Relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft

Junior (College 3rd year) ・History ・MLA

1. President Theodore Roosevelt's Mentoring of William Howard Taft

President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with mentoring William Howard Taft in early 1900s American history. Although they were both rock-ribbed Republicans, the two leaders shared comparable philosophies that were out of step with the times because they were both full of progressive ideas. When Taft moved to Manila to become the new governor of the Philippines and Roosevelt departed for Albany as the governor of New York, their paths diverged. Later, Roosevelt rose to become William McKinley's running mate. However, following the tragic murder of McKinley, the two got back together. Roosevelt became the president and instantaneously brought back Taft from the Philippines and installed him as his secretary of war in Washington, in the process grooming him for succession. Roosevelt's plan at this time was to serve for two terms then hand over the torch to his close friend Taft. However, their friendship soured due to a difference in ideologies, and a fierce political rivalry ensued till 1918 when the two mend fences in a coincidental meeting at the dining room of the Washington hotel.

2. Taft's Change in Vision and Handling of Business

When Taft got elected in 1908, he had a change in vision and the manner in which he handled business. Taft operated in a business-centric and limited-government form of Republicanism which was directly the opposite of the view Theodore had, a progressive vision. Taft, in his service, adhered to the letter of the law with meticulousness and portrayed a lack of imagination in the oval office. It led to a constant difference in opinion between him and Roosevelt which finally resulted in Roosevelt challenging Taft in 1912 and the subsequent split of the Republican vote and the victory of Woodrow Wilson.

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