement, to which the U.S. Senate refused assent. Although Louis D. *Brandeis, whom Wilson appointed to the Supreme Court, oriented the president to the Zionist program, Wilson's prior approval of the Balfour Declaration derived from Allied grand strategy. Thereafter, Wilson displayed increased interest in the Jewish National Home concept and on several occasions gave it his public blessing, much to the chagrin of State Department personnel. Wilson also helped write into the 1919 treaties guarantees for the minority enclaves (including Jews) in the newly created states of eastern Europe. Wilson's benevolence toward Zionist aspirations reflected his concern for all suppressed nationalities and an idealism toward the future of the Holy Land stemming from a rich Christian background. In Wilson's day, the affinity between the United States and world Jewry was translated into Zionist terms.


Adler, in: jsos, 10 (1948), 303–34; Lebow, in: Journal of Modern History, 40 (1968), 501–23.

[Selig Adler]