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Social Studies help for American History, Economics and AP Government. There are class notes, numerous Supreme Court case summaries and information on how to write a research paper inside.

How did the policies of Harding and Coolidge affect America?

The 1920's were a time of great character and change yet Presidents Harding and Coolidge were conservative Presidents. The policies they set in place were popular at the time but as we shall see their lack of fore sight and unwillingness to stay involved internationally eventually led America into its most desperate hour... the Great Depression.


I. America in the 1920's - Presidential Policies

A. What did Harding mean by a "return to normalcy?"

1. Simpler times - Harding was a conservative. He felt that the Progressive Era had complicated things.

2. A return to Laissez Faire. Harding felt that Progressive Legislation was un American and hurt our industrial capacity.

3. Isolation - Harding believed that the less we were involved in foreign affairs the better. While he did deviate from this on several occasions his foreign policies were always directed towards reducing the chances of being involved in another conflict.

B. What were American attitudes like during the Harding administration? (See Lesson 56)

1. Intolerance

2. Red Scare, Sacco Vanzetti, Palmer Raids, Ku Klux Klan

3. Emergency Quota Act

C. How involved was America in foreign policy?

1. Washington Arms Conference (1922)

-Nine Power Act - Open Door in Asia is recognized. This limited imperialistic competition.

-Five Power Act - Ship building froze for ten years. Some ships scrapped. Ratios set at 5:5:3:1.75:1.75 between US, GB, Japan, France, Italy.

2. Passage of Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1920)

-High protective tariffs. European exports to US fell from 5 billion to 2.5 billion in 1922.

3. Demand for reparations.

D. Policies of Calvin Coolidge - Coolidge took office when Harding died. He too was a simple man with simple policies. Coolidge rarely spoke and was dubbed "Silent Cal." After the tumult of the scandal ridden Harding Administration Silent Cal's quiet leadership, simple policies and conservative values were very popular.

1. Great prosperity, simple policies.

2. Kellogg Briand Pact (1928)

-15 nations agree to renounce war. Eventually 62 sign on.

E. Effects of Coolidge's and Harding's policies

1. Rich got richer and poor got poorer.

2. Wild speculation on stocks

3. Agricultural overproduction and farm foreclosures.

4. Continuing decrease international trade caused by a terrible depression in Europe and our protective tariffs.

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