Presentation on theme: "27 th American President: William Howard Taft. Background William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Son of a prominent attorney who had served."— Presentation transcript:
Background William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Son of a prominent attorney who had served in the Grant cabinet and later as American minister to Russia and Austria-Hungary. Taft graduated from Yale University in 1878 and earned a law degree from the Cincinnati Law School two years later. Appointed an assistant prosecuting attorney for Hamilton County and worked briefly for the Internal Revenue Service before opening a law practice in 1883. He married Helen Herron in 1886. She was a very important influence on his life, providing the drive and ambition he lacked. In 1887, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Ohio superior court and was elected to that position the following year. In 1890, they moved to Washington and became a solicitor general in the Benjamin Harrison administration. Taft became a friend and lunch partner of Theodore Roosevelt, who was then a civil service commissioner. He was next appointed to the U.S. Circuit Court in 1892, and served until becoming a law professor and dean in Cincinnati.
Rise to Presidency Taft became the most important member of Roosevelt's cabinet - administering all foreign affairs, including the continuing situations in the Philippines and in Cuba. Taft traveled all over the world to speak for his country, and for a time even served as "acting" Secretary of State for a few weeks after the death of John Hay. As Roosevelt's advisor, Taft earned the President's trust, and was a natural choice to become the successor to the Presidency. Roosevelt, who had promised not to run for reelection again, threw his entire political weight behind the "heir to the Progressive crown." On the weight of this support, William Howard Taft easily won the Republican nomination, and became the 27th President of the United States.
PIRATES Political: -Payne-Aldrich Tariff -Ballinger-Pinchot affair -Taft wins Republican nomination over Roosevelt -Federal Reserve Act -Seventeenth Amendment passed -Wilson defeats Taft and Roosevelt for presidency -Underwood Tariff Act Intellectual: -The idea of world peace and international arbitration was the best way to effect the end of war Religious: -None Arts: -None Technology: -Federal Trade Commission established -Lusitania torpedoed and sunk
PIRATES (cont) Economy/Education: -Standard Oil Antitrust case -Sixteenth Amendment -US Steel Corporation antitrust suit Social: -Huerta takes power in Mexico -US occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico -World War I starts in Europe
Key Domestic Policy Issues He tackled the tariff boldly, on the one hand encouraging reformers to fight for lower rates, and then on the other hand cutting deals with conservative leaders that kept overall rates high resulted the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909 but it was too high for most reform. He launched 90 antitrust suits, including one against the country’s largest corporation, U.S. Steel, for an acquisition that Roosevelt personally had approved. Because of his deep belief in “The Law” as the scientific device that should be used by judges to solve society’s problems, Taft considered himself a “progressive”
Key Foreign Policy Issue He actively pursued what he termed “Dollar Diplomacy” to enhance the economic development of less- developed nations of Latin America and Asia through American investment in their infrastructures. As a president, Taft believed the idea of world peace and that international arbitration was the best way to effect the end of war. He was able to gain several reciprocity and arbitration treaties. In 1910, he persuaded congressional Democrats to support a free trade, treaty with Canada,but with the Liberal Canadian government who arranged the treaty was turned out of office and the treaty collapsed. However, in 1910 and 1911, Taft secured the ratification of arbitration treaties that he had successfully arranged with France and Britain.
Quotes from William Taft Failure to accord credit to anyone for what he may have done is a great weakness in any man. No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people. Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that to-day is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity. We are all imperfect. We can not expect perfect government.
William Taft’s Successes He was known as one of the foremost advocates of world peace and arbitration. President Taft signed a law to make New Mexico and Arizona states since they were territories. He also signed a law to let the state choose their own senates. In 1909, the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act passed. This changed the tariff rates from 46 to 41%. One of Taft’s key policies was known as Dollar Diplomacy. This was the idea that America would use the military and diplomacy to help promote U.S. business interests overseas. For example, in 1912 Taft sent marines to Nicaragua to help stop a rebellion against the government because it was friendly to American business interests. Following Roosevelt into office, Taft continued to enforce antitrust laws. He was key in bringing down the Standard Oil Company in 1911. Also during Taft’s term in office, the sixteenth amendment was passed that allowed the U.S. to collect income taxes. Building of most of the Panama Canal He also had peacefully settled a number of international disputes, launched the most ambitious attempt yet made to obtain world peace, and steadily maintained a policy of neutrality toward Mexico.
