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The Door of HopeRepublican Presidents and the First Southern Strategy, 1877–1933$
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Edward O. Frantz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036533

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036533.001.0001

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Taft Toils Throughout

Taft Toils Throughout

The Frequent Southern Campaigns, 1908–1913

(p.195) 6 Taft Toils Throughout
The Door of Hope

Edward O. Frantz

University Press of Florida

Between his nomination in 1908 and the end of his first national tour in 1909, William Howard Taft made three critical visits to southern states. In all, the president was on the road more than any of his predecessors. He had been to the South a number of times before he was president and would also venture to the region after 1909, but the 1908–1909 period deserves the most attention. In that time period he not only shattered previous traditions of Republican travel, but also clearly delineated his policies regarding the interrelated issues of race and southern politics. Perhaps more significantly, he also managed to alienate African Americans even more than previous Republican Party presidents had done. The period between 1908 and 1910 was both the high water mark for Republican efforts to capture the whites in the South and—not coincidentally—the nadir in terms of its lack of care for African Americans.

Keywords:   William Howard Taft, president, South, region, Republican Party, race, politics, African Americans, whites

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