According several "sources" including Alex Jones, Peter Joseph, users of Facebook, and 'Occupiers of Wallstreet,' Woodrow Wilson said:

I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men. [emphasis:bold]

This quote is not mentioned on:

However, it does appear on:

Did Woodrow Wilson, actually say that I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.?

  • What is the question here? You already have pretty much all the evidence in the question... draw your own conclusions -- as such it seems like you are requesting our opinion on the evidence you present, that wouldn't work here.
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 15, 2015 at 15:06
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    @Sklivvz: None of the sources listed are good evidence as to whether he said it or not - those that say he did don't give any verifiable sources. The claim could be resolved positively by finding the quote published under his name, or in letters authenticated as his, or attested in contemporary records. It could be falsified by evidence that the quote was written by somebody else, perhaps after Wilson's death. The sources given do not achieve this. So I think there is still plenty to do with this question and it should be reopened. Nov 15, 2015 at 15:23
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    @Sklivvz There are no official record of quotes of the time, or historians, that can attest to the validity?
    – Ruut
    Nov 15, 2015 at 22:43
  • 7
    @Sklivvz: In other words, the question is not "I have all the evidence, tell me your opinion of it." It's "The evidence I found is inconclusive, please help me find better evidence." Which is exactly the purpose of this site, IMHO. Nov 16, 2015 at 19:25
  • 1
    @NateEldredge It's going to be a dead issue unfortunately.
    – Ruut
    Nov 17, 2015 at 0:18

1 Answer 1


This is a misquote, remixing words that Wilson said about turn-of-the-century problems in banking, which he proposed to solve using the Federal Reserve.

The research on this has already been done by Salon and Wikiquote.

The Salon article states:

Via e-mail, John M. Cooper, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, and the author of several books on Woodrow Wilson, writes:

“I can tell you categorically that this is not a statement of regret for having created the Federal Reserve. Wilson never had any regrets for having done that. It was an accomplishment in which he took great pride.”

Wikiquote states in part:

"A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit..." [is a quote from] "Monopoly, Or Opportunity?" (1912), criticizing the credit situation before the Federal Reserve was created.

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