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Calvin Coolidge

30th President of the United States, from 1923 to 1929

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 John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was nicknamed Silent Cal and he is considered by many as the Calm before the Storm - the Roaring 20's. Calvin succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923 and elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small-government conservative, and also as a man who said very little as he restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration.


Calvin Coolidge reduced the size of government programs as he embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, because he could interpret their longings and express their opinions He also reduced both income and inheritance taxes in his second term. Calvin describes the misleading use of the term 'progressive', as applied to a movement that turns its back on the founding principles of our nation during a speech in Washington DC on September 21, 1924 when he stated: About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful.


It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final.


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If Governments Derive Their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed

that is final, no advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress.


They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.  The Progressive movement, and the Progressive party, remained vital through the 1920s, the difference being that the Republicans had been able to regain the support of Progressives. In 1924, the Coolidge win meant peace and prosperity, but it also meant a continuation of the principles of Progressivism, which enabled the Republican party to retain the support of its Progressive element. Despite the popular view of the 1920s as a retreat from Progressivism, by any measure government was more firmly entrenched as a part of the American economy and was continuing to grow.


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Coolidge was Viewed as Pro-Business

Government expansions such as Government-Owned Corporations, Federal Aid to States, the Post Office all advanced Progressivism. The Progressive era of the 20's may appear as a decade of stable government sandwiched between major episodes of government growth. It seemed that Government expenditures were declining dramatically from their peak levels during the war and during most of the decade but in other ways, the 1920s was a decade of increasing government activity, in expenditures, in regulation, and in attitude, as the federal government was increasingly willing to expand its role in the economic lives of its citizens.


During my research I did run into some conflicting Masonic reports. Here is a image from the Library of Congress of President Coolidge with an international delegation from the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Although Coolidge is not acknowledged as a Mason by Freemasonry, History.com states that he was. In 1923, the national organization of Freemasons purchased the former Revolutionary War site of Shooter's Hill in Alexandria, Virginia, in order to build a monument to George Washington. Assisting in the groundbreaking ceremonies were President Calvin Coolidge and former President William H. Taft, both Masons. Harry Truman, a former Grand Master Mason for Missouri, dedicated a statue of Washington at the memorial in 1950.


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The Foundation for the New Deal was Established in the 1920s

and it certainly would be wrong to conclude that were it not for the New Deal, government would have remained more confined later in the 20th century. The New Deal was really an extension of the type of government growth that occurred in the 1920s. The advancement of Progressivism may have been slower during Coolidge, but a slower advancement is not a retreat and socialism continued on a steady pace in the background of the roaring 20's. Calvin Coolidge continued to oppose American entry into the League of Nations although he supported the United States joining the World Court. The question of the United States joining the League of Nations was a major issue as was the unfinished legacy of Progressivism and both Global government and socialism continue to advance and intrude into our lives today.


references:          History Central           CATO Institute           BS Footprint



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