During the 1920’s Republicans had dominated the white house with the two presidents of the decade being Warren G. Harding, and Calvin Coolidge.The expansion of government activities during World War I was reversed during the 1920s. The Government had eliminated its efforts to break-up trust, and to regulate businesses. Instead, the government began to emphasize on partnerships between government and business. Politics during the 1920s played a major role in the culture of the decade and the leaders of the 1920s represented the beliefs and ideas of the people during the time.
The first president of the 1920’s was Warren G. Harding. campaigned on the promise of a "return to normalcy." Normalcy, according to Harding , meant a government that was pro-business, anti-tax, and anti-regulation (Shmoop Editorial Team 1). Harding's Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon cut income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans from 73% to 25% (Shmoop Editorial Team 1). ...view middle of the document...
The most famous of these scandals is the Teapot Dome Scandal where Albert B Fall granted Harry F. Sinclair of the Mammoth Oil Company exclusive rights to the Teapot Dome reserves in Wyoming on April 7, 1922 in return Fall received large cash gifts and no-interest “loans”.
After president Harding’s death, Calvin Coolidge came into office. Coolidge had spoken out earnestly in favor of the nation’s business culture. "The man who builds a factory builds a temple," said Coolidge. "The man who works there, worships there." (Digital History 2). Coolidge believed that the equation for economic prosperity was obvious: "The chief business of the American people is business. If government kept its hands off the economy, business would prosper.” (Digital History 2). The most distinguished actions of Coolidge’s presidency were his vetoes of bills to aid farmers in building government power plants along the Tennessee River. Also, the most well known achievement of Coolidge’s presidency was his signing of the Kellogg - Briand Pact, which was an international agreement outlawing the use of force to settle international disputes, which epitomized the anti war sentiment of the decade.
The 1920s was a great time for the Republicans. The Democrats however, they were a dysfunctional group which was made up of people from mixed backgrounds such as native-born white Protestants in the South and urban ethnics (often Catholic or Jewish) in the North (Shmoop Editorial Team 2). When it came to major issues such as Economic policy, Immigration, and Prohibition the party was divided, and as a result the party had congressional minorities and terrible presidential candidates.
The 1920s were a great time for business and in return the people elected pro-business candidates such as Coolidge who famously stated that "the business of America is business" (Shmoop Editorial Team 2). In a way that quote summarized the 1920s but the era of big business would be short lived because the 1920s would greet it with the greatest economic disaster in the history of America which is in part thanks to the pro-business actions of the 1920s.
Digital History, Shmoop Editorial Team, History.com Staff