Coolidgism is a libertarian-leaning, fiscally conservative, culturally variable, and nationalist ideology that represents the beliefs and policies of the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. Coolidgism was most known for its support for a hands-off approach to the role of the American federal government, especially in taxation and business regulation. Coolidgism supported expansion of the civil liberties of African Americans (to some extent), Native Americans, and women, but simultaneously maintained and increased barriers to foreign immigration, banning immigration from Asia and setting a quota for immigrants from Eastern Europe. Coolidgism was generally hesitant to involve the US in foreign affairs. Many later American conservatives and libertarians would laud and draw inspiration from Coolidge's policies as president.
Life of Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge Jr. was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, the only U.S. president to be born on Independence Day. He was the elder of the two children of John Calvin Coolidge Sr. (1845–1926) and Victoria Josephine Moor (1846–1885). Although named for his father, John, from early childhood Coolidge was addressed by his middle name, Calvin. His middle name was selected in honor of John Calvin, considered a founder of the Congregational church in which Coolidge was raised and remained active throughout his life.
Coolidge Senior engaged in many occupations and developed a statewide reputation as a prosperous farmer, storekeeper, and public servant. He held various local offices, including justice of the peace and tax collector and served in the Vermont House of Representatives as well as the Vermont Senate. Coolidge's mother was the daughter of Hiram Dunlap Moor, a Plymouth Notch farmer and Abigail Franklin. She was chronically ill and died at the age of 39, perhaps from tuberculosis, when Coolidge was twelve years old. His younger sister, Abigail Grace Coolidge (1875–1890), died at the age of 15, probably of appendicitis, when Coolidge was 18. Coolidge's father married a Plymouth schoolteacher in 1891, and lived to the age of 80.
Coolidge's family had deep roots in New England; his earliest American ancestor, John Coolidge, emigrated from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, England, around 1630 and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. Coolidge's great-great-grandfather, also named John Coolidge, was an American military officer in the Revolutionary War and one of the first selectmen of the town of Plymouth. His grandfather Calvin Galusha Coolidge served in the Vermont House of Representatives. Coolidge was also a descendant of Samuel Appleton, who settled in Ipswich and led the Massachusetts Bay Colony during King Philip's War.
Education and Law Practice
Coolidge attended Black River Academy and then St. Johnsbury Academy, before enrolling at Amherst College, where he distinguished himself in the debating class. As a senior, he joined the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta and graduated cum laude. While at Amherst, Coolidge was profoundly influenced by philosophy professor Charles Edward Garman, a Congregational mystic, with a neo-Hegelian philosophy.
Coolidge explained Garman's ethics forty years later:
At his father's urging after graduation, Coolidge moved to Northampton, Massachusetts to become a lawyer. To avoid the cost of law school, Coolidge followed the common practice of apprenticing with a local law firm, Hammond & Field, and reading law with them. John C. Hammond and Henry P. Field, both Amherst graduates, introduced Coolidge to law practice in the county seat of Hampshire County, Massachusetts. In 1897, Coolidge was admitted to the Massachusetts bar, becoming a country lawyer. With his savings and a small inheritance from his grandfather, Coolidge opened his own law office in Northampton in 1898. He practiced commercial law, believing that he served his clients best by staying out of court. As his reputation as a hard-working and diligent attorney grew, local banks and other businesses began to retain his services.
Marriage and Family
In 1903, Coolidge met Grace Anna Goodhue, a University of Vermont graduate and teacher at Northampton's Clarke School for the Deaf. They married on October 4, 1905 at 2:30 p.m. in a small ceremony which took place in the parlor of Grace's family's house, having overcome his future mother-in-law's objections to the marriage. The newlyweds went on a honeymoon trip to Montreal, originally planned for two weeks but cut short by a week at Coolidge's request. After 25 years he wrote of Grace, "for almost a quarter of a century she has borne with my infirmities and I have rejoiced in her graces."
The Coolidges had two sons: John (September 7, 1906 – May 31, 2000) and Calvin Jr. (April 13, 1908 – July 7, 1924). Calvin Jr. died at age 16 from blood poisoning. On June 30, 1924 Calvin Jr. had played tennis with his brother on the White House tennis courts without putting on socks and developed a blister on one of his toes. The blister subsequently degenerated into sepsis and Calvin Jr. died a little over a week later. The President never forgave himself for Calvin Jr's death.
Coolidge was frugal, and when it came to securing a home, he insisted upon renting. He and his wife attended Northampton's Edwards Congregational Church before and after his presidency.
