Chapter 27

Chapter 27: Republican Resurgence And Decline

Chapter Outline

I. The transformation of progressivism

  1. Wilson's progressive coalition had dissolved by 1920
    1. Disillusionment over World War I
    2. Organized labor unhappy over strikes of 1919-1920
    3. Farmers dissatisfied with wartime price controls
    4. Intellectuals disillusioned by prohibition and anti-evolution movements
    5. Many of progressivism's major goals had been reached
  2. Progressivist impulse transformed to move for good government and public services

II. Harding's administration

  1. The election of 1920
    1. Warren Harding won the Republican nomination after the convention deadlocked
      1. Promised a "Return to Normalcy".
      2. Old fashioned, folksy, insular, and somewhat reactionary.
      3. Influence of Florence, "The Duchess."
    2. James Cox won the Democratic nomination
      1. Nominated on 44th ballot by a fragmented party.
      2. Party nominated Franklin
      3. Roosevelt as vice president.
    3. Victory for Harding, with 60 percent of the popular vote
      1. First presidential election for women voters.
      2. Cox only won states within the Democratic South.
  2. Harding as president
    1. Appointments included good and bad choices
      1. Good
        1. Charles Evans Hughes-Secretary of State
        2. Herbert Hoover-Secretary of Commerce
        3. Andrew Mellon-Secretary of Treasury
        4. Henry Wallace-Secretary of Agriculture
      2. Bad
        1. "The Ohio Gang"
    2. Harding lacked self-confidence as president
    3. Supreme Court appointments
      1. Appointed four justices, all very conservative, to "reverse a few decisions" and roll back Progressivism.
        1. Struck down federal child labor laws.
        2. Moved to limit the power of unions.
        3. Limited federal regulation of business.
    4. Pro-Business Policies of Andrew Mellon
      1. Limited government spendin
        1. Established the General Accounting Office
      2. Tax reductions for the rich
        1. Resisted by western Republicans and southern Democrats.
      3. A higher tariff
        1. Fordney-McCumber Tariff of 1922
      4. Federal budget balanced
    5. Harding named conservative advocates of big business to head major regulatory agencies
    6. Harding's Progressive streak.
      1. Race
        1. Federal job opportunities for African Americans.
        2. Spoke against vigilante racism.
        3. Urged nation to deal with "Race question".
        4. Verbally attacked Ku Klux Klan.
        5. Supported anti-lynching legislation.
  3. Corruption in Harding's administration
    1. Scandals of the Ohio Gang
      1. Veterans Bureau
      2. Attorney General Harry Daugherty
    2. The Teapot Dome scandal
      1. Albert Fall of the Interior Department allowed private companies to exploit government-owned oil deposits
      2. Harding troubled by the scandals
    3. Harding's death spared him from public disgrace
    4. Recent assessments of Harding
      1. Nan Britton
      2. More active than once assume
      3. Supporter of diversity and civil rights.

III. The rise of Calvin Coolidge

  1. Became president at Harding's death
  2. Coolidge's character
    1. "Silent Cal"
    2. Inactive, provincial, simple, and business oriente
  3. Election of 1924
    1. Coolidge, who controlled the party machinery, won the Republican nomination
    2. John W. Davis named candidate of divided Democratic party
    3. Progressive, Farmer-Labor, and Socialist parties named Robert La Follette
    4. Landslide victory for Coolidge; La Follette polled largest vote ever for third-party candidate

IV. Republican prosperity in the 1920s

  1. Much of prosperity fueled by growth of consumer-goods industries
    1. Home appliances and comforts.
    2. Movies and radio.
    3. Telephones.
  2. Advances in transportation
    1. Airplanes
      1. Industry foundered after World War I
        1. Kelly Act of 1925
        2. Air Commerce Act of 1926
      2. Charles Lindbergh
      3. Amelia Earhart
    2. Automobiles
      1. Provided market for steel, glass, rubber, textiles, and oil.
      2. Salient example of mass production
        1. Henry Ford
        2. Democratization of the automobile

V. Coolidge's administration

  1. Economic stabilization
    1. Herbert Hoover (secretary of commerce) and "associationalism"
      1. Hoover's American Individualism (1922)
      2. Standardization in industry and business
      3. Promoted trade associations
    2. Supreme Court upheld trade associations
  2. Agricultural policies
    1. Agriculture still weak in the 1920s
    2. Commodity-marketing associations
    3. The American Farm Bureau Federation represented corporate attitudes of commercial farmers
    4. The Farm Bloc
    5. The McNary-Haugen bill
      1. Plan to dump surplus crops on world market to raise prices on home market
      2. Vetoed by Coolidge
  3. Labor policies
    1. Employers used various devices to keep out unions
      1. "American plan"-the open shop allowed employers not to hire unionists
      2. "Yellow-dog" contracts-workers forced to agree not to join union
      3. "Industrial democracy" and "welfare capitalism"-offered workers alternatives to unions
    2. Union membership declined in 1920s
    3. Gastonia strike of 1929
      1. Loray Mill, Gastonia, NC
        1. Governor dispatches National Guard
        2. Vigilante response
        3. Company victory.

VI. Hoover's administration

  1. Election of 1928
    1. Republicans nominated Herbert Hoover
      1. Engineer, public servant, esteemed bureaucrat.
    2. Democrats nominated Alfred Smith
      1. Catholic, rural, anti-prohibition.
    3. Similarities in Republican and Democratic platforms
    4. The images of the candidates
    5. Victory for Hoover
  2. Hoover as progressive and humanitarian
  3. For farmers, Hoover endorsed the Agricultural Marketing Act, which supported farm cooperatives
    1. Federal Farm Board
      1. Manipulated crop prices and larger market.
  4. The Hawley-Smoot Tariff raised duties to all-time high
    1. Crippled farm prices
  5. The economy out of control
    1. The Florida real-estate boom
    2. Increased speculation in the stock market
    3. The stock market peaked on September 3, 1929

VII. Hoover in the Depression

  1. The stock market had its worst day on October 29
  2. Hoover's first action was to express hope, though wages fell and unemployment rose
  3. Reasons for the crash
    1. Economic factors
    2. Governmental policies
    3. The gold standard
  4. The human toll of the Depression
  5. Hoover's attempts at recovery
    1. Asked businessmen to let profits suffer before purchasing power
    2. Increased opportunities for credit
    3. The "Hooverization" of America
    4. Hoover kept to his philosophy of voluntarism
  6. In elections of 1930 Republicans lost control of both houses of Congress
  7. More attempts at recovery
    1. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation, to keep financial institutions open
    2. Glass-Steagall Act increased loan opportunities
    3. Federal Home Loan Act provided financing for home mortgages
    4. The Emergency Relief and Construction Act provided funds for public works programs

VIII. Protests against Hoover's policies

  1. Farmers
    1. Legislative programs brought farmers little relief
    2. Farmers protested by striking and blocking delivery of produce
  2. Communists
    1. Some successes
    2. No significant increase in party membership
  3. Veterans
    1. Congress in 1924 had voted veterans' bonus payable in 1945
    2. The Bonus Expeditionary Force marched on Washington demanding immediate payment of the bonus
    3. Congress rejected their demands, but many veterans stayed in Washington
    4. Army used to evict veterans
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