Harding's Return Normalcy Analysis

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Harding’s Return Normalcy After World War I, America was left in state disarray, and the task of restoring the country to its former state prior to the war was left in the hands of President Warren G. Harding. He served after Wilson, who had previously campaigned on the platform saying that he would keep America out of the war, but he ended up doing the opposite. As such, Harding had to restore America, and came up with his “Return to Normalcy” policy. His policy consisted of various economic, political, and social steps to help America rise out of disaster. The effects of WWI left the American economy in a state of distress. The war stimulated the economy by stimulating wartime production. Farmers in particular took…show more content…
Because of the large amounts of profit they were making, they ended up buying more land and equipment on credit. However, when the war ended, the economy was disastrous once again, with farmers having to default onto this credit as a result of a lower amount of profit they were making. To fix these economic problems, Harding implemented a number of economic policies. The Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Mellon, passed the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act was passed, which allowed Harding to raise any tariff by 50%. The act also emplaced the Tariff of 1922. Intended to simply protect the American market, the tariff ended up completely barring the country from European goods. Harding was an advocate of big business, and passed different acts in support of big business. Mellon enacted several Revenue Acts, which lowered taxes on businesses and put them under less government regulation. This support for big business caused an expansion in the overall consumerism of the country. In addition to pro-business policies, Harding established the Budget and Accounting Act. This act established the framework for a federal budget. The president would be required to submit an annual budget for the entire federal government, through the newly established Bureau of…show more content…
The 1920s saw a success in progressive movements and labor union efforts, but there was still disputes that occurred. This was mainly caused by the massive rates of unemployment after the war ended. Labor unions, once again, on strike, but Harding stood up to it. In 1922, a coal strike broke out, similar to one that happened during Roosevelt’s presidency. Harding handled similarly to how Roosevelt, and set the strikers back to work. The Railway Industry Board reduced worker wages by 12%, which would, of course, cause unrest amongst the workers. Strikes would occur, but Harding found that he was unable to dissipate the unrest as he did with the coal strike. In 1918, the court case of Hammer v. Dagenhart illegalized the use of child labor. Harding took it upon himself to make sure that these laws were being followed. Although Harding was unable to resolve all of the social unrest that had been occurring in the country, his efforts were still able to resolve some of the issues that laborers were
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