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Author Burns, Kevin (College teacher), author.

Title William Howard Taft's constitutional progressivism / Kevin J. Burns.

Publication Info. Lawrence, Kansas : University Press of Kansas, [2021]


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe 2nd Floor Stacks  973.912 T125Bb 2021    New Books Axe 1st Floor  Available
Description xiii, 234 pages ; 24 cm.
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Series American political thought
American political thought.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents "Maintenance and enforcement" : regularizing conservation and trust policy -- Party leadership and legislation : Tariffs and railroad regulations -- To "perfect the machinery" : modernizing the executive branch -- Partisanship and the presidency : party and popular leadership -- The professor on the presidency : our chief magistrate and his powers -- The Chief Justice on the presidency : Myers v. United States and the removal power -- Jurisprudence : commerce, regulation, and labor -- Chief Justice as Chief Executive : judicial reforms on the Taft Court.
Summary "Progressive era scholarship has traditionally insisted that William Howard Taft was opposed to progressive reforms, emphasizing his 'judicial temperament' and constitutional conservatism. Scholars have buttressed these theoretical arguments by pointing to Taft's break with Theodore Roosevelt and other notable progressives in the election of 1912. In contrast to this view, Kevin Burns argues that Taft's defense of the Constitution was not an attack on progressivism. Instead, Taft is better seen as a friendly critic of progressivism who worked to tie progressive policy initiatives to constitutional government. To the extent he broke with the radical wing of the Progressive Movement, he did so in order to show that progressive reform could be stronger and longer lasting if it was enacted by constitutional means. Burns makes a key distinction between policy and institutional reform. Taft was a progressive in terms of policy, but a conservative in his understanding of the Constitution. As president, he continued and expanded Theodore Roosevelt's work by breaking up trusts, formalizing land withdrawals for conservation, lowering tariffs, and expanding railroad regulations. Additionally, he worked to modernize the presidency by strengthening the chief executive's power and control over the executive branch and buttressing his power to lead the government as a whole. In contrast to more radical reformers, however, such as Herbert Croly, who insisted that the Constitution must be radically transformed in order to permit quick and effective progressive reforms, Taft hoped to advance reform through an evolution in politics and public policy, not a revolution in constitutional principles. By analyzing his words and deeds as president and chief justice, Burns provides a new lens through which to view Taft. He shows that Taft presented a case for the continued viability of the Constitution, seeking to prove that our nation's fundamental law was (as he said) sufficiently 'elastic' to be open to reform and change without itself changing"-- Provided by the publisher.
Subject Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930.
Judges -- United States -- Biography.
Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
Constitutional history -- United States.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1901-1953.
Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930. (OCoLC)fst00031956
Politics and government. (OCoLC)fst01919741
Judges. (OCoLC)fst00984490
Presidents. (OCoLC)fst01075723
Constitutional history. (OCoLC)fst00875777
United States. (OCoLC)fst01204155
Chronological Term 1901-1953
Genre/Form Biographies. (OCoLC)fst01919896
ISBN 9780700632114 (hardcover)
0700632115 (hardcover)
9780700632121 (electronic publication)

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