Progressive Presidents Project

By Joel Hahn

President William Taft Biography

Theodore Roosevelt (Teddy)

Theodore Roosevelt was Born on October 27, 1858 in Manhattan, New York to Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and Martha Stewart Bulloch. Teddy was the middle of 4 children, older sister Anne, and younger siblings Elliot and Corinne. Theodore lived most of his childhood plagued by asthma but reduced his symptoms by becoming extremely active with things like hunting, boxing and hiking on his frequent family trips. Teddy spent most of his life being home schooled but attended Harvard college and the Columbia law school. while at Law school, he gained great esteem as a historian through his book The Naval War of 1812 which was a thorough guide of the United States Naval campaign against the British in 1812. Roosevelt was married twice, first to Alice Hathaway Lee , and then to Edith Kermit Carow after his first wife died while giving birth. Teddy served in many positions during his career such as a New York State Assemblyman, a Dakota cowboy, and police commissioner and then governor of New York, among other things. Finally he served with the US Navy and then his own Volunteer Cavalry, "The Rough Riders", in the Spanish-American War which helped him become elected president.

Presidential Report Card

  • Leadership- A

Roosevelt's main concern was the interest of the people. Things like the Square Deal and trust busting were deployed by him to protect the rights of the workers and consumers and make sure the economy stayed out of the hands of a few people. he even spearheaded projects such as national parks and the panama canal to help with conservation and international trade.

  • Organization- A

Roosevelt used things such as the Monroe doctrine to keep control of many international ventures and not only protect the rights of Americans but other countries as well. He passed laws such as the Pure Food and Drug Act in order to establish inspection rules to control the protocol of the meat industry and protect the interests of consumers everywhere. He also regularly used military force to establish and maintain peace across the globe.

  • Professionalism- B-

Though he was the president of the United States, that didn't stop him from having a little fun. because he was constantly athletic he was constantly out and about and wasn't always readily available. he also enjoyed boxing and would often spar people within the white house itself.

  • Contributions- A

Most of Teddy's work as president lied within three distinct categories: Trust busting, Conservation, and international Affairs. He felt it was important to not only protect the interests of american consumers, but also protect the nature that lies within the nation and the friends and neighbors of the nation.

Theodore Roosevelt - Mini Biography

William Howard Taft

Taft was born on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Alphonso Taft and Louise Torrey. Taft was considered a hard worker and popular as a child but wasn't considered brilliant. he attended Woodward High School and Yale College and went on to attend Cincinnati Law School. He soon became an Ohio Lawyer and eventually the made his way up to a judge on the Cincinnati Supreme court. In 1890 he became the Solicitor General of the United States and eventually moved up to becoming a federal judge. in 1900 President McKinley called on Taft to serve on the Commission to organize government in the Philippines and eventually served as civilian governor. He was assigned to being the Secretary of war in 1904 by Theodore Roosevelt and helped in the situations in the Philippines and Cuba. During the Election of 1908, Theodore had to convince Taft to run.
President William Taft Biography

Presidential Report Card

  • Leadership- C+

Taft was pressured in to running for president but the Roosevelts therefore he never really wanted to become president. He took the office based mostly for obligation and made most of his decisions with consulting from his predecessor. Most of his success came purely from continuing Teddy's trend of Trust Busting.

  • Organization- A-

What he lacked in gaining the trust of the country he made up for in protecting the interests of consumers by trust busting and by protecting the interests of the working man.

  • Professionalism- D

Though he eventually accomplished things, Taft often put important tasks off and usually shunned the media. He didn't enjoy the attention of the nation because the often criticized his decisions and his lifestyle.

  • Contributions- B-

Taft was not only able to continue the workings of Teddy, such as trust busting, he was also able to enact his own reform movements, such as Dollar Diplomacy which benefited international relations through loans to other countries.

Woodrow Wilson

Born on December 28, 1856 with the name of Thomas Woodrow Wilson to Joseph Ruggles Wilson and Jessie Janet Woodrow in Stanton, Virginia.; He attended Princeton but transfers to the University of Virginia and then to John Hopkins for his phd. he eventually became the president of Princeton and then on to becoming the governor of New Jersey and eventually president.

Presidential Report Card

  • Leadership- A

Wilson continued the trend of cleaning up the act of big business but also extended the trust busting to things such as Tariff Reduction, Bank Reform and even stronger Anti Trust Laws, Giving consumers more choice in terms of how to spend their money and wanted every person to have a voice.

  • Organization- A

Wilson passed a large amount of acts for the improvement such as the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which helped the US economy by splitting the Federal reserve into 12 different privately owned banks that still fell under the jurisdiction of the Federal Reserve.

  • Professionalism- D

Because he was plagued by a large amount of health problems, he often hid himself from the public eye and put his health issues before the concerns of the nation which was widely criticized because it was believed to be putting the nation in a bad position during the first World War.

  • Contributions- A+

What Wilson did for America Ranged anywhere from protecting the economy to defending the need for woman's suffrage and the reduction of Child Labor. He even attempted to assist in foreign relations during the first World War with his suggestion for a League of nations and his creation of his famous fourteen points.

President Woodrow Wilson Biography