Adkins v. Children’s Hospital
Landmark Supreme Court case that reversed a previous ruling that declared women deserving of special protection in the workplace and invalidated a minimum wage law for women; the Court reasoned that because women now had the vote, they were the legal equals of men and no longer could be protected by special legislation; one of a series of court cases that reversed progressive legislation.
1928 pact ratified by 62 nations, foreswearing war as an instrument of national policy; essentially unenforceable, as it permitted defensive wars, and lacking any real muscle, the pact reflected the idealism of the American public in the 1920s.
Fordney-McCumber Tariff Law
1922 legislation which boosted the tariff rate from 27% to 38.5%; big business sought to keep the prosperous home market to themselves, fearing the flood of cheap goods from recovering Europe; this policy set off a chain reaction in which the European countries created their own economic barriers, hurting American-made goods as well as their own markets.
Teapot Dome scandal
harding-era scandal that erupted when secretary of the interior Albert Fall induced the secretary of the navy to transfer valuable naval oil reserves in Wyoming and California over to the Department of the Interior; Fall then leased the lands to oil barons after accepting a sizable bribe; when details leaked Fall was convicted and the reputation of the government in Washington was tarnished.
Bill pushed by the bipartisan “farm bloc” in Congress provide relief for farmers caught in a postwar boom or bust cycle; sought to keep prices high by authorizing the government to buy up surpluses to be sold abroad; although Congress passed the bill twice, Coolidge vetoed it both times, thus keeping farm prices low and farmers frustrated.
Plan that rescheduled German reparations payments and allowed American private loans to Germany that were used for reparations, leading to a financial “merry-go-round” that ran into problems after the crash of 1929, when American credit dried up.
Agricultural Marketing Act
Act passed by Congress in 1929 with the aim of helping farmers help themselves through producers’ cooperatives; set up a Federal Farm Board that lent money to farm organizations seeking to buy, sell, and store surpluses.
Protective tariff designed to assist farmers; the highest peacetime tariff in the nation’s history, it raised rates from 38.5% to almost 60%; the act angered foreign markets by reversing a promising worldwide trend toward reasonable tariffs and plunged America and other nations even deeper into financial depression.
Catastrophic stock market crash on October 29, 1929, heralding the most prolonged and prostrated depression in world history; over 16 million shares of stock were sold and, over the next two months, stockholders lost $40 billion; millions were left jobless and thousands of citizens lost their life savings when banks collapsed.
Term for shantytowns constructed of scavenged materials by those left desperate and homeless by the Great Depression.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Established in 1932 as a government lending bank that was designed to provide indirect relief by assisting insurance companies, banks, agricultural organizations, railroads, and state and local governments; no money was lent to individuals, in order to preserve individualism and character.
Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act
Legislation outlawing anti-union contracts and forbade federal courts from issuing injunctions to restrain strikes, boycotts, and peaceful picketing.
Gathering of WWI hard-hit veterans demanding the immediate payment of the deferred bonus promised by Congress and payable in 1945; converged in Washington in 1932, setting up an enormous “Hooverville”; when several thousand refused to decamp, they were evicted by Hoover with bayonets, fire, and tear gas, bringing even more criticism to Hoover and his administration.
Warren G. Harding
Elected president in 1920, his term in office was tarnished by corruption and scandal; died in office and succeeded by Calvin Coolidge.
Came to office following the death of President Harding in 1923; known as “Silent Cal”, he embodied honesty, morality, and frugality; served during a period of American properity.