William Taft’s Failures His inability to obtain Canadian reciprocity and general arbitration treaties His poor handling of the Ballinger- Pinchot affair He was unable to follow the Roosevelt policies, ultimately leading to the split of the Republican Party Alienated some members of his administration His treatment of the insurgents, which split his party and allowed Democrats and progressive Republicans to win Congress in 1910 and the presidency and Congress in 1912. He failed to earn profits for American business or obtain economic and political stability or peace His parsimoniousness, he did little to strengthen the military power of the nation. He refused to do anything for blacks or to grant independence to the Filipinos
One Word: Inconsistent Had a campaign promise to lower the tariffs but was ultimately defied with the Payne-Aldrich Bill that was passed (also partly influenced by his passivity and inactiveness), which increased tariffs instead So-called supposedly conservationist Taft supported Richard Ballinger in his opening of public lands in Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska to corporate development, and dismissed fellow conservationist Chief Gifford Pinchot of the Agriculture Department’s Division of Forestry who was definitely not in favor of the act Trusted by Theodore Roosevelt to continue his policies but later challenged it and became his rival Considered himself a “progressive” but ultimately sided with the Old Guard anyway
Taft for President today? Although he has a good reputation of busting more trusts than Roosevelt did in a shorter amount of time, he would not have been a good president today His indecisiveness would not be fit for a challenging obstacle that the country is facing today (economic recession, etc.) He is considerably inactive and passive Had little talent for leadership His sensitivity to criticism would further interfere with his tasks and responsibilities as president, especially with the recession that the nation is currently facing
Cabinet Vice President: James S. Sherman (1909-12) Secretary of State: Philander C. Knox (1909-13) Secretary of the Treasury: Franklin MacVeagh (1909-13) Secretary of War: Jacob M. Dickinson (1909-11); Henry L. Stimson (1911-13) Attorney General: George W. Wickersham (1909-13) Postmaster General: Frank H. Hitchcock (1909-13) Secretary of the Navy: George von L. Meyer (1909-13) Secretary of the Interior: Richard A. Ballinger (1909-11); Walter Lowrie Fisher (1911-13) Secretary of Agriculture: James Wilson (1909-13) Secretary of Commerce and Labor: Charles Nagel (1909-13)
Post- presidential activities appointed the Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History at Yale Law School made an honorary member by the Yale Chapter of Acacia Fraternity elected president of the American Bar Association spent a lot of his time writing books and newspaper articles, most notably his series on American legal philosophy continued to advocate for world peace by urging nations to enter into arbitration treaties with each other and promoting the idea of a League of Nations even before the First World War began founded the League to Enforce Peace co-chairman of National War Labor Board between 1917 and 1918 nominated by President Warren G. Harding on June 30, 1921 to become Chief Justice of the United States, serving until February 3, 1930 traveled to Great Britain to study the procedural structure of the English courts in 1922 retired as Chief Justice on February 3, 1930 due to ill health and died five weeks later on March 8 from complications of heart disease, high blood pressure, and inflammation of the bladder became the first president to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Election · In the 1908 campaign, Taft was chosen by Theodore Roosevelt as his successor to continue “[his] policies]” · Ample-girthed, jovial, passive, and mild progressive Taft easily defeated William Jennings Bryan of the Democratic Party, polling 321 electoral votes to 162 for Bryan (Socialist Eugene V. Debs surprisingly earned 420,793 votes) · With Taft having won the nomination for the Republican Party, Roosevelt pulled his delegates and created the Progressive Party in the presidential election of 1912, thus officially splitting the Republican Party · As the Republican vote is divided by Taft and Roosevelt, Democratic Wilson wins the presidential election of 1912