This week we continue our continuing series on what we can learn from the people who have served as President of the United States. This week’s Presidents come from the boom times of the 1920s, through World War One, the reforms of the Progressive Era, and the start of the twentieth century.
Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
President Coolidge entered the office of President when his predecessor died in office. And during his terms, he had to deal with the messes made by people associated with the previous president. From this president, we learn that sunshine is the best disinfectant. This means the government should be transparent and its actions completely visible to the public so that it is not corrupted. President Coolidge shows us this message by being the first president to hold regular press conferences. Also, and more importantly, he fired all those who were responsible for the scandals of the Harding administration.
William Harding (1921-1923)
William Harding did have a lot of scandals during this time as president, but our messages are not related to his scandals. President Harding was one of the first presidents to push back against segregation in the southern states of the United States. From this example of President Harding that you should be ahead of your time.
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
Woodrow dealt with a variety of issues during his two terms as president. One of the biggest was World War I and its effects. He helped craft the Treaty of Versailles to the war, but had trouble getting it ratified in the U.S. Senate. When this happened he went on a railroad tour of the nation to bring the message of the peace treaty to the people of the United States. He hoped they would contact their senators to have the treaty ratified. From these actions, we should learn that when your representatives won’t listen to you take your message of change to the people directly.
After the armistice of World War One was signed President Wilson headed to Europe to help broker the peace between the Allied and Central Powers. He came with a plan for lasting world peace known as the Fourteen Points. It included the many items that he expected would help maintain this peace, like no secret military alliances and open use of the seas for trade, regardless of war between nations. This teaches that we should always strive for peace in the world. We may not always get it, like Wilson, but peace is a worthwhile endeavor.
Howard Taft (1909-1913)
Howard Taft was Teddy Roosevelt’s hand picked sucessor to the White House after he served two terms in the office as a very Progressive Republican President. He went after economic trusts and set aside lots of land for conservation purposes during this time in the office. Howard Taft followed Roosevelt’s example. In fact, he did more trust busting and set aside twice as much land than Roosevelt. Taft did this all with less time to, since he only served on term. Unfortunately, former President Roosevelt did not think that Taft was doing a good job as president, so he ran against him for the Republican nomination in 1912, and lost. But he then proceeded to start his own Progressive Party, nick named the Bull Moose Party, to run against Taft. This causes a division in the Republican Party and probably cost Taft the election since it split the Republican votes and handed the election to Woodrow Wilson. President Taft teaches us in these events, that haters are always gonna hate. People are always going to have a problem with something that you do, right or wrong. You should still do your thing and do your best at it.
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
President Roosevelt was a staunch supporter of nature and outdoor living. It is because of his actions that today we have so many national parks in the United States. He was the president that pushed for these protected pieces of nature for the citizens of the United States to enjoy for just being beautiful places in nature. President Roosevelt teaches us that we should respect and protect nature.
That is all I have for your this week. The next in this series will deal with the Presidencies of William McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, Chester A. Arthur, and Rutherford B. Hayes. See you next week!
Thanks for reading. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Class dismissed!
Presidential Seal. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia, 6 Jan. 2014. Web. 10 June 2017. (Featured Image of this article)
There is a book used heavily in writing this speech to give more information about the Presidents, and it would be cited it here, but it is packed away for an impending move and Unpacking to find it would not be fun. An Amazon search also failed to find the right text because the exact title and cover could not be remembered or found. When the boxes are all unpacked, the article will include the appropriate citation here.