Home / Politics / In the Battle Between Woodrow and Wilson, Wilson Lost. So Did the World.
Print Friendly and PDF

In the Battle Between Woodrow and Wilson, Wilson Lost. So Did the World.

Written by Gary North on July 25, 2014

Judge Andrew Napolitano has written a book, Theodore and Woodrow. It is on the first decades of the 20th century, when the Progressive movement captured American politics. Except for the 1920’s — Harding and Coolidge — Progressivism has never surrendered political control in the United States.

I spoke with him on July 22, at Mises University, the annual week-long training program for undergraduates, which is sponsored by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He was presenting a week-long series of lectures on the Constitution and the free market. The students get very good training on how the United States Constitution has been reinterpreted over the years, especially during the Progressive era.

I gave him some background that almost nobody knows. The essence of the battle for constitutional interpretation in the 20th century is found in the names “Woodrow” and “Wilson.”


Woodrow Wilson’s full name was Thomas Woodrow Wilson, but he never went by Thomas. He always went by Woodrow. Woodrow is a strange name for a little boy to have. It is certainly a strange first name. As a middle name, it was okay, because it was his mother’s maiden name. So is my middle name. But I do not call myself by this middle name.

Woodrow Wilson’s father was Joseph Ruggles Wilson. He was the senior permanent bureaucrat in the southern Presbyterian Church in the late 19th century. He maintained the position of Stated Clerk for a third of a century. He was part of what was known as Old School Presbyterianism. This was the most conservative theological faction in 19th-century America — the true hard-liners. They were committed to a long document, the Westminster Confession of Faith (1648), plus two other documents, the Shorter Catechism in the Larger Catechism. These are the most detailed creedal documents in American history.

The position of the Old School was this: in order to become an elder in the Presbyterian Church, you had to swear your allegiance to these three long, highly detailed documents. A candidate for eldership was allowed certain reservations or exceptions, but these had to be approved by the presbytery, the regional bureaucratic structure. This applied to teaching elders (ministers/preachers) and ruling elders (laymen who had votes in the local congregation and the presbytery). In terms of Constitutional language, these were “original intent” interpreters of the foundational documents, i.e., the strict constructionists.

(For the rest of the article, click the link.)

Continue Reading on www.garynorth.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

6 thoughts on “In the Battle Between Woodrow and Wilson, Wilson Lost. So Did the World.

  1. Great article! I totally agree, but it again took our "women alone" to place US with the only Non-Anglo-Saxon or Jew to lead Anglo-Saxons and Jews in 6,000 years, or the "forbidden foreigner" predicted in Deuteronomy 17:15, when Hawah(Eve) got kicked out of "the garden of Eden" for the same thing then! Remember the Cain & Able story, who was not "able" to stop his murder with obvious inside help? Nothing new under the sun folks and "we the people" haven't seen anything yet regarding "Yahaqob's(Jacob's) trouble," watch…

  2. Excellent analysis. It'll be something to ruminate on for some time. I'm reminded of Wilson's "I am a most unhappy man" statement when the Frankenstein monster of the Federal Reserve commandeered the country and Wilson was powerless to stop it. His ideas had consequences, indeed…

  3. profitup10 says:

    1912 PROGRESSIVE PARTY PLATFORM IS IN HERE http://articlevprojecttorestoreliberty.com/histor


  4. bottom feeders have been trying to redefine the constitution ever sence it was witten. if they ever succede we will all be slaves

  5. Writer Gary North should look up the meaning of "grasping at straws," since he is so adept at it.

    And all of his detailed description of the changes in the Presbyterian Church can be boiled down to an American rejection of its Calvinist belief of predestination, that only certain "elect" would be saved, and no matter how good you were, if you were not part of that predestined elect, you would not be saved.

    Although some revolutionary Americans called themselves Whigs, it was the similarity of their belief in the supremacy of Congress over the president with that of the British Whig Party who believed in Parliament being superior to the king. The actual American Whig Party was not formed until 1833, and it lasted to only 1860.

    That the U.S. Constitution is based on the "Whig-Newtonian" view of the world is abject nonsense.

  6. It’s like the Bible says, in their attempt to become wise they become fools.

    Or what I like to say, in their attempt to become wise, they become wise-asses! Almost all liberals are smart-alecks if you care to notice.