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1920s presidential leadership notes

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1920s presidential leadership notes

  1. 1. Outcome: Presidential Leadership
  2. 2. 1. Woodrow Wilson (D) (1913-1921) a. Sickly during the 20s due to stroke suffered in 1919 while on a speaking tour trying to promote the League of Nations directly to the U.S. people i. Wilson’s wife Edith unofficially took over the reigns of power ii. Wilson died 3 years after leaving office in 1924
  3. 3. b. 1920 Election i. (D) James Cox, Wilson’s choice, with V.P. running mate F. Roosevelt ii. (R) Warren Harding and V.P. running mate Calvin Coolidge c. Harding’s win suggested that: i. Isolationist desire was strong!! ii. The League of Nations was dead
  4. 4. 2. Warren G. Harding (R) (1921-1923) *1st president to receive votes cast by females a. Background i. Small town, rural Ohio; former teacher & newspaper editor ii. Lt. Governor 1902, U.S. Senator ---> average politician iii. Described as trusting (to a fault), honest, and handsome
  5. 5. b. Accomplishments/Strengths i. Promised a return to “normalcy” = peace + prosperity ii. Signed a separate peace treaty with Germany in July, 1921 iii. 1st to limit U.S. arms through treaties (1921 Washington Naval Conf.) iv. Signed strict immigration quota law
  6. 6. c. Controversy/Weaknesses i. Had a loose leadership-Mgt. style and was a poor public speaker ii. Choose some corrupt cabinet members ---> His “Ohio Gang” 1. His Secretary of the Interior, Albert B. Fall was responsible for the “Teapot Dome Scandal” (illegal sale of gov’t oil) 2. Fall became 1st Cabinet member to go to jail 3. Charles Forbes, head of the Veteran’s Bureau, stole $$ 4. “Its my friends that keep me walking the floors all night!” iii. Supported high tariffs, making it difficult for allies to pay war debts iv. Never controlled Congress like strong presidents do
  7. 7. d. Died in office ---> stroke (1923) i. He was genuinely mourned; the scandals surfaced later 1. Died popular 2. Remembered now as a failure & disgrace (friends ruined him) ii. V.P Calvin Coolidge took over the office
  8. 8. 3. Calvin Coolidge (R) (1923-1929) a. Background i. Poor from Vermont was a self-made man ii. Lawyer ---> politician ---> Governor of Massachusetts; made famous through his actions in the Boston Police Strike (broke the union)
  9. 9. b. Accomplishments/Strengths i. Industrial prosperity is priority #1 ---> Believed in laissez-faire policy 1. Called the 20’s the “Business Decade” 2. Equated business and religion 3. Believed in “Trickle-Down” Economic Theory (Take care of the “top” and they’ll take care of the “bottom”) ii. Kellogg-Briand Pace ---> outlawed war (eventually signed by 62 nations)
  10. 10. c. Failures/Weaknesses i. Ignored farmers & labor (working class) ii. Poor public relation skills; “Silent Cal” iii. Anti-progressive; failed to regulate the stock market and industries iv. Lazy; “Snored as America headed toward the Great Depression” d. Declined his party’s offer for nomination in 1928 (Did he foresee problems ahead?)
  11. 11. 4. Herbert Hoover (R) (1929-1933) a. Background i. Iowa farm boy; orphaned at age 8 (poor) ii. Stanford College (engineer); Headed WWI hunger relief in Belgium iii. Self-made millionaire by age 40; nickname “Boy Wonder” iv. Served as Harding’s Secretary of Commerce
  12. 12. b. Won the Election of 1928 (won 42 of 48 states) i. (R) Hoover = rural, conservative, dry, protestant ii. (D) Alfred Smith = urban, liberal, wet, catholic
  13. 13. c. Accomplishments/Strengths (During the 1920’s) i. Created Federal Farm Board ---> coordinated crop production ii. Positive thinker; spoke often of prosperity (even after the “crash”)
  14. 14. d. Failures/Weaknesses i. Timing ---> stock market crashed 8 months into presidency ii. Appeared inactive & insensitive during Depression; Poor P.R. (newsreels) iii. Preached “Rugged Individualism” ---> “No Gov’t Handouts” (relief) e. Served until 1933 ---> ended “Republican Era” (next elected (R) = Eisenhower in ’52)

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