He was elected as Lieutenant Governor in 1916, and as Governor in 1918. He was later elected as VP in 1920 and after Harding's death he took the Presidency. He would win in the 1924 presidential election and refuse to run again in 1928.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Coolidge supported wages and hours legislation, opposed child labor, imposed economic controls during World War I, favored safety measures in factories, and even worker representation on corporate boards. He however crushed the Boston Police Strike. However he was opposed to apply those laws on a federal level when he was elected US President. Calvin Coolidge pursued a laissez faire economic policy with deregulation and tax cuts. He said he would make sure nobody had to pay taxes except the top 1%. The regulatory state under Coolidge was, as one biographer described it, "thin to the point of invisibility'' (some liberals and leftists blame that for causing the Great Depression). Coolidge believed that promoting the interests of manufacturers was good for society as a whole, and he sought to reduce taxes and regulations on businesses while imposing tariffs to protect those interests against foreign competition .
Coolidge spoke in favor of the civil rights of African-Americans, saying in his first State of the Union address that their rights were "just as sacred as those of any other citizen" under the U.S. Constitution and that it was a "public and a private duty to protect those rights." He also repeatedly called for laws to prohibit lynching, saying in his 1923 State of the Union address that it was a "hideous crime" of which African-Americans were "by no means the sole sufferers" but made up the "majority of the victims." However, congressional attempts to pass anti-lynching legislation were blocked by Southern Democrats. Coolidge did not emphasize the appointment of African-Americans to federal positions, and he did not appoint any prominent blacks during his tenure as president. On June 2, 1924, Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted U.S. citizenship to all American Indians, while permitting them to retain tribal land and cultural rights. By that time, two-thirds of Native Americans were already citizens, having gained citizenship through marriage, military service, or the land allotments that had earlier taken place. Coolidge personally opposed Prohibition, but sought to enforce federal law and refrained from serving liquor in the White House. Though Congress had established the Bureau of Prohibition to enforce the Volstead Act, federal enforcement of Prohibition was lax. As most states left enforcement of Prohibition to the federal government, the illegal production of alcoholic beverages flourished. Leaders of organized crime like Arnold Rothstein and Al Capone arranged for the importation of alcohol from Canada and other locations, and the profitability of bootlegging contributed to the rising influence of organized crime. Nonetheless, alcohol consumption fell dramatically during the 1920s, in part due to the high price of alcoholic drinks.
He considered the 1920 Republican victory as a rejection of the Wilsonian position that the United States should join the League of Nations. While not completely opposed to the idea, Coolidge believed the League, as then constituted, did not serve American interests, and he did not advocate membership. He spoke in favor of the United States joining the Permanent Court of International Justice (World Court), provided that the nation would not be bound by advisory decisions. In 1926, the Senate eventually approved joining the Court (with reservations). The League of Nations accepted the reservations, but it suggested some modifications of its own. The Senate failed to act on the modifications, and the United States never joined the World Court. In the aftermath of World War I, several European nations struggled with debt, much of which was owed to the United States. These European nations were in turn owed an enormous sum from Germany in the form of World War I reparations, and the German economy buckled under the weight of these reparations. Coolidge rejected calls to forgive Europe's debt or lower tariffs on European goods, but the Occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 stirred him to action. On Secretary of State Hughes's initiative, Coolidge appointed Charles Dawes to lead an international commission to reach an agreement on Germany's reparations. The resulting Dawes Plan provided for restructuring of the German debt, and the United States loaned money to Germany to help it repay its debt other countries. The Dawes Plan led to a boom in the German economy, as well as a sentiment of international cooperation. Building on the success of the Dawes Plan, U.S. ambassador Alanson B. Houghton helped organize the Locarno Conference in October 1925. The conference was designed to ease tensions between Germany and France, the latter of which feared a German rearmament. In the Locarno Treaties, France, Belgium, and Germany each agreed to respect the borders established by the Treaty of Versailles and pledged not to attack each other. Germany also agreed to arbitrate its eastern boundaries with the states created in the Treaty of Versailles. Coolidge's primary foreign policy initiative was the Kellogg–Briand Pact of 1928, named for Secretary of State Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand. The treaty, ratified in 1929, committed signatories—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan—to "renounce war, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another. The Treaty did not achieve its wanted result. Coolidge reclutantly signed the Immigration Act of 1924, though he was saddened by the ban on Asian immigration, he spoke against open borders.
- Nationalism - "The economic reasons for restricting immigration are not always the most important. We have certain standards of life that we believe are best for us. We do not ask other nations to discard theirs but we do wish to preserve ours. Standards, government and culture under free institutions are not much of a matter of constitutions and laws as of public opinion, ways of thought, and methods of life of the people.. We reflect on no one in wanting immigrants who will be assimilated into our ways of thinking and living. Believing we best serve the World this way we restrict immigration."
- Fiscal Conservatism - I created a federal budget surplus.
- Protectionism - Boost manufacturing!
- Paleoconservatism - Thank you for voting for me in 1924!
