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Chapter 16 Normalcy and Good Times 1921 – 1929 Section 1 Presidential Politics The Harding Administration • A return to normalcy is what Americans wanted after World War I. Harding won the Presidency in 1920. Harding doubted his ability to be president. He ran on the platform of ‘return to normalcy’. Harding was charming and relaxed. Played a round of golf on the day of the election…. PRESIDENT HARDING • The Ohio Gang – Harding gave many high level jobs to friends and political allies from Ohio. His Ohio Gang turned out to be a bad idea. Scandal and lies permeated his administration. He said he had no problems with his enemies, but his friends were another story. – Harding probably had a heart attack and died on August 2, shortly before news of another scandal broke. • The Teapot Dome Scandal – Sec. of the Interior Albert B. Fall secretly allowed private interests to lease lands containing U.S. Navy oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California. In return, Fall received bribes totaling about $300,000. Sec. Fall became the first Cabinet member to go to Prison. – There were other scandals. Harding’s Presidency was marred by scandal and corruption. Coolidge Administration • Coolidge born on July 4, 1872, rose to prominence for dealing with the Boston Police Strike of 1919. Was asked to be Harding’s VP. • Silent ‘Cal’ Takes over – Coolidge distanced himself from the Harding Admin. He asked the capable cabinet members to say on. (Hoover, Mellon, Hughes) – Coolidge believed in business leadership and wanted gov’t intervention to be as little as possible. – Coolidge tried to restore the integrity of the presidency and easily won the GOP nom. In 1924. President Coolidge • The election of 1924 – Despite the scandals of the Harding administration Gave Democrats lots of ammo, they failed to win the Presidency. The Democrats were split on which nominee to go with. Ended up with John W. Davis after 103 attempts to find someone acceptable. – “Keep Cool with Coolidge” – stay with the party that favored business. – Not everyone wanted to choose between the GOP and Dems. • The New Progressive Party = Robert La Follette – Republicans won. Coolidge promised to deliver the Normalcy that Harding failed to deliver.
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