The public believed that Harding was a handsome, charming politician who looked like a leader.
He was worried about his limitations.
He once admitted that he was not fit for the office.
Both Grant and Harding were in office.
Grant's Hamilton Fish became the secretary of state.
Herbert Hoover in the Commerce Department, Andrew W. Mellon in the Treasury, and Henry C. Wal ace in the Agriculture Department made policy on their own.
Other cabinet members and admin istrative appointees were not as conscientious.
The secretary of the interior and the attorney general were both sentenced to prison.
The "Ohio gang," a group of Harding's drinking buddies, went to many lesser offices.
He was not a reformer.
He wanted to reverse the progressive activism of Wilson and Roosevelt and reestablish the authority of Congress over the presidency.
Many progressive regulatory laws and agencies were dismantled or neutralized by his lieutenants.
A minimum- wage law for women and a federal child- labor law were struck down by the court in the 1920s.
The national debt ballooned from $1 billion in 1914 to $27 billion in 1920 because of the expenses associated with the war.
The unemployment rate was over 12 percent.
Presidents often surround themselves with friends and appoint them to public office despite their inferior qualifications.
The third richest man in the world behind John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford was the Secretary of the Treasury when he came up with the plan to generate economic growth.
The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 created a Bureau of the Budget to streamline the process of preparing an annual federal budget to be approved by Congress.
The Gen eral Accounting Office was created to audit spending by federal agencies.
The act fulfilled a long held progressive desire to bring more efficiency and nonpartisanship to the budget preparation process.
The brilliant but cold Mellon was described as a " thin- voiced, thin- bodied, shy and uncommunicative man" by his son.
The war tax rate on the highest income level was 73 percent by 1918.
His policies reduced tax rates.
He convinced Congress to cut the top rate from 73 percent in 1921 to 24 percent in 1929 to help the working poor.
Only 2% of American workers had to pay income taxes by 1929.
The federal budget was reduced by Mellon.
The national debt and Gov ernment expenditures increased the economy.
In 1923, the unemployment rate was 2.4 percent.
His supporters said he was the greatest Treasury secretary since Alexander Hamilton.
The Republican policy of high tariffs on imported goods was promoted by Mellon.
The revival of German corporations that had dominated those industries before the Great War was helped by the Fordney- McCumber Tariff of 1922.
The new act included tariffs on agricultural imports.
Many progressive regulatory laws were sought to be dismantled by the Republican economic program.
Commissioners were appointed to federal agencies who would promote "regulatory capitalism" and policies friendly to business interests.
Warren G. Harding was more pro gressive than Woodrow Wilson.
Wilson's policy was to exclude African Americans from federal government jobs.
He spoke out against the racism that had arisen after the war.
The anti- lynching bill was killed by southern Democrats in the Senate.
The first president to deliver a speech focused on race in the former Confederacy was Harding.
All true negroes believe that all races should develop on their own social lines.
W. E. B was delighted by Harding's speech.
Few southerners agreed.
Urban workers shared in the wealth of the 1920s.
Between 1921 and 1928, nonfarm workers gained 30 percent in real wages, but farm income rose only 10 percent, and organized labor suffered.
The president tried to reduce the workday and workweek to give the working class time for leisure and family life, but he ran into stiff opposition in Congress.
The widespread strikes of 1919 created fears that unions were pro socialism.
Between January 1920 and August 1921, the national unemployment rate jumped from 2 percent to 14 percent and industrial production fell by 23 percent.
The open shop gave employers the right to hire anyone, unlike the closed shop, which only allowed union members to be hired.
Workers were often forced to sign yellow- dog contracts, which made them feel as if they were being mistreated as a yellow dog.
They used spies, blacklists, and intimidation to block unions.
Some employers tried to kill the unions with kindness by introducing programs of "industrial democracy" guided by company- sponsored unions, such as profit sharing, bonuses, pensions, health programs, and recreational activities.
Anti- union efforts paid off for employers.
The number of union members fell from 5 million in 1920 to 3.5 million in 1929 as the unemployment rate fell.
The anti- union effort led by businesses that wanted to keep wages low and unions weak helped create a purchasing power crisis where the working poor were not earning enough to buy the goods being churned out by increasingly produc tive industries.
Executives used company profits to pay dividends to stockholders, invest in new equipment, and increase their own salaries, while doing little to help wage earners.
Corporate executives received one third of the nation's income in 1929.
The new economy was not benefiting enough working class Americans to be sustainable.
Wage levels didn't give the people enough purchasing power.
