Us Conservatism in the 1920s

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The extensive influence of conservatism is evident in Harding’s Republican economic policies. A distinct marker of conservatism in the 1920s was reduced taxes. Harding’s tax cuts implemented in acts such as the Revenue Act of 1921 thus reflect this influence of conservatism. Conservatism’s traditionalist sentiments also influenced Harding to pass the economic policy Esch-Cummins Transportation Act, which saw to the deregulation of railroads, putting their control back into the hands of plutocratic owners. Conservative Republicans of Congress in 20s also advocated a return to higher protection. The influence of conservatism manifested in Harding’s raise of tariffs in acts such as the Fordney-McCumber Tariff. This was designed to heighten economic nationalism- another key feature of conservatism in the 1920s.

Republican Coolidge’s economic policies also largely reflect conservative influences. A key feature of conservatism was its belief in a non-interventionist government policy. Indeed, Coolidge disdained regulation and this belief manifested in his opposition to the McNary-Haugen bill, declaring that agriculture must stand “on an independent business basis”. Coolidge was an adherent to the laissez-faire ideology, another marker of conservatism. Like the concerns of previous conservative Republicans who had advocated a return to higher protection, Coolidge also favoured increased tariffs. Coolidge’s taxation policies also reflect the influence of conservatism. A distinct marker of conservatism was reduced taxes and during his term, taxes were reduced in acts such as the Revenue Act of 1924, 1926 and 1928.

The influence of conservatism on the third Republican president of the 1920s Hoover’s economic policies are clear. Hoover entered office with the belief in a non-interventionist government policy, like the conservatives. As such, in keeping with his conservative philosophy and supported by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, he formed a federal agency to...
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