Calvin Coolidge



Number President 30th Presidnet
Terms Served 1 and a half terms served
Dates Served 1923-1929
Party Republican
State Represented Massachusetts
Married to / First Lady Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge
Born July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont
Died January 5, 1933 in Northhampton, Massachusetts
Age Calvin Coolidge would be 136 years old this year


“You lose”- said Coolidge to a woman who challenged that she could make him say more than two words. Coolidge was a taciturn, frugal man also known as “Silent Cal”.A man of few words, Coolidge kept a low profile throughout his Presidency. After graduating from Amherst College, he studied law and his early career began as a lawyer. His political career began by holding various Republican offices including serving in the State Legislative Assembly and becoming the Mayor of Massachusetts. He was also the State Senate President.

Coolidge was elected Lieutenant Governor and then the Governor of Massachusetts.
It was during his term as Governor that the Police Strike took place and by his bold statement, “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime” Coolidge catapulted to fame and earned the vice-presidential nomination of the Republican Party. As Vice-President, he seldom exercised his constitutional right to speak as presiding officer of the Senate and preferred maintaining a low profile during cabinet meetings.

After becoming President, Coolidge embarked on the policy of minimum government interference in domestic affairs. He was an ardent admirer of business leaders and felt that the “business of America is business”. He supported the Revenue Acts of 1924 and 1926 which gave tax relief to the rich. This caused uneven distribution of wealth and a surplus of goods which put the economy in jeopardy. 200 corporations were in charge of 50percent of the nation’s wealth. His thoughts mirrored that of the business and corporate community and though the stock market reached great heights and the economy boomed.

Coolidge’s Presidency saw economic disparities in the nation and the prosperity did not touch everyone equally. In fact, these Acts which freed private funds were the reason behind the infamous stock market crash of 1929. He supported the Immigration Act of 1924 which limited the number of Eastern and Southern Europeans permitted in America and excluded the Japanese totally. He wrongly protested against farm relief legislation that might have helped in propping up a depressed farm economy.

In matters of foreign policy, he gave a free hand to his cabinet. In Latin America, Coolidge showed signs of economic imperialism and felt that America should seek out foreign marketsIn 1928, Latin American nations were keen to reject US business practices and it took all of Secretary Hughes skills to stop them from passing anti-US drafts. He was against participation in the League of Nations and did not want to get involved into any encumbering alliances. Though, Coolidge was for the 1928 Kellog-Briand Pact which outlined rejecting war as a means of settling disputes, the pact had no legal enforcement and remained a gesture on paper only.

It was during his term that Charles Lindbergh took off for his famous flight. It was also during his tenure that the members of the Ku Klux Klan exceeded 4 million in number and Babe Ruth hit his legendary 60 home runsThough Coolidge disliked small talk, he was surprisingly extremely media-savvy. Giving press conferences, speaking on the radio, posing for portraits- Coolidge was a very visible leader. He had emerged untarnished from the scandals which had rocked the Harding government and was viewed as an honest and industrious man. He believed in the motto “let well enough alone” and this, along with his philosophical conviction that everything was Destiny, was perhaps the reason for his passive style of leadership.

He hated confrontations, had a propensity to delegate authority and disliked taking advice. He once remarked of his Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover, “That man has offered me unsolicited advice everyday for six years, all of it bad”, when all that Hoover wanted to do was to make the government more proactive.Coolidge was one of the three Mayors to become President. Though he had won the public’s admiration during his Presidency, the Great Depression turned public tide against him with the majority feeling that it was Coolidge’s poor policy decisions that were responsible for the collapse of the economy. He ranks amongst the bottom of American Presidents as regards to his legacy.




Copyright © 2006-2016 Usa4kids.com