The Republican formula of high tariffs, low and stagnant wages, low taxes, little regulation, and anti- unionism would eventually cause the Great Depression.
The postwar spirit of isolation was found in the Senate's rejection of American membership in the League of Nations.
The great problems of the world-- social, political, economic and theological-- do not concern George Jean Nathan.
The United States could not ignore its expanding global interests because of the desire to stay out of foreign wars.
The Great War made the United States the world's chief banker, and American investments and loans allowed foreigners to purchase U.S. exports.
The complex issue of paying off war debts was the reason for America's isolationism.
In 1917, when France and Great Britain ran out of money to pay for military supplies, the U.S. government advanced them massive loans.
Europeans thought differently than Americans did.
While the United States was raising an army in 1917, the European Allies held off the German invasion.
The United States repudiated old debts to British investors after the American Revolution.
The French said that they had never been repaid for helping the Americans win the Revolution.
The British and French were in a bind during the 1920s.
To get U.S. dol ars with which to pay their war- related debts, Euro pean nations had to sell their goods to the United States.
The war- related debts became harder to pay because of soaring American tariffs.
The British and French insisted that they could not repay their debts until Germany paid them $33 billion in compensation.
The Ger man economy was in bad shape.
During the 1920s, the financial strain on Germany brought the structure of international payments to the verge.
Private American bankers were called in by the Reparations Commission to work on rescue plans.
The German economy was propped up by loans from the U.S. banks so that they could repay their debts to the United States.
Many Americans decided after the Great War that the best way to keep peace was to limit the size of armies.
The United States had no intention of maintaining a large army after 1920, but it did build a powerful navy under the shipbuilding program that began in 1916.
The British and Americans were concerned about the growth of Japanese power in Asia and the Pacific.
At the Washington Naval Conference in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes made a proposal to address the problem by inviting diplomats from eight nations.
He said that the only way out of the naval arms race was to eliminate scores of existing warships.
The Japanese warships would also be destroyed.
The audience stood up and applauded.
The delegates at the Washington Naval Conference spent months ironing out the final details of the agreement, which took effect in 1922.
The Five- Power Treaty limited the size of their naval vessels.
The treaty was the first of its kind.
The world was divided into spheres of influence as a result of the agreement, with the U.S. naval power becoming supreme in the Western Hemisphere, Japanese power in the western Pacific, and British power from the North Sea to Singapore.
Many Americans embraced the idea of abolishing war with a stroke of a pen after the Great War.
The American Committee for the Outlawry of War was founded in 1921 by a wealthy Chicagoan.
"We can outlaw the war system like we did slavery and the saloon," said the enthusiastic convert.
The signing of the Briand Pact was the culmination of the seductive idea of abolishing war.
The French foreign minister proposed to the U.S. Secretary of State that the two countries never go to war.
The agreement was approved by the U.S. Senate.
The global war resulted in more than 60 million lion deaths.
The nations signed the Pact.
It's not much for outlawing war.
The Senate's repeated refusal to approve American membership in the World Court made the isolationist mood in the United States worse.
The World Court was created by the League of Nations.
The Senate refused to approve American membership in the World Court because it did not want the United States to be bound in any way.
The isolationist attitude of the Republican presidents during the 1920s soothed tensions with America's neighbors to the south.
The US agreed to pay $25 million to the repub lic of Colombia after the Panama Canal Zone was seized.
The American troops left the Dominican Republic in 1924.
The U.S. Marines returned to Nicaragua after the outbreak of civil war in 1925.
The Coolidge adminstration brought both parties into an agreement for U.S.-supervised elections, but one rebel leader, Cesar Augusto Sandino, held out, and the marines stayed until 1933.
The United States and Mexico had strained relations due to the troubles in Nicaragua.
After Mexican threats to exprocise American oil properties in Mexico, relations soured.
The U.S. ambassa dor negotiated an agreement protecting American rights before 1917.
The Mexican government agreed to reimburse American owners after expropriation.
The scandals within the administration distracted the President.
The head of the Veterans Bureau resigned early in 1923 when faced with an investigation for stealing medical and hospital supplies intended for former servicemen.
The legal adviser to the bureau took his own life a few weeks later.
It was discovered that Jesse Smith was selling federal paroles, pardons, and judgeships from his Justice Department office.
Smith was dressed down when he was called to the Oval Office.
Smith took his own life in Daugherty's apartment.
Daugherty was accused of selling German assets for personal gain.
He refused to testify because it might incriminate him.
The Teapot Dome was managed by the Department of the Interior.