- Civil Libertarianism - The rights of minorities are as sacred as the rights of other Americans.
- Libertarianism - Fellow follower of small government.
- Social Libertarianism - Based if on a state level.
- Reaganism - Too auth but based.
- Liberal Feminism - Women rights!
- Introversionism - I am a man of few words.
- Pragerism - Thanks for calling me best president!
- Indigenism - I gave you voting rights!
- Jacksonian Democracy - You literally paid off the entire debt?! BASED!
- Clintonism - Your presidency ended with an overall financial surplus? BASED!
- Constitutionalism - To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race,
also I assure you, court martialing colonels for publicly denouncing lack of funding and competent running of the Army and Naval air forces is not a violation of the First amendment.
- Austrolibertarianism - Based free markets believer, but what's up with all that "unrestricted free trade" thingy?
- Hardingism - Thanks for making me VP, but you left me a corrupt mess.
- Progressivism - Progressive? Do you mean- oh, never mind. I guess you are better than Wilson.
- Prohibition - You suck, but I will not serve liquor in the White House.
- Regulationism - You suck, but you were useful for states during WW1.
- Keynesianism - I DID NOT CAUSE THE GREAT DEPRESSION!
- Wilsonism - Interventionist, Statist, Anti-Protectionist, Racist and Globalist? You are my total opposite!
- Extroversionism - You lose.
- Police Statism - LMAO I KICKED YOUR ASS IN THE POLICE STRIKE AS GOVERNOR!
- Racial Nationalism - God damn obstructionists opposing anti-lynching laws...
- Democratism - VETO!
- Stratocracy - More money and better competent running for army and naval air corp? The best I can do is a Court Martial for you.
|Presidents of America|
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|Cultural Center - Minority rights and tradition!|
|Syncretic||Transmedicalism • Merkelism • Sangonomiya Kokomi Thought • Ultra-Anglophobia • Pepperism|
|Moderately Conservative||Moderate Conservatism|
|Main||Conservative Party of Canada • Coolidgism • Christian Animeism • Ego-Fascism • Gorbachevism • Sex Confederatism • Transmedicalism • Wojti2000ism • Zulism • Bounty Frontierism • Liyue Model • Celestia Theocracy • Scientific Outlook on Development • Ultra-Francophobia • Thirtyism • Eulaism • Rukkhadevata Theocracy • Sumeru Akademiyarchy • Galactic Imperialism • Fontaine Kritarchy (recently)|
|Moderately Progressive||Moderate Progressivism • Pantheonism • File:MATTball.png American Social Democracy • Omegaism • Minnesotan Communism • MaximumLibertarianism •|
|Self-inserts||Agora Butterism • Dylanism • • Neo-Addycakesball Thought • Neo-Afunhumaninterism • Omegaism • Pantheonism • File:MATTball.png American Social Democracy • Minnesotan Communism • MaximumLibertarianism •|
|Libertarians - Don't Tread On Me!|
|Main||• Police Abolitionism • Prison Abolitionism • Aceffism • Miss IDK Thought •|
|Socialists||• Austrolibertarian Market Socialism • Geolibertarian Socialism • Minarcho-Mutualism • Queer Bookchin Communalism • Queer Libertarian Socialism • Tomjazzism • Julianism • Ego-Libertarian Marxism• Future Unitism|
|Lassiez-Faire||Austrolibertarian Market Socialism • Neo-Afunhumaninterism • • Neo-Phibunsongkhram Thought • Constantine Thought|
|Culturally-Right||• Neo-Phibunsongkhram Thought • Constantine Thought|
|Culturally-Left||• Queer Bookchin Communalism • Queer Libertarian Socialism • Tomjazzism • Aceffism • Miss IDK Thought • Julianism • Ego-Libertarian Marxism|
|Neo-Reactionarism||Heinrich-Cheungism • Neo-Phibunsongkhram Thought • Constantine Thought|
|Self-Inserts||Tomjazzism • Aceffism • Miss IDK Thought • Neo-Afunhumaninterism • Julianism • Ego-Libertarian Marxism• Future Unitism • Constantine Thought|
|Conservatives - Tradition, morality and praising the Lord|
|Main|| Atheist Conservatism • Linguistic Conservatism • Linguistic Preservationism • Christian Conservatism • Black Conservatism • Blue Lives Matter • Monarcho-Conservatism • Sollism • Traditionalist Kakistocracy • Cisarchy • Kekistani Nationalism • Anti-Internetism • High-Tier Hierarchycracy • Japanese Liberal Democracy • Rukkhadevata Theocracy • Pepperism
|Reactionary|| Ei's Eternity • 800ism • 900ism • 1000ism • 1100ism • 1200ism • 1300ism • 1400ism • 1500ism • 1600ism (until 1685) • Medievalism • Neo-Lawrencarchy