Constitution 201

“Woodrow Wilson and the Rejection of the Founders’ Constitution”

Overview

Woodrow Wilson argued that the separation of powers established by the Constitution prevented truly democratic government.  In order to render government more accountable to public opinion, Wilson held that the business of politics—namely, elections—should be separated from the administration of government, which would be overseen by nonpartisan, and therefore neutral, experts.  The president, as the only nationally elected public official, best embodies the will of the people, resulting in a legislative mandate.

Lecture

Readings

Note: all readings link to Hillsdale's online Constitution Reader, also available at ConstitutionReader.com.

Required:

  1. Woodrow Wilson - "What is Progress?" - Excerpt 1
  2. Woodrow Wilson - "The President of the United States" - Excerpt 1
  3. Woodrow Wilson - "The President of the United States" - Excerpt 2
  4. Woodrow Wilson - "The Study of Administration" - Excerpt 1
  5. Woodrow Wilson - "The Study of Administration" - Excerpt 2
  6. Woodrow Wilson - "The Study of Administration" - Excerpt 3

Supplementary:

Download a PDF of the Week 3 supplementary readings
.

Q & A Session

Audio-Only Version

Download Audio

Quiz

Please note: in order to take the quiz, you must log in to your account.

Don't have an Online Courses account yet? Register for a free account now!

Ronald J. Pestritto is the Charles and Lucia Shipley Professor in the American Constitution at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University.