Harding and Coolidge's Presidency

By Nate Lisiecki, Cameron Micheal

Definitions and Explanations

Ohio Gang- The Ohio gang was made by president Harding. He gave jobs to many of his friends and political supporters. Some of them were Harry Daugherty who was the attorney general, he made Albert Fall a senator of New Mexico and Charles Forbes who was head of the veterans bureau. Most of them were corrupt and unqualified.

Five power treaty- Japan, Britain and the United states met in Washington D.C along with France and Italy and signed the five power treaty. It limits the size of the nation’s navy. The treaty marked the first time in modern history that world powers agreed to disarm.

Isolationism - the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by avoiding foreign entanglements and responsibilities.

Fundamentalism - a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.

Teapot Dome Scandal - President Harding transferred control of oil reserves from the navy to the Department of the Interior. Albert Bacon Fall, the Secretary of the Interior, began secretly allowing Mammoth Oil exclusive right to the Teapot Dome oil reserves. He also allowed the Pan American Petroleum Company exclusive rights to the Elk Hills and Buena Vista reserves. In return for the exclusive access, the oil tycoons gave Fall large amounts of money and no-interest loans. Eventually, Congress found out, and put the illegal activities to a stop. Most of the men involved served prison time. The stress of it pushed President Harding to his death, before Congress was certain of the extent of his involvement. The word teapot dome is now a phrase that means political corruption.

Foreign policy- Harding and Coolidge both wanted world peace but did not want to join the League of Nations. They also did not want to be involved with international disagreements. For peace the United States signed the Five-Power Treaty and the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

Kellogg-Briand Pact- The United States in August 1928 joined 14 other nations in signing the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The pact tried to outlaw war and 48 other nations signed it but no one enforced the peace.

Coolidge’s Take on American Business - “The chief business of the American people is business . . . The man who builds a factory builds a temple.” - Calvin Coolidge

Coolidge wanted business to prosper. He lowered income tax on rich business owners and raised tariffs to protect American business. He even went so far as to revoke child labor and women's wages laws.

Becoming a Friendly Neighbor - Coolidge did not support all the troops deployed in Latin America. He also didn't support using the military as a solution to foreign problems. For example, instead of sending the military to protect American business in Mexico, he was able to reach a diplomatic solution.

How Coolidge Tried to Fix Harding’s Mistakes - Coolidge was an honest man. He fired the Ohio Gang and replaced them with qualified officials. He also allowed Harding scandal investigations to proceed without hindrance.

Why it was Known as a Return to Isolationism and Fundamentalism - The Harding and Coolidge presidencies were known as a return to isolationism because they continued most American policies from before World War I. They stayed out of foreign business and policies and interacted with foreign nations only to resolve issues with big business and problems from the age of Imperialism.