The Secretary of the Interior was deep in debt and had not paid his taxes for eight years.
The Teapot Dome scandal is depicted in a political cartoon as Republican officials try to outrun it.
Fall was the first former cabinet official to serve time because of wrongdoing in office, after being convicted of conspiracy and bribery and sentenced to a year in prison.
He knew enough to be troubled, but it's not clear how much he knew about the scandals.
In 1923, Harding left on his last journey, a trip to the West Coast and the Alaska Territory.
He asked Herbert Hoover what he should do about the scandal.
He had an attack of food poisoning in Seattle.
He died in San Francisco after showing signs of recovery.
He was older than seven years.
As a result of his corrupt associates, the administration was viewed as one of the worst in history.
According to recent assessments, the scandals obscured Harding's accomplishments.
He helped create the economic boom of the 1920s by leading the nation out of the turmoil of the post war years.
He was a strong advocate of women's rights.
Vice President Calvin Coolidge and his wife were visiting his father in Vermont when the news of President Harding's death broke.
"We'd better have a drink," said Coolidge as he was awakened to the news.
On August 3, 1923, Colonel John Coolidge, a farmer, merchant, and notary public, gave the presidential oath of office to his son by the light of a lamp.
Calvin Coolidge was born on the 4th of July in 1872.
He was horrified by the jazzed up 1920s.
He believed in the ideals of personal integrity and devotion to public service and was an advocate for capitalism and minimal government regulation of business.
Coolidge had won every political race he had entered, but he never loved the spotlight.
Coolidge wanted his wife, a college graduate, to speak less and do less than he did.
She was forbidden from giving interviews, driving a car, flying in an airplane, cutting her hair, smoking in public, or giving opinions on national affairs.
Grace Coolidge accepted a lesser role.
Most voters didn't mind Coolidge's views about gender roles.
He was liked by most people for his uprightness and humility.
He championed hard work and self- discipline.
Coolidge was a Republican state senator in Massachusetts.
He voted for a state income tax, a minimum wage for female workers, and salary increases for public school teachers.
He had abandoned most of the causes by the time he was in the White House.
Coolidge linked the welfare of the nation to the success of Big Business.
He preached that the American people are business people.
A temple is built by the man who builds a factory.
Coolidge continued his efforts to lower tax rates with the help of Treasury secretary Andrew Mellon.
Coolidge focused on promoting industrial development by limiting federal regulation of business and industry as opposed to balancing the interests of labor, agriculture, and industry.
He vetoed fifty acts of Congress.
Coolidge has more ability than I had given him credit for, but he has little imagination and no initiative, as Colonel House decided after having dinner with the president at the White House.
Coolidge issued government workers one pencil at a time, but only after they turned in the stub of the old pencil.
Calvin Coolidge held warring Republican groups together while restoring the dignity of the presidency.
He was nominated for the party's presidency in 1924.
He invited reporters to the White House.
The deep divisions between urban and rural America were highlighted at the Democratic party's nominating convention.
William McAdoo was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.
New York governor Al Smith was the leader of the party's anti- Klan, anti- Prohibition wing.
Neither Smith nor McAdoo could get the nomination.
The Democrats took a record 103 ballots over 16 days in the summer and decided on a compromise candidate: John W. Davis, a little-known lawyer from West Virginia.
In 1912, rural Populists and urban progressives abandoned both major parties, as they did in 1912.
Robert M. "Fighting Bob" La Follette was nominated by the old Progressive party.
La Follette voted against the declaration of war against Germany.
He won the support of the Socialist party and the American Federation of Labor.
Coolidge won both the popular and electoral votes in the 1924 election.
Davis and the Democrats took only the southern states, while La Follette took only Wisconsin.
The largest popular vote ever polled by a third- party candidate was for La Follette, with over five million votes.
Coolidge believed that his landslide gave him a mandate to shrink the federal government.
The height of postwar political conserva tism was represented by Coolidge's victory.
Business executives saw the election results as endorsement of their influence on government policy, and Coolidge saw the economy's prosperity as confirmation of his support of Big Business.
His duty was to not do anything that would undermine contentment.
The drive for industrial efficiency, which had been a prominent theme among progressives, powered the wheels of mass consumption and became a belief of Republican leaders.
Herbert Hoover, secretary of commerce in the Coolidge cabi nets, was a remarkable success story.
He was raised by stern uncles in Iowa and Oregon after being orphans at age nine.
He decided that he was smarter, more energetic, and more disciplined than others because he was a shy person.
He was an oil tycoon and financial wizard before he was forty years old.
