What is a summary of Woodrow Wilson's "New Freedom" platform?


Quick Answer

Woodrow Wilson's "New Freedom" platform for the 1912 presidential election focused on providing support for small businessmen and small farmers while attacking the trusts, banks and tariffs. "New Freedom" subsequently became what his entire 1912-1916 presidential term was referred to after he won the election.

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Full Answer

Wilson believed that the trusts, banks and tariffs were a "triple wall of privilege" and needed to be stopped. He wanted to believe in the America that Thomas Jefferson had believed in, which was full of educated individual farmers. Wilson knew that the banks were squeezing money from small businesses and small farmers. He also knew that tariffs would help immense industries instead of the small businessmen or farmers. He believed that all large trusts were bad.

President Woodrow Wilson was a Democrat who was elected by the majority of the Electoral College voters, so he had a greater influence of control once sworn in. Additionally, the Senate and the House of Representatives were controlled by Democrats at the time, so Wilson had an easy time setting his "New Freedom" plan into motion. He was able to accomplish the take-down of all three "walls of privilege" as he called them before World War I started in his second term.

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