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The Politics of Boom and
The Republican “Old Guard”
President Warren G. Harding was elected.
His cabinet did have some good officials,
though, such as Secretary of State Charles
Evans Hughes, Secretary of Commerce Herbert
Hoover, and Secretary of the Treasury Andrew
W. Mellon.
However, people like Senator Albert B. Fall of
New Mexico, a scheming anti-conservationist,
became secretary of the interior, and Harry M.
Daugherty took over the reigns as attorney
GOP Reaction at the Throttle
Harding hoped to further laissez-faire capitalism
Harding appointed four of the nine justices, including
William H. Taft, former president of the United States.
In the early 1920s, the Supreme Court killed a federal
child-labor law.
In the case of Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, the court
reversed its ruling in the Muller v. Oregon case by
invalidating a minimum wage law for women.
Under Harding anti-trust laws were not as enforced or
downright ignored.
Men sympathetic to railroads headed the Interstate
Commerce Commission
The Aftermath of the War
Wartime government controls disappeared (dismantling
of the War Industries Board) and Washington returned
control of railroads to private hands by the EschCummins Transportation Act of 1920.
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 authorized the
Shipping Board, which controlled about 1,500 vessels, to
get rid of a lot of ships at bargain prices, thus reducing
the size of the navy.
Labor lost much of its power, as a strike was ruthlessly
broken in 1919, and the Railway Labor Board ordered a
wage cut of 12% in 1922.
Labor membership shrank by 30% from 1920 to 1930
The Aftermath of the War cont.
In 1921, the Veterans’ Bureau was created to
operate hospitals and provide vocational
rehabilitation for the disabled.
Many veterans wanted the monetary
compensation promised to them for their
services in the war.
The Adjusted Compensation Act gave every
former soldier a paid-up insurance policy due in
twenty years. It was passed by Congress twice
(the second time to override president Calvin
Coolidge’s veto).
America Seeks Benefits Without
Since the United States was not a part of the
league of nations it failed.
America also gained ground in the middle east,
by staking claims in oil.
Disarmament was also very big during this time
Treaties like the five power naval treaty, four
power treaty, Anglo Japanese Treaty and The
Nine Power Treaty were passed.
Hiking the Tariff Higher
Fordney McCumber Tariff law
President Harding and Coolidge always
sided with the big business
Since the U.S. did not want European
goods they had no way to pay back their
The Stench of Scandal
Charles R. Forbes resigned as the head of the
Veterans Bureau
They stole money from the government (around
200 million)
The teapot scandal was when Albert B. Fall took
bribes from large oilmen, Henry F. Sinclair and
Edward L. Doheny
Harry Daughtery gave out illegal liquor permits.
President Harding died in San Francisco on
August 2, 1923
“Silent Cal” Coolidge
After Harding’s death Vice President Calvin
Coolidge was sworn into office by his father,
using an old family Bible
Born and raised in Vermont, he embodied the
new England virtues of honesty, morality,
industry, and frugality. Very serious, and shy
Supporter of big business, wanted to reduce
taxes and debts.
Frustrated Farmers
During War times farmers prospered due to massive
purchases by foreign nations, a high demand, and
government- guaranteed high prices
Farmers began using the gasoline powered tractor,
which improved efficiency and helped keep up with the
high war time demand.
After the war ended foreign production reentered the
world market and demand lessened, farmers were left
with an overabundance of crops and an agricultural
The Capper-Volstead Act and McNary-Haugen Bill
proposed to bring relief to farmers, not effective
A Three-Way Race for the
White House in 1924
Coolidge, Republican nominee for election of 1924
Democratic party, split into many categories, finally
settled on the nomination of John W. Davis, a wealthy
lawyer connected to Wall Street banking house of J.P
 “Fighting Bob” La Follette stepped forward to lead a new
progressive group, most of the following made up of
struggling farmers
 Coolidge and the Republicans won easily with a
15,718,211 to 8,385,283 and an electoral count of 382
to 136, and 13 for La Follette
American troops in the Caribbean and Central America
were withdrew from the areas but some American troops
remained in Haiti from 1914-1934 and in Nicaragua from
1926- 1933.
In1926, The Mexican Government declared its control
over the oil resources in Mexico.
The Allies protested the demand for repayment pointing
out that they had lost a lot of troops and that America
should just write off the loans as war costs.
America’s new tariff made it a lot harder for European
Allied nations to sell their goods and earn money to pay
their debts.
Unraveling the Debt Knot
America demanded that France and Britain
repay them for the war, so they pressed
Germany for large amounts of payments totaling
up to 32 billion dollars in war-inflicted damages.
The Dawes Plan of 1924-rescheduled German
reparations payments and opened the way for
Americans to give private loans to Germany. US
Banks loaned money to Germany, Germany paid
money to France and Britain, and the Allies paid
war debts to the US.
The US never did get its money from Europe.
1915-Jacmel, Haiti: American occupation of Haiti 1915. Stationed at
Jacmel. Bettmann Standard RM.
NNDB. Charles G. Dawes. Copyright ©2009 Soylent Communications." U.S. Senate. 10 Mar. 2009
"Election of 1924." American History and World History. 10 Mar. 2009
Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary,
Thesaurus. Free online reference, research & homework help. — 10 Mar. 2009