Taft, William Howard


A political leader of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A Republican, Taft was president between 1909 and 1913. At the beginning of his presidency, he stayed close to the policies of Theodore Roosevelt, who had been president before him. Later, however, he turned to more conservative measures, such as a high protective tariff, and he lost popularity. In foreign policy, Taft advocated dollar diplomacy. He came in third in the election of 1912, running as a Republican, behind Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. In the 1920s, Taft served as chief justice of the Supreme Court.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.