Unit 16 Notes - AP.docx - Chapter 31 The Politics of Boom...

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Chapter 31The Politics of Boom and BustThe Republican “Old Guard” ReturnsoNewly elected President Warren G. Harding was tall, handsome, and popular, but he had a mediocre mind, was a weak administrator, and he did not like to hurt people’s feelings.Nor could he detect the corruption within his administration.oHis cabinet did have some good officials, though, such as Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, who was masterful, imperious, incisive, and brilliant, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, and Secretary of the Treasury AndrewW. Mellon.oHowever, people like Senator Albert B. Fall of New Mexico, a scheming anti-conservationist, became secretary of the interior, and Harry M. Daugherty took over the reigns as attorney general.These two became the worst of the scandalous cabinet members. GOP Reaction at the ThrottleoA good man but a weak one, Harding was the perfect front for old-fashioned politicians to set up for the nation a McKinley-style old order.It hoped to further laissez-faire capitalism, and one of the examples of this was the Supreme Court, where Harding appointed four of the nine justices, including William H. Taft, former president of the United States.oIn the early 1920s, the Supreme Court killed a federal child-labor law.In the case of Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, the court reversed its rulingin the Muller v. Oregon case by invalidating a minimum wage law for women.They no longer needed special protection since they could now vote.oUnder Harding, corporations could expand again, and anti-trust laws were not as enforced or downright ignored.oMen sympathetic to railroads headed the Interstate Commerce Commission.The Aftermath of the WaroWartime government controls disappeared (i.e. the dismantling of the War Industries Board) and Washington returned control of railroads to private hands by the Esch-Cummins Transportation Act of 1920.oThe Merchant Marine Act of 1920 authorized the Shipping Board, which controlled about 1,500 vessels, to get rid of a lot of ships at bargain prices, thus reducing the size of the navy.oLabor lost much of its power, as a strike was ruthlessly broken in 1919, and the Railway Labor Board ordered a wage cut of 12% in 1922.Labor membership shrank by 30% from 1920 to 1930.oIn 1921, the Veterans’ Bureau was created to operate hospitals and provide vocational rehabilitation for the disabled.Many veterans wanted the monetary compensation promised to them for their services in the war.The Adjusted Compensation Act gave every former soldier a paid-up insurance policy due in twenty years. It was passed by Congress twice (the second time to override President Calvin Coolidge’s veto).America Seeks Benefits Without Burdens
oSince America had never ratified the Treaty of Versailles, it was still technicallyat war with Germany, so in July of 1921, it passed a simple joint resolution ending the war.

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