America's Responsibilities in the Extension of Civilization - Recording

Date of Recording: 1909
Duration: 2:44
Call Number: VVL00988

In this speech Taft discusses the resposibility The United States has to the advancement of civilization through foriegn missions, saying that these foriegn missions are a way to uplift the governments and the spirituality of foriegn nations. Taft relates this concept through evidence of the United States' involvment in missions to the Philipenes and the benefit of the spread of Christianity, both to the United States and to the people of these foriegn nations.

Democratic Policy Prevents Restoration of Prosperity - Recording

Date of Recording: 1908
Duration: 2:51
Call Number: VVL00986

Here Taft addresses the problem of the unlawful trust or monopoly in American businesses, once more indirectly addressing his chief critic of the time, William Jennings Bryan. While such enterprises should be restrained and culprits punished, pains must be taken that innocent people are not also punished "by default." According to Taft, the Democratic platform on this issue would destroy trusts "but also all of their smaller competitors: entire communities would be punished."

Our Army and Navy - Recording

Date of Recording: 1908
Duration: 2:19
Call Number: VVL00987

Here, Taft dicusses the importance of maintaining and strengthening the United States Army and Navy. Taft goes on to discuss the success of the previous administration in doing this and voices his displeasure with, what he calls "the silence of the present platform in respect to the army...." Taft also outlines the goals of the future administration, and his hopes that the Army and Navy will again be brought back to the capacity and efficiency they once possesed, reaffirming The United States as a World Power.

Rise and Progress of the American Negro - Recording

Date of Recording: 1908
Duration: 1:39
Call Number: VVL00985

Here Taft discusses the progress that "the negro" has made in the forty years since the abolition of slavery. "People should rejoice in seeing Negros become educated and toil for industrial independence and assured poltical status. Believe that equal justice to all men is in keeping with the real American spirit of fair play. Republican platform demands justice for all men without regard to race."

The Right of Labor - Recording

Date of Recording: 1906
Duration: 2:09
Call Number: VVL00961

Here Taft asserts his position on the rights of the laborer to join a union, for "in order to induce employer to change conditions, employers have the right to strike, as long as persuasion of co-workers does not reach point of duress." Workers do not, however, "have the right injure employer's property, or conduct secondary boycott."

Will of the People - Recording

Date of Recording: 1904
Duration: 1:21
Call Number: VVL00960

In this excerpt, Vice President William Taft directly answers criticism leveled by Democrat William Jennings Bryan on the issue of the Gold Standard. A proponent of the Gold Standard, Taft here argues that the Standard does indeed reflect the collective will of the people.


  • Introduction to Early Voices

  • America and Its Early Voices

  • Introduction to Early Recording
  • William Jennings Bryan
  • Eugene Debs
  • Thomas Edison
  • Samuel Gompers
  • William McKinley
  • William Taft
  • Booker T. Washington