Group one, researching the twenties Period 3Presentation Transcript
Politics and Government
The Harding Administration
Warren G. Harding was the 29th President of the United States, serving from 1921 to 1923.
The goal of the Harding administration was to contribute to the successes of American business and industry with the help of governmental powers.
The appointed secretary of the treasury, Andrew Mellon, supported and pressed for the Congress to enact new tax legislation. The resulting Revenue Act of 1921, attempting to balance the position of discharging the nation’s obligations with the demand for lowering taxes, provided for the following:
The wartime tax on excess profits was repealed
the minimum surtax (a tax that increases an already existing tax) rate was reduced from 65 to 50 percent, but Mellon had urged a much deeper cut
the corporate tax was actually increased from 10 to 12.5 percent.
On March 4, President Harding assumed office while the nation was in the midst of a postwar economic decline, known as the Recession of 1920 through 1921. By summer of his first year in office, an economic recovery began for all except farmers.
The original Ku Klux Klan, which died out by the late 1870s was revived and reached its peak in the mid-1920s, achieving a totaled membership of about 4 million. Public whippings, tarring and feathering, and lynching occurred in many sections of the country, which President Harding’s lack of racial animosity expressed his belief and support of the federal anti-lynching bill, known as the Dryer Bill, passed by the House of Representatives, but defeated in the Senate by a Democratic filibuster.
The Knox-Porter Resolution was a treaty, which Harding worked behind the scenes to formally make peace with Austria and Germany, to which subsequent peace treaties were signed with both countries, ratified by the Senate, and signed by Harding in 1921, concluding World War I for the United States. The Senate had refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles in both 1919 and 1920; since it required the U.S. to endorse the League of Nations.
During the beginning of 1917, in which the United States began to loan money and supplies to European allies, lending more than $7 billion in government funds by the time the armitisice of 1918 occurred, followed up by another $3 billion, which was directed towards both the relief and reconstruction efforts for the Allies and other European nations that grew out of the Paris peace negotiations. As a result of the $10 billion we considered war debt, Congress established the World War Foreign Debt Commission in 1922 to negotiate repayment plans.
Also known as the International Conference on Naval Limitation, the Washington Naval Conference served as a military conference called by President Harding, to which nine nations attended: the United States, Japan, China, France, Britain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Portugal, becoming the first international conference held in the United States and the first disarmament conference in history. This resulted in various treaties, aopong which there were three major treaties:
Four-Power Treaty (signed by the United States, Great Britain, France, and Japan to maintain the status quo in the Pacific)
Five-Power Treaty (signed by the United States, Great Britain, France, Japan, and Italy to limit the construction of battleships, battlecruisers, and aircraft carriers)
Nine-Power Treaty (signed by all who attended to maintain an ‘open door’ to allow all nations equal rights and equal access to the treaty ports within their areas of influence in China).
The Harding Scandals
Veterans’ Bureau Scandal
Colonel Charles R. Forbes was appointed to be the leader of the Veternans’ Bureau.
Forbes apparently made corrupt bargains with various contractors, those who were primarily involved with the operation of hospitals, and sold government property at a fraction of its value.
After Charles F. Cramer committed suicide, the agency was then looked upon for closer exmaination, which pressured Forbes into resigning and fleeing to Europe.
A Senate investigation in 1924 found Forbes guilty of stealing $200 million from the government. He was subsequently indicted for bribery and corruption, and was brought back for trial in 1925. He was convicted, fined $10,000 and sentenced to two years in Leavenworth.
Alien Property Custodian Scandal
Appointed Thomas W. Miller during World War I to handle the property in the United States, belonging to the citizens of enemy nations.
It was later revealed that he had taken a bribe of $50,000 to influence the distribution and transfer of some of the property belonging to these aliens.
Miller was convicted in 1927 of fraud and sent to prison, primarily for his role in the sale of some German patents for a very small payment as compensation.
Teapot Dome Scandal
Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall leased oil reserves claimed by the Navy to private oil companies, owned by Harry Sinclair and Edward Doheny.
Fall gained significant profit from leasing the reserves.
The leasing was at low rates and had no competitive bidding.
The leasing under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 was, in fact, legal, but the $504,000 total payment (over $6.5 million today) was the illegal action.
In 1927, the Supreme Court ruled that the reserves were released fraudulently.
Fall was fined $100,000 in 1929 and was sentenced to a year in prison; he was the first Presidential cabinet member to go to prison under crimes committed in office.
Sinclair denied cooperation with government investigators, giving him a fine of $100,000 and a brief prison sentence for jury tampering.
