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William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft
Artist
William Valentine Schevill, 1864 - 1951
Sitter
William Howard Taft, 15 Sep 1857 - 8 Mar 1930
Date
c. 1910
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on artist board
Dimensions
Frame (Verified): 120 x 109.5 x 3.8cm (47 1/4 x 43 1/8 x 1 1/2")
Stretcher: 84.9 × 74.9cm (33 7/16 × 29 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of William E. Schevill
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.72.25
Exhibition Label
Twenty-seventh president, 1909–1913
William Howard Taft felt determined to follow in the footsteps of Theodore Roosevelt, particularly with regard to implementing domestic reform, but Taft—an indecisive leader—was largely unsuccessful in meeting this goal. When he presented his tariff reform package, Congress put forth more than eight hundred amendments that made it almost impossible to pass, and he did nothing to object. He did, however, achieve one significant reform legislation, the Mann-Elkins Act of 1910, which regulated destructive competition and unfair trade practices.
Also, ninety-nine trust prosecutions were conducted while he was in office. Nevertheless, when Taft was halfway through his presidency, he had become heavily influenced by conservative businessmen who criticized the effects of trust-busting on the national economy. In the end, he reversed his position on tariff reform and therefore alienated progressives who viewed high tariffs as the worst offending characteristic of trusts.
27o presidente, 1909–1913
William Howard Taft aspiraba a seguir el ejemplo de Theodore Roosevelt, sobre todo en la implantación de reformas en el ámbito nacional, pero era un líder indeciso, y no tuvo mucho éxito en esa meta. Cuando presentó su propuesta para la reforma tarifaria, el Congreso añadió más de ochocientas enmiendas que hacían su aprobación casi imposible, pero Taft no hizo nada para objetar. Sin embargo, sí logró una importante ley de reforma, la Ley Mann-Elkins de 1910, que regulaba la competencia destructiva y las prácticas injustas en el comercio.
Asimismo, durante su administración se registraron noventa y nueve procesos legales contra monopolios. Sin embargo, hacia la mitad de su término, Taft se vio muy influenciado por negociantes conservadores que criticaban los efectos de las normas antimonopolio en la economía nacional. Terminó por revertir su postura respecto a la reforma tarifaria y con ello se enemistó con los progresistas que veían las altas tarifas como la peor característica de los monopolios.
Provenance
William E. Schevill, Concord, Mass., son of the artist; gift to NPG 1972.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, West Gallery 210