Warren Harding's administration brought the virtual burial of early 20c Progressivism. 
Evaluate the validity of this statement.



..."We therefore demand a strong National regulation of inter-state corporations...the existing concentration of vast wealth under a corporate system, unguarded and uncontrolled by the nation, has placed in the hands of a few men enormous, secret, irresponsible power over the daily life of the citizen - a power insufferable in government and certain of abuse...We urge the establishment of a strong Federal administrative commission of high standing, which shall maintain permanent and active supervision over industrial corporations engaged in inter-state commerce, or such of them as are of public importance.."

SOURCE:  Progressive Party Platform of 1912.



"There exists a general attitude either of cynical disbelief in and indifference to public corruption or else of a distrustful inability to discriminate between the good and the bad. Either attitude is fraught with untold damage to the country as a whole.  The fool who has not sense to discriminate between what is good and what is bad is well nigh as dangerous as the man who does discriminate and yet chooses the bad. "

SOURCE:  Theodore Roosevelt, April 14, 1906.



"I speak for...lightened tax burdens...for the omission of unnecessary interference of Government with business, for an end to government's experiment in business, and for more efficient business in government administration...I would rejoice to proclaim the era of the Golden Rule and crown it with the autocracy of service...if I felt that there is to be sole responsibility in the Executive for the America of tomorrow I should shrink from the burden. But here are a hundred millions, with common concern and shared responsibility, answerable to god and country. The Republican summons them to their duty, and I invite co-operation."

SOURCE:  Warren G. Harding's Inaugural Address, 1920.




"Less government in business and more business in government."

SOURCE:  Warren G. Harding Campaign slogan, 1919.




"...and under the authority of the act of Congress approved June 4, 1920, directing the Secretary of the Navy to conserve, develop, use and operate, directly or by contact, lease, otherwise unappropriated lands in Naval Reserves, the administration and conservation, of all oil and gas bearing lands in Naval Petroleum Reserves in...California...Wyoming...Colorado and Utah, are hereby committed to the Secretary of the Interior subject to the supervision of the President...The Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed to perform any and all acts necessary for the protection, conservation and administration of the said reserves subject to the conditions and limitations contained in this order and of the existing laws or such laws as may hereafter be enacted by Congress pertaining thereto."

SOURCE:  Executive Order No. 3474 (May 31, 1921).



Source:  Warren G. Harding campaign poster, 1924.



"Doheny got 31,000 acres, and Sinclair 9,300 acres, of the best oil lands in the United States -- lands set aside by the Government for Naval Reserves. Doheny told the Senate committee on public lands and Surveys that he expected to make $100,000,000 out of his lease...Doheny made a contract, April 25, 1922, to build steel storage tank with a capacity of 1,500,000 barrels, to be filled with fuel oil, all to be paid for by royalty crude oil from the Reserves, but this contract was conditioned upon his being given the preferential right to lease the oil lands of 31,000 acres in Reserve No. 1.... On December 9th, Doheny got the lease, in accordance with his preferential right, and a contract to build and fill additional steel storage, aggregating 2,700,000 barrels, all without any bidding. Harry F. Sinclair got his 9,300 acres, and agreed to build certain storage and fill it with fuel oil, to be paid for by royalty crude oil out of the Teapot Dome, and no pretense was even made that there was any bidding..."

SOURCE:  Atlee Pomerene's Notes, April 29, 1925.



SOURCE:  "Teapot Dome", Oneonta Star, 1924.



"Inquiry into the alleged mismanagement of the Veteran's Bureau and corruption in the disposal of war supplies (began today)...Colonel Forbes's Administration was pointedly criticized...certain (job) applications were passed upon out of order, and that requests from Congressmen were given precedence...(said General Hines), 'There was a man by the name of Francis B. Smith of California (hired by Forbes), who was on the payroll for $4800 a year. I found that he had simply been given a job. Our reports showed that he had done only two hours' work.'"

SOURCE:  New York Times, 1923.



"...Some of the (Veteran's) hospitals were insanitary, others were badly located and many were not suited to their purposes...50 percent of the dental equipment (in these hospitals) was unnecessary and recently the order had been issued that the service men were not to be treated except under doctor's orders...General O'Ryan...after referring to conditions in 1922 and early in 1923 said: 'Great sums of money were being expended for the relief of the disabled veterans. These expenditures were on a scale never before known for any such purpose. More than $467,000,000 was expended by the bureau during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1922, and yet, in spite of these lavish and unprecidented expenditures, there existed during 1922 a growing feeling of dissatisfaction among the disable. People through the country could not understand why there should exist among the disabled veterans this spirit of complaint when so much money had been appropriated by Congress for their benefit...the veterans on the other hand felt aggrieved by the criticisms of their discontent. They made investigations of their own. They felt that their complaints were justified. The veterans felt that their attitude would be sustained by the public opinion, if an impartial investigation were made by Congress of the work of the Veteran's Bureau.'"

SOURCE:  New York Times, 1923.



A Hofstader, Richard, ed. The Progressive Movement 1900-1915. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1963.
B Hund, John Gabriel, ed. Words of Our Nation. Avenel: Random House, 1993.
C http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres46.html,
E Bennett, Leslie. "One Lesson From History: Appointment of Special Counsel and the Investigation of the Teapot Dome Scandal. "http://www.brook.edu/gs/ic/teapotdome/A/eo3474.htm, , 1999. (April 10, 2000)
F "Time Almanac for the Twentieth Century" (CD-rom), 1999
G Bennett, Leslie. "One Lesson From History: Appointment of Special Counsel and the Investigation of the Teapot Dome Scandal. "http://www.brook.edu/gs/ic/teapotdome//G/01.htm, 1999. (April 10, 2000)
H Noggle, Burl. Teapot Dome: oil and politics in the 1920s. Baton Rouge: Louisianna State University 
Press, 1962.
I "General Hines Charges Fraud and Waste in Veterans' Relief." New York Times 23 October 1923: 1,9
J "General Hines Charges Fraud and Waste in Veterans' Relief." New York Times 23 October 1923: 1,9


DBQ Question created by:
Ms.  Kathleen Holster
Class of 2001
Maria Regina H. S.
Hartsdale, NY
created in:  April, 2000