Doheny was acquitted of bribery in 1930.
He was the 30th president of the United States.
He was in office August 2, 1923 through March 4, 1929
Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1924 and 1926 under the influence of Coolidge.
It reduced income tax rates and eliminated all income taxation for some two million people.
It was made to reduce the overall federal debt.
Coolidge spoke out in favor of the civil rights of African Americans and Catholics .
He appointed no known members of the Ku Klux Klan to office. The Klan lost most of its influence during his term.
On June 2, 1924, Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act . It granted the indians of America full citizenship, and it allowed them to keep their tribal lands and cultural rights.
Coolidge also appointed many African-Americans to federal office, such as Walter L. Cohen, a black Jewish from Louisiana, who was appointed as minister to Liberia.
Coolidge failed to address the economics of the farmers.
He vetoed the McNary-Haugen bill.
The McNary-Haugen bill would have regulated farm prices by having a federal farm that would purchase the surplus crops of farmers and would sell them abroad or hold them for later sale.
Bonus Bill Veto
Originating in 1920 from the Fordney Bill, named after the Representative Joseph W. Fordney, giving veterans the option of choosing between a cash bonus, education grants, or payments for housing or farming, it provided the government with a $5 billion project to which the Senate later rejected.
The World War Adjusted Compensation Act-additional payment for World War I veterans as compensation for military service, which was later calculated as a $4 billion program.
President Harding vetoed the Bonus Bill in 1922 for being governmentally irresponsible due to its excessive budget.
Congress was then presented with an even further revised version of the Bonus Bill, which failed in 1922 and was then handed over for President Calvin Coolidge's approval.
President Calvin Coolidge vetoed the bill, claiming “patriotism... bought and paid for is not patriotism.”
However, the bill was ultimately passed by Congress in 1924, over Harding’s and Coolidge’s veto.
created an antitrust division in the Justice Department
organized Federal Bureau of Prisons, and issued prison reforms
handled prisoners who committed crimes that were considered felonies
reestablished the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Norris - La Guardia Act: limited judicial intervention in labor disputes
Hoover-Stimson Doctrine: US would not recognized territories gained by force
Clark Memorandum: justified that any American intervention in the Western Hemisphere was not justified by the Monroe Doctrine but by America's right as a state
Began withdrawing American troops from Nicaragua and Haiti, which instigated FDR's Good Neighbor Policy
Similar beliefs as W.E.B. Du Bois, promoting education and assimilation for African-Americans and other races
No legislation granting or mention of rights granted to Americans despite racial or cultural background
Charles Curtis - America's first Native American Vice President, giving a deeper meaning to Native American reforms
Rejected direct federal welfare payments to individuals, so as not to instigate dependency
1931 Hoover Moratorium: one-year halt in reparation payments by Germany to France, establishing payments to be sent to the US instead
Formed the National Credit Corporation (NCC) in order to provide loans to smaller banks to prevent collapse; replaced by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation after its failure
Federal Home Loan Bank Act: reduced foreclosures and aided new home construction, in response to Hoovervilles (communities of tents sheltering the evicted)
Revenue Act of 1932: largest tax increase not during a war in American history, increasing taxes on almost everything, but most especially the net incomes of the top earners and corporations of the nation
Emergency Relief and Construction Act: authorized funds on public works programs and created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)
World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924: promised payment for WWI veterans by 1945
In June 1932, the "Bonus Army" (veterans and their families) camped out in Washington, DC to demand immediate payment
Hoover sent military forces to stop a march
General Douglas MacArthur, ignoring Hoover's orders to not move upon the camps, injured hundreds of civilians
Hoover and the Hawley-Smoot Tariff
Passed on 17 June 1930
Raised tariffs on over 20 thousand different imports in order to promote domestic production, industry, and manufacturing
Second-highest tariff in American history, lower than just the Tariff of 1828
Initial purpose was to preserve American jobs and protect farmers from foreign competition
Hoover opposed the bill, but was influenced by fellow Republicans and business leaders to sign the bill
Several boycotts and protests occurred even before the bill's passing
Both US imports and exports decreased over 60%, forcing foreign nations to find new trading partners
Although enacted after the stock market crash of 1929, many historians argue that the act worsened the economy and further contributed to the Great Depression
The effects of the Nineteenth Amendment on Society
It gave women suffrage, which created a greater spread of Democracy and a larger variety in voter ideology.
Women started to become more independent.
It created more job opportunities for women, such as being able to run for office (mayors, governors, and members of Congress).
Education opportunities expanded.
Created flapper image which promised liberty and independence to women.