Decoding the Decade: A Comprehensive Analysis of the 1920 Presidential Elections - Free Paper

Published: 2024-01-27
Decoding the Decade: A Comprehensive Analysis of the 1920 Presidential Elections - Free Paper
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Politics History Economics Government
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1762 words
15 min read


Pietrusza presents a systematic evaluation of the 1920 presidential elections by presenting a peripheral argument concerning the election that attracted six men. Some of the men had already served as American presidents or were going to serve as presidents. The six men were Hoover, Harding, Coolidge, Roosevelt, Wilson, and Teddy. The important thing, however, was that five of the men except Teddy had died in 1919 (Pietrusza, 2009). However, the book is not entirely about the named presidents, nor is it only focusing on a single electoral race. The author, Pietrusza, is talking or presenting a talk about the gender tale of a nation tumbling into unprecedented modernity. The book is in the context where the jazz, horse, and fox-trot had been overtaken by automobile and camp meetings systematically replaced as popular entrainment. It is also a period where people started to learn more about buying commodities in installments as many other fox-trotting shoppers focused on settling in the cities.

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For the first, presidential candidates started courting women voters. Both the Democrats and Republicans became focused on the issue of the presidential race. Others focused on getting votes from the black community, although they implicitly and explicitly endorsed white supremacy ideas. The victory and the death of Harding during his time in leadership are critical areas that Pietrusza should have focused on devoting significant space to the uniting importance of the election (Pietrusza, 2009). The United States' Presidential election is founded on policies that the Republicans and Democrats hold firmly. The two political parties spend as much as they can to publicize their policies. In the 1920 presidential elections, the publicity level was significantly unprecedented, with the Republicans outspending the Democrats.

The Republicans substantially focused on garnering extensive newspaper coverage. In an election where women were going to vote for the first time in American history, both parties focused on getting as many women's votes as they could.

Thesis Statement

Pietrusza presents a systematic evaluation of the presidential candidates' personalities, counterplots, ambitions, and plots. Through the book, he presents a clear picture of the modern USA that was at a crossroads. The personalities of all the presidential candidates were also essential in determining the country's direction after the election. This paper hypothesizes that the 1920 presidential election market was a decade of Republican leadership. Getting into the 1920s was accompanied by significant struggles in adjusting to WWI's impacts and the economic challenges the country faced in 1919. With Woodrow Wilson suffering a severe stroke in 1919, his capability to govern the country became questionable because he could not complete his year in office. The 1920 Presidential elections marked a point where most Americans wanted the rule of a Republican Candidate. Although Americans did not want to back to Progressive reforms' ideologies because many people supported the idea of having a limited government that showed less involvement in different foreign issues, Warren Harding became the favorite (Pietrusza, 2009).


The 2020 Presidential elections provided a significant opportunity to look back and evaluate the country's leadership and policies that affect the country's critical elements. The elements that affect the country's leadership are critical in shaping the country's direction towards achieving healthy economic development and social cohesion. The election also reflects the political elements that defined the 1920 presidential elections and the prominent POTUS. Theodore Roosevelt wanted to run for the 1920 presidential elections as a Republican, although he died in 1919 (Pietrusza, 2009). During the period, Woodrow Wilson was the incumbent who had been elected through the Democratic party. Even though he had suffered from a stroke while in office, he wanted a third team. The urge to preserve the idea of LN (League of Nations) became a primary area that Wilson focused on despite failing to get enough support from Congress. Wilson's second wife took up presidential business as a watchdog. Although Wilson was viewed as a cold man, he had a strong negative opinion against African Americans.

Wilson's racist beliefs marked Donald Trump's administration since he became the country's leader after the 2016 elections. Franklin D Roosevelt is also another significant political figure covered by the author. He had served as the country's Assistant Secretary under the Secretary of the US Navy Secretary Daniels. The two served during Wilson's administration. Roosevelt to run as James Cox's running mate during the 1920 presidential elections. Roosevelt was involved in several scandals, including a relationship with his wife's friend, Lucy Mercy. He was also Teddy Roosevelt's fifth cousin (Pietrusza, 2009).

Warren G Hardin was an Ohio senator who had sired many illegitimate children but relied on his wife Florence "the Duchess" for political advice. Hardin died as an active president in 1923 during a West of Alaska tour, and he had promised Americans that normalcy would prevail after WWI. Calvin Coolidge is also another figure that the author talks about in the book (Pietrusza, 2009). He describes him as a determined and silent man from Vermont. Calvin had served an active role in suppressing police strikes in Boston during his reign as a governor. Calvin was also a POTUS from 1924-1928.

