Warren G. Harding - 29th President of the United States

Warren G. Harding - 29th President of the United States

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Warren G. Harding's Childhood and Education

Warren G. Harding was born on November 2, 1865 in Corsica, Ohio. His father was a doctor but he grew up on a farm. He learned at a small local school. At 15, he attended Ohio Central College and graduated in 1882.

Family Ties

Harding was the son of two doctor: George Tryon Harding and Phoebe Elizabeth Dickerson. He had tour sisters and one brother. On July 8, 1891, Harding married Florence Mabel Kling DeWolfe. She was divorced with one son. Harding is known to have had two extramarital affairs while married to Florence. He had no legitimate children. However, he did have one daughter through an extramarital affair with Nan Britton.

Warren G. Harding's Career Before the Presidency

Harding tried being a teacher, an insurance salesman, and a reporter before buying a newspaper called the Marion Star. In 1899, he was elected as an Ohio State Senator. He served until 1903. He then was elected to be lieutenant governor of Ohio. He attempted to run for the governorship but lost in 1910. In 1915, he became a U.S. Senator from Ohio. He served until 1921 when he became president.

Becoming the President

Harding was nominated to run for president for the Republican Party as a dark horse candidate. His running mate was Calvin Coolidge. He was opposed by Democrat James Cox. Harding won easily with 61% of the vote.

Events and Accomplishments of Warren G. Harding's Presidency

President Harding's time in office was marked by some major scandals. The most significant scandal was that of Teapot Dome. Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall secretly sold the right to oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming to a private company in exchange for $308,000 and some cattle. He also sold the rights to other national oil reserves. He was caught and ended up being sentenced to one year in jail.

Other officials under Harding were also implicated or convicted of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and other forms of wrongdoing. Harding died before the events affected his presidency.

Unlike his predecessor, Woodrow Wilson, Harding did not support America joining the League of Nations. His opposition meant that America did not join at all. The body ended in failure without America's participation. Even though America did not ratify the Treaty of Paris ending World War I, Harding did sign a joint resolution officially ending the state of war between Germany and America.

In 1921-22, America agreed to a limit of arms according to a set tonnage ratio between Great Britain, the U.S., Japan, France, and Italy. Further, America entered pacts to respect Pacific property of Great Britain, France, and Japan and to preserve the Open Door Policy in China.

During Harding's time, he also spoke out on civil rights and pardoned Socialist Eugene V. Debs who had been convicted of anti-war demonstrations during World War I. On August 2, 1923, Harding died of a heart attack.

Historical Significance

Harding is seen as one of the worst presidents in American History. Much of this is due to the number of scandals that his appointees were involved in. He was important for keeping America out of the League of Nations while meeting with key nations to attempt to limit arms. He created the Bureau of the Budget as the first formal budgetary body. His early death probably saved him from impeachment over the many scandals of his administration.

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