Taft, Robert Alphonso

Taft, Robert Alphonso,

1889–1953, American politician, b. Cincinnati, Ohio; son of William Howard TaftTaft, William Howard,
1857–1930, 27th President of the United States (1909–13) and 10th chief justice of the United States (1921–30), b. Cincinnati. Early Career

After graduating (1878) from Yale, he attended Cincinnati Law School.
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. He practiced law in Ohio and served (1921–26, 1931–32) in the state legislature. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1938, Taft quickly became the acknowledged leader of conservative Republicans. He attacked President Franklin Delano RooseveltRoosevelt, Franklin Delano
, 1882–1945, 32d President of the United States (1933–45), b. Hyde Park, N.Y. Early Life

Through both his father, James Roosevelt, and his mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, he came of old, wealthy families.
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 and the New DealNew Deal,
in U.S. history, term for the domestic reform program of the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; it was first used by Roosevelt in his speech accepting the Democratic party nomination for President in 1932.
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 for the expansion of federal power at the expense of state and local government and vigorously urged economy in government and restoration of balanced budgets. A leading advocate of isolationism before World War II, he later backed U.S. participation in the United Nations. In 1947 he helped write the Taft-Hartley Labor ActTaft-Hartley Labor Act,
1947, passed by the U.S. Congress, officially known as the Labor-Management Relations Act. Sponsored by Senator Robert Alphonso Taft and Representative Fred Allan Hartley, the act qualified or amended much of the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act of
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. After the war Taft again became the voice of the isolationists: he voted against ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and changed his position on the United Nations. Taft was a supporter of Gen. Douglas MacArthurMacArthur, Douglas,
1880–1964, American general, b. Little Rock, Ark.; son of Arthur MacArthur. Early Career

MacArthur was reared on army posts and attended military school in Texas.
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, who condemned the Korean and China policies of the Truman administration. Known to friends and enemies alike as "Mr. Republican," Taft was a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 1952 but lost to Dwight D. EisenhowerEisenhower, Dwight David
, 1890–1969, American general and 34th President of the United States, b. Denison, Tex.; his nickname was "Ike." Early Career

When he was two years old, his family moved to Abilene, Kans., where he was reared.
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. After Eisenhower's election, Taft became Senate majority leader and a friend and influential adviser of Eisenhower in his first months as president. He acted as an important bridge between the Eastern and Midwestern factions of his party. Taft's Foreign Policy for Americans appeared in 1951.


See biography by J. T. Patterson (1972); study by R. Kirk and J. McClelland (1967).

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