Hoover's ruthless genius for managing difficult oper ations was bred in him a self-confidence that verging on conceit.
He wanted to be the president of the United States.
Herbert Hoover traded his career in private business for one in pub lic service during the outbreak of war in 1914.
He helped to evacuate tens of thousands of Americans stuck in Europe after the German invasion of France, and then helped to provide food to 7.5 million starving civilians in German-occupied Belgium.
The "Great Humanitarian" worked with the U.S. delegation at the Versailles peace conference.
Hoover supported American membership in the League of Nations.
Franklin Roosevelt stood in awe of Hoover.
Roosevelt said in 1920 that he wished we could make Hoover President of the United States.
He wanted government officials to encourage business leaders to forgo cutthroat competition and engage in voluntary cooperation in order to increase efficiency and productivity.
During the 1920s, Hoover transformed the small department into the most dynamic agency.
He looked for new markets for business, created a Bureau of Aviation to promote the new airline industry, and established the Federal Radio Commission.
Despite President Coolidge's indifference, Hoover organized the massive recovery effort after the Missis sippi River flooded in 1927.
The weakest sector of the economy was agriculture.
Commodity prices went up as European agricultural production returned to prewar levels.
In the early 20th century, mechanized agriculture became more important.
Farmers pose with their new equipment.
A bumper cotton crop in 1926 resulted in an early taste of depression in the South, where foreclosures and bankruptcies spread.
The most successful farms were larger, more efficient, and more mechanized.
13 percent of farmers had a tractor by 1930, and the proportion was even higher on the western plains.
Crop yields, fertilization, and methods of animal breeding were improved by better plows, harvesters, combines, and other machines.
Most farmers were struggling to survive.
Surplus American crops should be sold on the world market.
The goal was to raise prices at home so that farmers would have the same purchasing power that they had in the early 20th century.
Coolidge vetoed the bill because he said it was unsound and unconstitutional.
The process was repeated again in 1928.
In a broader sense, it did not fail.
The debate over the bill made the farm problem a national issue and defined it as a matter of managing surpluses.
In the next decade, the South and the West would have a dominant influence on national farm policy.
His grief at the death of his son in 1924 was reflected in his unexpected decision.
He was worried that critics would say he was pursuing a dictatorship and that he would be the longest serving president in history.
Herbert Hoover was able to win the Republi can nomination because of Coolidge's decision.
The longest period of sustained prosperity, the government's cost cutting, debt and tax reduction, and the high tariffs are all credited in the party's platform.
Franklin D. Roosevelt called Alfred E. Smith the "Happy Warrior" in his nominating speech.
The sheet music for the Democratic nominee, Alfred E. Smith, and the Republican nominee, Herbert Hoover, drew on popular tunes and motifs of the time.
A professional Irish American politician from New York City's Lower East Side.
Smith was a hero to working class Democrats in northern cities because he was the grandson of an Irish Catholic immigrant who became governor of the most populous state.
The Irish, Italians, Germans, and others all found him to be an ardent critic of prohibition.
Smith was the first Roman Catholic nominated for president by a major party, a product of New York's machine- run politics, and a "wet" on prohibition, and he represented all that was opposed by southern and western rural.
The Ku Klux Klan issued a "Klarion Kall for a Krusade" against him, mailing thousands of postcards proclaiming that "Alcohol" Smith, the Catholic New Yorker, was the Antichrist.
Smith had to deal with constant criticism.
No Democrat could have beaten Hoover.
The nation was prosperous and at peace, and Hoover seemed to be the best person to sustain the good times.
Hoover won the election with 21 million popular votes and an electoral college majority of 444 to 87.
The Democrats' Solid South was penetrated by Hoover, winning Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas.
Both houses of Congress were controlled by Republicans.
There was a hint of hope for Democrats in the results.
Smith's vote total doubled that of John Davis in the largest cities.
Hoover told the nation at his inauguration in 1929 that he had no fears for the future of the country.
Calvin Coolidge wasn't sure if Hoover could keep up with the good times.
Coolidge's doubts about Hoover's political abilities would prove correct, as the new president would soon confront an economic earth quake that would test all of his skil s-- and expose his weaknesses.
Rarely has a new president entered office with higher expectations.
He was a dedicated public servant with proven organization and business savvy who would ensure continued prosperity.
Americans earned record levels of income in 1929.
The prices of stock shares in U.S. companies had risen steadily since 1924.
The price went up further on the wings of reckless speculation.
In 1919, some 317 million shares of stock changed hands, while in 1929 the number was more than a billion.