William Taft



Taft was born into a family that loved politics, so he followed in their footsteps. Taft first started out as a career jurist, with his hopes set on one day being part of the Supreme Court. Taft found his place in politics as county prosecutor and state judge. Most importantly, he became the youngest appointee as U.S. Solicitor General by President Benjamin Harrison. Because he was the Solicitor General, The Taft family moved to Washington and Taft met Theodore Roosevelt. Later on, Taft became Theodore Roosevelt's secretary of war and eventually got his dream job.

While he was President, he created the "Policy of Harmony" which moved up his ranking among the people. However, with his misunderstandings about big businesses and shaky approach to tariffs on proposals on goods entering the U.S, people got frustrated with him and he lost the majority of Republicans in Congress. Taft also imposed a corporate income tax which raised national revenue more than $13 million. Also, under the Taft Administration "Shirt Sleeve Diplomacy," "Open Door Policy," and "dollar diplomacy" were created because of negotiations with Latin America and China. Those involved stimulation in growth, trade, and stability.

Political Philosophy

Taft was easily elected because the people believed he would carry out Theodore Roosevelt's ideas of Republicanism. He did carry out Republican ideas, but after a while his ideas strayed from the true Republican platform, and this frustrated both Roosevelt and the people. However, one of the areas that Taft did not stray from was an area that Roosevelt wanted specifically continued as well, imperialism.


Taft not only supported imperialism, but urged Wall Street investors to put their money into foreign markets to increase American influence all over the world. Many people were critical of his plan, calling it "dollar diplomacy," and the Senate refused to sign several treaties because of it. However, Taft encouraged private banks and investors to become independent.

Notable Accomplishments

  • First person to have served as both Chief Justice and President
  • First President to have a presidential automobile
  • First to occupy Oval Offices

Impact on Society Today

Taft continued to open up the gateway of imperialism that Roosevelt wanted carried on.


Taft was a mild progressionist and did not live up to Roosevelt's legacy. He was an easygoing man who didn't take action, and many were surprised to hear when he didn't share the same progressive ideas as Roosevelt. One example is the Payne-Aldrich Tariff of 1909. Many people felt there was an excess of tariffs going on, so Taft called a special session of congress to address it. The House of Representatives passed a law that moderately restricted tariffs, but the law was severely modified when it reached the Senate. Many Radical Senators added hundreds of revisions that put a tariffs on almost all products. Taft passed it and called it "The best bill the Republican party had ever passed." This only marked the beginning of the Republican Party struggle.

Works cited

"William Howard Taft." The White House. The White House, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

"Taft and Wilson - AP U.S. History Topic Outlines - Study Notes." Taft and Wilson - AP U.S. History Topic Outlines - Study Notes. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

"The Progressive Presidents - AP U.S. History Topic Outlines - Study Notes." The Progressive Presidents - AP U.S. History Topic Outlines - Study Notes. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.