Herbert C. Hoover also took an active role in the decade's politics. As a mining engineer who had made good fortune, Hoover actively led efforts to feed millions of Europeans after WWI's severe impacts. He also served as the country's Secretary of Commerce but lost his re-election bid in 1928 to FDR after the country blamed him for the devastating impacts of the "Great Depression" (Pietrusza, 2009). Although the book significantly focuses on the six presidential figures, the readers get a substantial opportunity to learn more about other celebrities and politicians who played critical roles during the decade.

The books also highlight crucial aspects of the country's struggles and movements, the promoted ideas of civil rights, women's right to participate in voting during the elections, and the fight against anti-immigration sentiments. Their struggle was reflected when American women got an opportunity to vote for the first time during the 1920 presidential elections. The author also discusses other critical factors and groups such as the KKK, an infamous hate group (Pietrusza, 2009). There is no doubt that the book is easy for anyone who loves reading because it directs the readers' attention to stories that have played a crucial role in shaping the country's history.

The author also discusses the key players that shaped the country's history and the decade's primary events that substantially transformed the country. David Pietrusza also talks about the 44 ballots that the Democrats used in nominating Governor James Cox during the party's sweltering Convention held in San Francisco. He also talks about the ten ballots that facilitated Harding's win during the GOP Convention held in Chicago to present a fascinating reading experience to the reader.

The book inspires the reader to look at the great American political, economic, and social history and helps the reader understand the key factors that shaped the country's political leadership. The reader can also understand how some issues that affected the leadership a hundred years ago still affect the country's leadership.

Primary Ideas Presented by David Pietrusza

David Pietrusza presents the 1920 election as a year that marked a decade of republican leadership. Three Republican presidents took office after Woodrow left the office in 1921. Warren Harding held the office for almost two years from 1921-1921 when he died in August 1923. After Harding's death, Calvin Coolidge took over the nation's leadership from 1923-1929 before handing powers to Herbert Hoover in 1929 after Hoover won the presidential elections in 1928, served the country as a one-term president from 1923-1933 (Pietrusza, 2009). The author also talks about the different scandals that characterized the leadership, especially Harding's leadership. It has made different political historians rate the presidents as the lowest performers in American history. President Hoover was in control of the country when the Great Depression struck the country.

David Pietrusza also talks about the improved living standards that were facilitated by developments in the technology and entertainment sectors. One substantial aspect of improved life, as Pietrusza presents, is owning cars by many American families during the 1920s. Although different automobiles had been developed years back before the 1920s, most Americans could not afford them before the 1920s before the high prices. However, the change instigated by Henry Ford played a significant role in transforming the aspects of owning cars in the country.

Henry Ford realized that cars were going to become the primary form of transport and created the FMC (Ford Motor Company) in 1908, which developed the pioneering Model T. David Pietrusza deeply focuses on the leadership elements portrayed by different Presidents that controlled the country for the decade (Pietrusza, 2009). His work's focus was also on Warren Harding, who he described as an "unlikely dark horse from Ohio," who was elected as the Republican presidential nominee during the election. Harding went on to win the presidential elections. During the Convention's primary ballot, Harding balloted a significant victory, followed by two others; Republican contenders who got 287 and 211, respectively. Harding became the Republican's ultimate nominee, supported by key Republican Senators such as Frank Brandegee, who stated, "We've got a lot of second-raters, and Warren Harding is the best of the second-raters." (Pietrusza, 2009). It would be right to say that the book's subtitle is a bit misleading because one of the stated "six presidents" was Theodore Roosevelt. However, Theodore Roosevelt died before fulfilling or dispelling his goal. Roosevelt desired that after years of exile attributed to the 1912 third-party revolution, he would once more become the Republican presidential candidate. Pietrusza does not focus on exploring how Roosevelt's ghost of possible candidacy impacted the election. The other President that Pietrusza talks about was the incumbent President Woodrow Wilson, who was a stroke victim affected by both emotional and physical complications.

The stroke made it hard for him to get a third term that he had desired to get as nobody could consider the idea of giving a third term. The remaining men that Pietrusza talked about were the future Presidents of the United States, and they included Herbert Hoover, who was progressive.

However, it was not clear whether he was a Democrat or a Republican. Calving Coolidge was an iconic Massachusetts governor who served as Vice President under President Harding. The other man that Pietrusza talks about is Franklin Roosevelt, who was viewed as a handsome rising leader.

On the other hand, Pietrusza takes some of the suppressed loathing towards the Democrat. He disproportionately devotes two substantial chapters through which he explores different scandals that involve gay ideas that characterized Roosevelt's period in the Navy as secretary within Wilson's Administration. Pietrusza severely condemns FDR as the person responsible for the return of former naval inmates to active duty within the Navy.

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