Warren G. Harding's Presidency

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How and why did Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge redirect the nation's politics away from Progressivism?  

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Harding and especially Coolidge believed in general that the nation's Progressive policies under Wilson and his predecessors had shackled economic growth. With Harding's approval, Congress slashed income taxes on the wealthiest Americans, increased protective tariffs, and passed strict quotas on immigration. His administration was riddled with corruption, but he died in office before this became widely known. Coolidge continued, and even intensified many of his policies, continuing to advocate for lower income taxes, vetoing price supports for falling farm commodities, and keeping the tariff high. Generally, both of these presidents, Coolidge more than Harding, believed that the government had only a minimal role to play in the lives of Americans, a different tack than the Progressives had taken.

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Harding and Coolidge redireted the nations politics away from Progressivism because they were believers in laissez-faire economics.

During the 1920s, the Republican presidents wanted to reduce the role of government in regulating the economy.  They felt that the Progressive Era had given rise to too many regulations that would reduce the ability of businesses to act as they wanted to.

These presidents relaxed the rules regulating businesses by doing things like failing to enforce antitrust laws.  They also put conservative justices on the Supreme Court.  These justices did things like overturning laws passed during the progressive era on issues like miniumum wages.

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