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The Harding Presidency

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1 The Harding Presidency

2 “Normalcy” Ohio Senator that assumed the Presidency in Republican Harding yearned for “normalcy” or the simpler days before the Progressive Era and the Great War His words or peace and calm comforted the healing nation

3 Harding as President Harding had limited knowledge and poor judgment
He was considered good-natured and good-looking and “looked like a president ought to look”

4 Struggling for Peace after WWI
Washington Naval Conference 1921 Harding invites major naval powers to DC, appealing for peace Russia was left out because of its Communist government Secretary of the State Charles Evans Hughes urged that no more warships be built for ten years Suggested five major naval powers—U.S., Great Britain, Japan, France and Italy– scrap many of their battleships, cruisers, and aircraft carriers ***First time in history that powerful nations had agreed to disarm

5 By 1929, US succeeds in having 64 nations sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact
Pact “renounced war as an instrument of national policy” Americans loved it, but there was really no way to enforce the agreement.

6 Harding’s Foreign Policy
ISOLATIONISM: pulling the U.S. away from involvement in world affairs

7 Paying the Reparations
Britain and France could not pay back money they borrowed from U.S. (owed $10 billion+) Do so in 2 ways: By selling goods to the U.S. Collecting reparations from Germany In 1922, America adopted Fordney-McCumber Tarriff Raised taxes on U.S. imports to 60% (highest level ever) Tax protected U.S. businesses (chemical and Metal industries) from foreign competition This made it impossible for Britain and France to sell enough goods in the U.S. to repay its debt

8 Paying the Reparations
France and Britain turned to Germany for Reparations Germany could not pay and French troops marched in To avoid another war, Charles G. Dawes, an American banker negotiated a loan, known as the Dawes Plan The U.S. arranged to be repaid with its own money

9 Paying the Reparations
Dawes Plan caused resentment France and Britain believed U.S. was not paying a fair share of the costs of W.W. I. U.S. had benefited from the German defeat Europeans paid for the victory U.S. considered Britain and France financially irresponsible Bad feelings all around……

10 Scandal Rocks Harding’s Administration
Harding’s Cabinet Charles Evans Hughes, Secretary of the State Later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce Had done a great job handling food distribution and refugee problems during W.W.I. Andrew Mellon, Secretary of Treasury Drastically cut taxes Reduced national debt

11 Scandal Rocks Harding’s Administration
“Ohio gang”: President’s poker-playing cronies The cabinet included members of President Harding’s poker playing friends They often caused a great deal of embarrassment

12 Scandal Rocks Harding’s Administration
Harding’s administration unraveled as his corrupt friends used their offices to become wealthy through graft Graft: bribe Charles R. Forbes, head of the Veterans Bureau Caught illegally selling government and hospital supplies to private companies Colonel Thomas W. Miller, head of the Office of Alien Property Caught taking a bribe

13 TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL The worst case of corruption was the Teapot Dome Scandal. The government set aside oil-rich public land in Teapot, Wyoming. Secretary of Interior Albert Fall secretly leased the land to two oil companies. Fall received $400,000 from the oil companies and a felony conviction from the courts

14 Scandal Rocks Harding’s Administration
In the summer of 1923, Harding declared, “I have no trouble with my enemies…But my friends, they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!” August 2, 1923 President Harding died suddenly The crimes of his Administration came to light as his Vice-President Calvin Coolidge took over


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