Under the administration of 3 Republican Presidents, the government adopted conservative policies that fueled private businesses.
Calvin Coolidge was president from 1923 to 1929, replacing president Harding after his sudden death. His conservative policies helped usher in the era of Coolidge "prosperity". Rapid economic growth occurred. He lowered taxes, supported legislation, and encouraged private businesses. He spoke incessantly of the virtue of thrift. He supported civil rights, refusing to allow known members of the Ku Klux Klan into office. He pushed for anti- lynching laws, and appointed African Americans to government positions.
President Warren Harding is seen as possibly one of the worst presidents in history. His image was tarnished because of the many scandals pertaining to the actions of his officials. One particular example of this was the Teapot Dome scandal. Harding's secretary of interior, Albert Fall secretly sold the the right to oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming to to a private company in exchange for $308,000 and some cattle. In addition to the many scandals that plagued Harding's officials, Harding also kept the United States out of the League of Nations entirely. President Harding would have most likely been impeached if it wasn't for his early death after just two years in office. He was replaced by his Vice President John Calvin Coolidge Jr..
President Herbert Hoover was secretary of commerce for both presidents Harding and Coolidge. He was president during one of the worst economic disasters in American history; The Great Depression. even worse, he was unprepared to take the necessary actions to help the unemployed. He tried to cut taxes and focus on public work projects. however these efforts were unsuccessful and the unemployment rates rose to 25%, with the percentage of banks failing at 25%. He also made the terrible mistake of signing into law the Smoot-Hawley Act, which raised taxes on imported goods causing foreign nations to refuse to buy American made goods when the country desperately needed money.
Consumerism and Technology
Consumerism is the social and economic system causing desire to buy goods in great amounts. It came about in the 1920's as a result of mass production, new products on the market, and improved advertising techniques. In addition to this Americans also had more leisure time and money to spend, which made them eager to purchase the latest technologies. This leisure time came from the ending of World War I, and the money to spend came from the economic boom which led to higher wages. innovations in advertising using new mediums like radio and print advertisements, caused the improvement of techniques. Another cause of consumerism that can be attributed to the Great Depression was buying on credit; it allowed families to make large purchases like automobiles. The automobile industry was very polar during the 1920's; the number of cars on the road tripled between the years 1920 and 1929. Consumerism led to the creation of new technologies including telephones, toasters, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, which all became common household items. The radio was also a very important invention; 2 million homes had radios during the 1920's. All of these things come together to make American households the way they are today.