We have not given science too big a place in our education, but we have made a perilous mistake in giving it too great a preponderance in method in every other branch of study.
— Woodrow Wilson
I am not sure that it is of the first importance that you should be happy. Many an unhappy man has been of deep service to himself and to the world.
The awakening of the people of China to the possibilities under free government is the most significant, if not the most momentous, event of our generation.
What we seek is the reign of law, based upon the consent of the governed and sustained by the organized opinion of mankind.
Generally young men are regarded as radicals. This is a popular misconception. The most conservative persons I ever met are college undergraduates. The radicals are the men past middle life.
Tell me what is right and I will fight for it.
In the Lord's Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.
I have come slowly into possession of such powers as I have. I receive the opinions of my day. I do not conceive them. But I receive them into a vivid mind.
When I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see whether he is swelling or growing.
Interest does not tie nations together; it sometimes separates them. But sympathy and understanding does unite them.
As compared with the college politician, the real article seems like an amateur.
Absolute identity with one's cause is the first and great condition of successful leadership.
There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.
A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits.
The seed of revolution is repression.
If you think too much about being re-elected, it is very difficult to be worth re-electing.
By 'radical,' I understand one who goes too far; by 'conservative', one who does not go far enough; by 'reactionary', one who won't go at all.
The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.
The question of armaments, whether on land or sea, is the most immediately and intensely practical question connected with the future fortunes of nations and of mankind.
A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible.
I will not speak with disrespect of the Republican Party. I always speak with respect of the past.
My own ideals for the university are those of a genuine democracy and serious scholarship. These two, indeed, seem to go together.
Princeton is no longer a thing for Princeton men to please themselves with. Princeton is a thing with which Princeton men must satisfy the country.
The method of political science is the interpretation of life; its instrument is insight, a nice understanding of subtle, unformulated conditions.
America lives in the heart of every man everywhere who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses.
Democracy is not so much a form of government as a set of principles.
That a peasant may become king does not render the kingdom democratic.
There is little for the great part of the history of the world except the bitter tears of pity and the hot tears of wrath.
America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us.
I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a cause that will some day lose.
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.
There are blessed intervals when I forget by one means or another that I am President of the United States.
Every man who takes office in Washington either grows or swells, and when I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see whether he is growing or swelling.
Politics I conceive to be nothing more than the science of the ordered progress of society along the lines of greatest usefulness and convenience to itself.
Property as compared with humanity, as compared with the red blood in the American people, must take second place, not first place.
The world is not looking for servants, there are plenty of these, but for masters, men who form their purposes and then carry them out, let the consequences be what they may.
Caution is the confidential agent of selfishness.
You cannot, in human experience, rush into the light. You have to go through the twilight into the broadening day before the noon comes and the full sun is upon the landscape.
Neutrality is a negative word. It does not express what America ought to feel. We are not trying to keep out of trouble; we are trying to preserve the foundations on which peace may be rebuilt.
My dream of politics all my life has been that it is the common business, that it is something we owe to each other to understand and discuss with absolute frankness.
Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world.
He is not a true man of the world who knows only the present fashions of it.
So far as the colleges go, the sideshows are swallowing up the circus.
The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty.
It is like writing history with lightning and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.
Never attempt to murder a man who is committing suicide.
Business underlies everything in our national life, including our spiritual life. Witness the fact that in the Lord's Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.
If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it.
I have long enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Republicans because I am by instinct a teacher, and I would like to teach them something.
A conservative is someone who makes no changes and consults his grandmother when in doubt.