- Slides: 23
The Harding Presidency Chapter 20, Section 2
Warren G. Harding • Became president in • • 1921 – Dark Horse Promised to take America back to “normalcy” (time before the Progressive Era and the Great War) News publisher, Senator, Ohio Lt. Gov
Harding’s Affair • Nan Britton – school girl • Carrie Fulton Philips – best friend’s wife • German spy? • Love letters – 2014 unsealed • Poisoned?
Problems following WWI • After World War I, there were problems relating to: – Arms control – War debts – Reconstruction of war-torn nations
Washington Naval Conference • Harding invites several major powers to Washington Naval Conference in 1921. • Charles Evans Hughes (U. S. Sec. of State) urged no more warships be built for ten years. • 5 major powers – U. S. A. , Great Britain, Japan, France, and Italy. – Japan wanted 10: 7, US wanted 10: 5 – Compromise – 5 -5 -3 -1. 7
Kellogg-Briand Pact • Signed by 15 nations in 1928, it renounced war as a national policy. • No means of enforcement.
Repayment of war debt • Great Britain and France had trouble paying back $10 billion borrowed from U. S. during war.
Fordney-Mc. Cumber Tariff • Raised taxes on U. S. imports to 60% - highest ever. • Protected U. S. businesses, but G. B. and France couldn’t send goods to U. S.
Germany defaults on payments • Germany defaults on payments, and French • • • troops move in. To avoid war, U. S. banker Charles Dawes comes up with a plan (Dawes Plan) in which American investors loan Germany $2. 5 billion to pay back Great Britain and France. Those countries could then pay back U. S. was being repaid with its own money.
Resentment • Great Britain and • France consider U. S. a miser for not sharing cost of war. U. S. considers G. B. and France financially irresponsible.
Harding’s Cabinet • Charles Evans Hughes • • – Sec. of State Herbert Hoover (Foods Administration) – Sec. of Commerce Andrew Mellon – Sec. of Treasury
Charles Evans Hughes • Progressive Governor • • of NY Supreme Court Justice Presidential Candidate Sec of State Supreme Court Chief Justice after Taft (1930)
Herbert Hoover – Sec of Commerce • Headed relief effort • for Belgium during WW 1 – Seen as a hero – some people said that he saved more people than any man in history Foods Administration during WW 1
Sec of Treasury Mellon • Enriched self through office • IRS • Chinese company contracts • Wealth doubled
The Ohio Gang • Harding rounded out his • cabinet with the “Ohio gang” – his poker-playing cronies Harding’s corrupt friends began to use their offices to become wealthy through graft. – Veterans Bureau – Office of Alien Property
The Ohio Gang • Jess Smith • Harding corrupt? – Ohio Gang “fixer” – Slush funds – H Street House – Chorus Girl death • Atty Gen. Harry Daugherty • C. Forbes – Veterans Bureau - ~$200 million – Looked the other way • Signed off on Teapot Dome without knowing what he was doing
Teapot Dome Scandal • Gov’t set aside oil-rich public land at Teapot • Dome, WY and Elk Hills, CA Sec. of Interior Albert Fall got them moved from Navy to Interior Dept. – He secretly leased the land to 2 private oil companies. – Claimed it was for gov’t’s interest, but he later received more than $400, 000. – Found guilty of bribery.
What did Harding do? • Pardoned Eugene Debs • Fought for Anti-Lynching and desegregation of D. C.
Harding’s Sudden Death • Harding died suddenly • on August 2, 1923 (probably from heart attack or stroke). Vice-President Calvin Coolidge assumes presidency and is elected to the office the following year.
Why Coolidge? • Have Faith in Massachusetts • Law and Order
Great Mississippi Flood of 1927