WASHINGTON, March 4, 1913 (UP) -- Excepting alone "war presidents," few national executives ever faced upon March 4 a more stupendous task than today confronted President Wilson. And probably no president ever realized more fully the gravity of the tremendous responsibility that is his.
Democracy was placed on trial today for the first time in 20 years, at the bar of public opinion, with the entire nation as the "jury." Crises innumerable await tests in democracy's crucible. Future prosperity of the country-indeed of several countries-and fate of great political parties hang in the balance.
Sentiment for "progressive" reforms, which put the democratic party into power today, demand performance. To secure legislation of real reform is the four years task facing the new administration.
This nation's course of peace and friendship with the world powers and its policy in Central and South America were today placed in the hands of President Wilson.
Confronting him in prime importance was the civic strife in Mexico-the problem of preserving peace and order there without shedding of American blood.
Administration of the Panama canal was another giant problem assumed today, involving settlement of disputes with Great Britain, Canada, and other European countries over the "free tolls" concession give American shipping.
Other questions confronting the new administration are proposed recognition of the new Chinese republic, negotiation of a new trade and passport treaty with Russia, work of the Alaskan boundary commission, tariff reprisals in Europe, completion of the Honduras loan, joint action in conserving the Alaska sealing situation, and the Newfoundland fisheries, muttered rulings of strife in Cuba, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Salvador, and Honduras, besides the dispute with Brazil over coffee importations.
Immediately confronting President Wilson today was the great question of patronage and the program for the extraordinary session of congress. Revision of the tariff and possibly banking and currency reform are urged for special, immediate action. Calling of the special session is to be one of the first acts of the new president, probably within a few days.
Platform pledges galore await fulfillment by the democrats. These include such knotty problems as Philippine independence, Porto Rican citizenship, amendment of strengthening of the Sherman antitrust law, a single presidential term, and "labor" legislation.
"Legacies" innumerable were left to the new executive by former President Taft.
Among the bills and policies awaiting action by the new administration and congress are:
Senator Works' resolution for a constitutional amendment limiting tenure of president to one term of six years.
Limited independence for the Filipinos.
Representative Clayton's anti-injunction bill.
The "seamen's labor" bill.
The Page educational and vocational bill.
Conservation of water power and beauty of Niagara falls.
Direct election of presidents and senators.
Regulating of campaign contributions.
Maintenance of the commerce court and the economic and efficiency commission.
"Money trust" regulation and investigation.
Repeal of the Canadian reciprocity treaty.
Physical valuation of railroads.
Prohibition in Hawaii.
"Shipping trust" investigation and regulation.
Senator Owen's bill for direct election of federal judges.
Senator Bristow's bill for a national initiative and referendum.
Establishment of a national public health service.
Opening of Alaska.
Reorganization of militia.
Creation of a national council of defense.
Reorganization of the customs and revenue service.
Increase of pensions.
In addition to these problems, the opening of the Panama canal and establishment of a civil government on the isthmian zone faces the new president.
Scores of unfinished trust prosecutions, begun by Atty. Gen. Wickersham, also await the new administration's action. Many important cases must also be presented to the supreme court by the new executive heads which were instituted during recent years.