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William Howard Taft
Transcript of William Howard Taft
Overshadowed by the excellence of his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft's accomplishments as an active president pushing for reform are overlooked by his passive actions for social justice.
He was born on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His father served as Secretary of War and Attorney General under President Ulysses S. Grant and was a prominent Republican attorney.
He went to Yale and University of Cincinnati to get a doctorate in Law.
His wife, Helen Herron, wanted to become the President.
He worked as a judge and became the first civilian governor of the Philippines in 1900.
His life long dream was to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Governor of Philippines
Taft was a very sympathetic leader in his role as governor.
He allowed the native people some say in government, yet he amended the economy and infrastructure in the Philippines.
He built schools, roads, bridges, and helped establish a public health system.
Taft believed that there needed to be guidance in the Philippines for them to become self-governed.
During this time, he was offered to serve in U.S. Supreme Court, but he denied the offer for his dedication to being governor.
Path to The White House
He was supported by the conservatives towards the end of his presidency.
He lost against Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt, who came back into politics and created the Bull Moose Party.
He is able to fulfill his life long dream of becoming a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
President Harding nominated Taft to become the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court when Chief Justice White passed away.
He had many successes in the Supreme Court. He advocated for the introduction of the Judiciary Acts of 1925.
He was able to pass down his legacy of busting lots of trust and was the first president to have a presidential automobile.
Taft was the only person in history to be President and to be the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Miller Center." American President: William Howard Taft: A Life in Brief. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://millercenter.org/president/taft/essays/biography/1>.
"Was William Howard Taft a Good President?" The Premier Online Debate Website. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://www.debate.org/opinions/was-william-howard-taft-a-good-president>.
"William Howard Taft." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/william-howard-taft-9501184>.
"William Howard Taft Biography." Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/biographies/william-howard-taft/>.
"William Howard Taft." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/william-howard-taft>.
"William Howard Taft." The White House. The White House. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/williamhowardtaft>.
Roosevelt appointed Taft as Secretary of War in 1904.
Taft became in charge of the Panama Canal and traveled quite often during the four years.
He served as the Provisional Governor of Cuba while being Secretary of War.
He was greatly praised for his work in handling his affairs both at home and overseas.
Taft became extremely popular in the media at this time and was becoming great friends Roosevelt.
Roosevelt promised not to run for a third term and pushed Taft to run for President.
Taft didn't like to campaign and won against William J. Bryan because everyone viewed him as pushing for Roosevelt's reforms.
He followed Roosevelt's footsteps and pushed for breaking the trusts amongst big businesses.
He tackled down cases like Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and American Tobacco Company for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
The Mann-Elkins Act of 1910 passes stating that the ICC could regulate railroad communication.
This act also allowed for more regulation under Hepburn Act.
Taft tried to push for the President to create the budget but Congress prohibits the action.
He started backing down in 1911 from his efforts because he surrounded himself with conservatives who had supported him in the election.
Taft overlooked for the creation of the 16th Amendment which allowed for income tax.
He supported the Payne-Aldrich Tariff which reduced tariff in some areas and increased them in others.
One of his passive actions was when he overlooked the actions of his secretary Ballinger. This caused the Ballinger-Pinchot Dispute.
Taft also took passive action by not giving attention to the 15th Amendment.
His foreign policy program was called Dollar Diplomacy which promoted sales of U.S. products and industrial goods overseas and the military was used as a tool for economic diplomacy.
The Dollar Diplomacy allowed for U.S. to gain economic power in Latin American and East Asia.
Although Dollar Diplomacy was unsuccessful, Taft was active by taking action and trying to strengthen the U.S.
He met with Booker T. Washington to support education and entrepreneurship for African Americans.
Taft approved legislation in 1912 for the creation of the Children's Bureau to investigate matters relating to welfare of children from all classes.
"I don't remember that I ever was President." - William Howard Taft