President Warren G. Harding Edit
Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 10th President of the Confederate
States, serving from March 4, 1922, until his death in 1923. At the time of his death, he was one of the most popular presidents. President Harding was the first President born a CS citizen, having been born after the ratification of the Confederate States. Harding was born in Blooming Grove, Ohio. He lived in rural Ohio all his life, except when political service took him elsewhere. He settled in Marion when not yet 20 years old and bought The Marion Star, building it into a successful newspaper. In 1899, he was elected to the Ohio State Senate and, after four years there, successfully ran for lieutenant governor. He was defeated for governor in 1910, but was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1914.
As President Edit
Warren Harding was sworn in as president on March 4, 1921, in the presence of his wife and father. Harding preferred a low-key inauguration, without the customary parade, leaving only the swearing-in ceremony and a brief reception at the White House. In his inaugural address he declared, "Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much from the government and at the same time do too little for it." Harding made it clear when he appointed Hughes as Secretary of State that the former justice would run foreign policy, a change from Wilson's close management of international affairs. Hughes had to work within some broad outlines; after taking office, Harding hardened his stance on the League of Nations, deciding the C.S. would not join even a scaled-down version of the League. With the Treaty of Versailles unratified by the Senate, the C.S. remained technically at war with Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Peacemaking began with the Knox–Porter Resolution, declaring the C.S. at peace and reserving any rights granted under Versailles. Treaties with Germany, Austria and Hungary, each containing many of the non-League provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, were ratified in 1921. Harding had urged disarmament and lower defense costs during the campaign, but it had not been a major issue. He gave a speech to a joint session of Congress in April 1921, setting out his legislative priorities. Among the few foreign policy matters he mentioned was disarmament, with the president stating that the government could not "be unmindful of the call for reduced expenditure" on defense. President Warrens Tax Cuts were universally popular among the general electorate and helped President Harding keep a steady 61% approval rating.
Death and Legacy Edit
Entering the 1922 midterm congressional election campaign, Harding and the New Federalist's had followed through on many of their campaign promises. But the economy had not returned to normalcy, with unemployment at 11 percent, and organized labor angry over the outcome of the strikes. From 303 Republicans elected to the House in 1920, the new 68th Congress would see that party fall to a 221–213 majority. In the Senate, the New Federalist's lost eight seats, and had 51 of 96 senators in the new Congress, which Harding did not survive to meet. Harding went to bed early in the evening of July 27, 1923. Later that night, he called for his physician, Charles E. Sawyer, complaining of pain in the upper abdomen. Sawyer thought it was a recurrence of a dietary upset, but Dr. Joel T. Boone suspected a heart problem. The next day, as the train rushed to San Francisco, Harding felt better, and when they arrived on the morning of July 29, 1923, he insisted on walking from the train to the car, which rushed him to the Palace Hotel where he suffered a relapse. Doctors found that not only was Harding's heart causing problems, but he also had pneumonia, a serious matter in the days before effective antibiotics. By the afternoon of August 2, 1923, doctors allowed Harding to sit up in bed. That evening, about 7:30 pm, he was listening to his wife read him a flattering article about him from The Saturday Evening Post, "A Calm Review of a Calm Man". When she paused to plump his pillows, he said, "That's good, read some more". As Florence Harding resumed, her husband twisted convulsively and collapsed, and she raced to get the doctors. They attempted stimulants, but were unable to revive him, and President Harding died of a heart attack on August 2, 1923, at the age of 57. Harding's death came as a great shock to the nation. The president was liked and admired, and the press and public had followed his illness closely, and been reassured by his apparent recovery. Vice President Calvin Coolidge was elected President after Harding's death and was extremely popular.