Republican Presidents of the 1920*s


• Harding and Coolidge won both elections of 1920 and 1924 .

– (This included defeating FDR)

• The people wanted a return to “normalcy” .

• The League of Nations was the major campaign issue, and the League was rejected as was Wilson.

• Coolidge won easily in 1924 after succeeding

Harding to the presidency after Harding’s death the previous year.


• Harding represented the best and worst of small-town America .

• He was a real “good old boy.”

• proclaimed the traditional virtues of rural America.

• Realitynot very moral , and was considered one of the most incompetent presidents in history!

Republican Policies of the Twenties

• Both Harding and Coolidge carried out policies reflecting the times.

• Americans were tired of the Progressive

Movement and the restrictions and sacrifices of World War I.

• Americans wanted government and business reconciled.

strikes consumerism

Republican Policies of the Twenties

• Emphasis was on balancing the budget and reducing the deficit.

• Social and economic needs were shifted to the states.

• Coolidge’s statement “The business of

America is business” was symbol of this period.

Harding with Cabinet


• Harding’s administration was rocked by scandals!

– "My God, this is a hell of a job! I have no trouble with my enemies . . . but my damned friends...

They’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights."

• *Three major scandals:

– In the Veterans' Bureau

– In the office of the Alien Property Custodian

– In the Departments of the Interior and Justice.

Teapot Dome Scandal

• Secretary of the interior Albert Fall

– Leased government oil reserves to private companies

– For $100,000's kickbacks to rich oilmen

Teapot Dome Scandal


Teapot Dome Scandal

The Senate Investigation of the Teapot Dome Scandal

Albert B. Fall with Lawyers

"Sir, if you have a milkshake and I have a milkshake and my straw reaches across the room, I’ll end up drinking your milkshake.” (Fall, on oil scandal)

Death of President Harding

Pneumonia, stroke, suicide, murder, or heart attack?

Calvin Coolidge Being Sworn In


• Coolidge was the opposite of Harding .

• He was honest, taciturn, and religious.

• He wasn’t too active in office.

(Track 46- Coolidge on isolationism and business)

Coolidge with Transition Team


At Harding’s funeral

With family at White House


Coolidge with Mellon and Hoover

(Cutting taxes on rich would help everyone?)

Coolidge Political Cartoon

Herbert Hoover speech, NY

President Herbert Hoover

President Herbert Hoover

• "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land.”

– Herbert Hoover, one year before the

Great Depression began!

President Herbert Hoover

• Within 6 months of taking office the stock market crashed and the Great

Depression began.

• Hoover was unequipped to take the needed actions to relieve suffering:

– The unemployed

– poor farmers

– Didn’t initiate legislation to remedy the causes of depression.

Activity: (left side) Venn Diagram on Three Prez.