Wilson championed progressive reforms to address social and economic injustices, including laws regulating child labor, establishing workers’ compensation programs, and instituting eight-hour workdays for railroad workers. Some reforms have been modified or superseded since Wilson, but the broader principles of progressive governance, including efforts to protect workers’ rights and promote social welfare, remain relevant in contemporary policymaking.

Wilson’s legacy also includes contradictions. He advocated for democratic principles on the global stage and championed the concept of self-determination for nations, but at home his administration perpetuated segregationist policies and tolerated racial discrimination.

Wilson’s life and legacy are a reminder that even our most revered leaders are not without their shortcomings and contradictions and examining leaders like him can provide valuable lessons for the next generation to strive for greater self-awareness, empathy and a deeper understanding of the impact of our actions on others and the world around us.