Chapter

Woodrow Wilson: The Passion of the Converted

Mark Weston Janis

in America and the Law of Nations 1776-1939

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579341
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722653 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579341.003.0009
 Woodrow Wilson: The Passion of the Converted

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‘Wilsonian’ is a term often associated with the cause of international law and organization, but how ‘Wilsonian’ was Woodrow Wilson? This chapter argues that though Wilson long had an interest in international law, he was not for most of his life enamoured of it. Rather, his personal encounter with international law began as an academic sideline; late in life it developed into a matter of concern; and only at the end did it become a passion. Wilson's conversion to international law may have been late, but it had a monumental impact on the discipline he had so long belittled. As Wilson fought rigidly and unsuccessfully for the United States to accept his creation — the League of Nations — he enduringly divided American public opinion on whether or not the law of nations was intrinsically a good thing.

Keywords: Wilsonian; international law; League of Nations

Chapter.  9620 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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