Biography of President Taft – History Essay
William Howard Taft: distinguished jurist, effective administrator, but poor politician. Taft was an intelligent student as well as a good husband and father. When William Taft became president of the United States in 1909, great things were expected from him and his
cabinet. A combination of his biographical achievements, political affiliation and political achievements make William Taft one of the most remarkable U.S. presidents.
Taft was born on in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 15, 1857. His parents were Louisa (Torrey) and Alphonso Taft. Both parents were descendants of old and important New England families of British origin (American Presidents, 98). William Taft was an intelligent person. He graduate from Yale university, 1878, second in his class. After Yale he went home to attend the Cincinnati Law School and graduated from there in 1880. In 1886, Taft married Helen W. Herron, with whom he had three children: Helen, Charles Phelps and Robert Alphonso who later became U.S. senator. Helen Taft played an important role in Taft’s choice of career and in his progress because she urged him to become president of the U.S.
Taft represented the Republican political party. Before he became president, Taft was appointed as a Judge on the Cincinnati Superior Court. Taft was designated commissioner of the Philippines, which the United States had just acquired in the Spanish-American War. Finally, the last step before he became the twenty-seventh president of the U.S. was to serve as Secretary of War in Roosevelt’s administration. It was in 1909 when Taft became president of the U.S. “His belief was that unlike his predecessor he considered that the president must justify his actions based on specified grants in the constitution” (New Standard Encyclopedia 53). Taft’s cabinet was formed by James S. Sherman as Vice-President; Philander Knox as Secretary of State; Jacob M. Dickinson as Secretary of War; Franklin MacVeagh as Secretary of Treasury and George W. Wickersham as Attorney General. These people were an important part of Taft’s success while in office.
Taft was the type of president whose interests were in the progress of the country. While William Taft was in office, the military intervened in Nicaragua and Dominican Republic. New Mexico and Arizona were admitted to the Union during Taft’s period. During his term of office, two of the biggest monopolies were broken, Standard Oil Company and the American Tobacco Company (New Standard Encyclopedia, 54). In addition, Taft was the first president to designate a woman to a major federal post. Taft was the initiator of some traditions in the country such as the presidential car and the opening of the baseball season. Taft was responsible for the creation of the Postal Saving System. Taft, who weighed over 300 pounds got stuck in the White House tub the first time he used it.
William Taft, the twenty-seventh president of the United States, brought progressiveness to the country. His family’s background and his wife compelled him to become president of the United States. Even though Taft served in many offices, he gave the public an satisfactory administration, but poor show. With the implementation of new reforms Taft set the basis for a new country. The mixture of Taft’s political affiliation and political achievements along with his biographical background make him an accomplished president of the United States of America.
American Presidents. Chicago: n.d.
“William H. Taft” New Standard Encyclopedia vol., 17. Chicago