Summary Of American Presidents 1917+


Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921

Woodrow Wilson was a progressive democrat who was regarded as logical and pragmatic in his approach.

  • The Volstead Act was passes in 1919, more commonly known as prohibition, in which the manufacturing, transportation and selling of alcohol was banned.
  • The 1916 and 1918 Revenues Act helped to fund the war through means of taxation.
  • The Sedition Act was passed in 1918 and this made protesting against the US government illegal
  • The Espionage Act was passed in 1917 this limited freedom of speech by making it illegal to show or encourage disloyalty or obstruct military recruitment.
  • In 1920 the 20th Amendment was passed and this gave women the right to vote in federal elections.
  • There was also US involvement in the League of Nations from 1920 and Treaty of Versailles under Wilson. 

The US entered World War One under the command of Wilson, however, this was a problem. In his campaign speeches Wilson had made promises to the American people that he would not lead them into War and when he became president he contradicted himself. This would have lead to a sense of distrust among the American people as he had failed to do what he had promised.

Wilson made the movement in the objective of American foreign policy, from isolationism to internationalism. He was more progressive in his aims and expanded the role of the presidency in the constitutional system. 

Warren Harding 1921-1923

He was an amiable conservative and had a practical but considerate approach and wasn't fond of being confrontational. 

  • He passes the Grain Futures Trading Act in 1921 which was to prevent the manipulation of the grain market, they were artificially keeping prices low 
  • He also passed the Capper Volstead Act in 1922 which enabled farmers to work in co-operatives to facilitate production and marketing
  • The Intermediate Credit Act in 1923 made loans available to farmers easier
  • The Emergency Tariff increased rates on wheat, sugar, meat, wool and other agricultural products brought into the United States from foreign nations, which provided protection for domestic producers of those items.
  • The Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 was a law that raised American tariffs on many imported goods to protect factories and farms.
  • He passed the Emergency Quota Act in 1921 which limited the number of immigrants 
  • Harding made promises of a ‘Return to Normalcy’

He opposed the progressive ideals that Wilson portrayed, he made policies in order to move away from the internationalist ideals under to democratic government. He petitioned for a ‘return to normalcy’ in order to try to gain the trust of the American people. People turned to republicanism not only because of the appeal of it but also because of the failures of the democratic party. 

Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929

Coolidge had a laissez-faire approach throughout his presidency and adopted the nick name ‘Silent Cal’ due to his laid back approach.

  • The Dawes Plan was signed in 1924, the fundamental idea behind it was to make it easier for Germany to pay reparations
  • The Kellog-Briand


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