The Ohio Gang

A Little About Harding and his Administration | The Teapot Dome Scandal | Other Scandals | The Ohio Gang was important because it led to the discovery of the corruption of the government. It revealed how easy it was to get what you wanted when you were the president. It showed the American public what happened behind closed doors. This helped citizens realize changes had to be made. Harding's admininstration and scandals helped everyone come to the conclusion that you had to be picky when it came to picking the President of the United States, and America thought that Calvin Coolidge best fit that role. The Ohio Gang is a group of politicians who help Warren G. Harding during his presidency. They were involved in many scandals throughout his presidency. The main contributer of the Ohio Gang was Harry M. Daughery.‍‍ Other members of the group were Albert B. Fall, Will H. Hays, Charles R. Forbes, and Jess Smith.‍‍[1] In 1924, after Harding’s death, Congress began to look into all of the scandals and corruption during Harding's presidency. As a result, all the members were caught and accused. Forbes was arrested for fraud, conspiracy, and bribery in operating the Veteran’s Bureau. Fall was convicted and imprisoned for his part in the Teapot Dome scandal and the Elk Hills scandal. This made him the first member of a president’s administration to be imprisoned while in office. Daugherty was accused of selling illegal liquor permits and pardons and was forced to resign by President Calvin Coolidge. Jess Smith took his own life after they were all caught.


A Little About Harding and his Administration


Warren Gamaliel Harding was born November 2, 1865 in the small town Corsica, (now Blooming Grove) Ohio.[2] His father, George, and mother, Pheobe Dickerson, raised him as a typical baptist farm boy pushed by work. Harding was a newspaper publisher for the Marion Star[3] . And at the young age of 15, he attended Ohio Central College and got his degree in 1882. He tried being a teacher and a insurance salesman until he found his calling of being a government official. Most didnt think of him as an "intellectual giant" when in reality, behind his lazy, humorous behavior he had poltical smarts.[4] He became a member of the Ohio State Senate in 1900-1904, the Lieutenant-Governor of Ohio in 1904-1906 and the United States Senator in 1915-1921. Harding was nominated to run for president for the Repulibcan Party as the dark horse candidate. His opponent was Calvin Coolidge. At the age of 56, Harding served one term as president of the United States and won easily with 61% of the vote. Harding passed away before his scandels affected his presidency. Unlike President Wilson, Harding did not support America joining the League of Nations. His opposition meant that America did not join at all and it failed without America's participation. Even though America did not ratify the Treaty of Paris ending World War I. In 1921-22, America agreed to a limit of arms to a set ratio between Great Britain, the U.S., Japan, France, and Italy. America entered pacts to respect the property of Great Britain, France, and Japan and to preserve the Open Door Policy in China. During Harding's time, he also spoke out on civil rights and pardoned Socialist Eugene V. Debs who had been convicted of anti-war demonstrations during World War I. On August 2, 1923, Harding died of a heart attack.

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The Teapot Dome Scandal

==The scandal starts back when Teddy Roosevelt tried to pass his conservation legislation with William Taft and Woodrow Wilson. Elk Hills and Buena Vista Hills in California and Teapot Dome in Wyoming were public land that were reserved by previous presidents to be emergency underground supplies to be used by the navy only when the regular oil supples ran out. The Teapot Dome oil field achieved its name because of a rock resembling a teapot that was located above the oil-bearing land[6] . Many politicians had disagreed with the restrictions placed on the oil fields stating that they were unneeded and that the American oil companies could provide for the U.S. Navy. Senator Albert B. Fall opposed the restrictions and later became Warren Harding's Secretary of the Interior in 1921.[7] Fall convinced the secretary of the Navy to turn over the oil fields over to him. Fall moved to sell the Teapot Dome to Harry Sinclair's Mammoth Oil Company and the Elk Hills reserve to Edward Doheny's Pan American Petroleum Company. In return for leasing these oil fields Fall received "gifts" from the oilmen totaling about $400,000. The scandal was revealed to the public in 1924. The Senator who investigated the alleged wrongdoing by Fall was Thomas J. Walsh, a democrat from Montana[8] . Lasting throughout the 1920's were a lot of civil and criminal suits related to the Teapot Dome scandal. The Teapot Dome scandal wasnt victorious for either political party in the 1920's, and it did become a huge issue in the presidential election of 1924 but neither party could take credit for catching Fall in the act. The scandal was the first real symbol of government corruption in America. Calvin Coolidge, who assumed the presidency after Harding died, handled the issue very well and his administration avoided any damage to their reputation. Overall the Teapot Dome scandal came to mark how easy it is for a government to be corrupted by a few people.

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Other Scandals

The Veterans' Bureau was a pretty huge scandal. Colonel Charles R. Forbes was the head of the Veterans' Bureau. It was later found that Forbes was invloved in corrupt arrangements with a number of people, particularly with those involved in hospitals, and sold government property at a lesser value.[10] In 1923, Forbes resigned his position and ran to Europe. A Senate investigation in 1924 found that Forbes had gained more than $200 million from the government. He was indicted for bribery and corruption, and was brought back for trial in 1925. Another scandal was the Justice Department Scandal. Daugherty was in Harding's cabinet and was suspected of profiting from the sale of government alcohol supplies, failing to enforce prohibition laws, and the selling of pardons. Daugherty was dismissed by Calvin Coolidge in March of 1924[11] The new president showed little interest in the people of the Harding scandals, but made certain that his cabinet did everything they could to avoid similar situations. Harding was involved in many other scandals making his presidency a joke.

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Charles R. Forbes
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Historical Significance

The Ohio Gang was important because it led to the discovery of the corruption of the government. It revealed how easy it was to get what you wanted when you were the president. It showed the American public what happened behind closed doors. This helped citizens realize changes had to be made. Harding's admininstration and scandals helped everyone come to the conclusion that you had to be picky when it came to picking the President of the United States, and America thought that Calvin Coolidge best fit that role.


Bibliography
  1. ^ "Ohio Gang." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. Jan. 27, 2012. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/426002/Ohio-Gang>.
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    “Warren Gamaliel Harding.” Thinkquest.com. Jan. 27 2012 http://library.thinkquest.org/TQ0312172/harding.html
  3. ^ “Warren G. Harding - Twenty-Ninth President of the United States.” Americanhistory.about.com. Jan. 27 2012 http://americanhistory.about.com/od/warrengharding/p/pHarding.htm
  4. ^ Ayers, Edward. American Anthem. United States: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston: 2007.
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    http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&biw=1170&bih=821&tbm=isch&tbnid=HaKxVZhvBrMzKM:&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:President_Warren_G._Harding%27s_First_Cabinet_1921.jpg&docid=Wz7OMczpvOrkDM&imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/President_Warren_G._Harding%2527s_First_Cabinet_1921.jpg&w=1845&h=853&ei=RAorT5CgJ8jA2gXf5tiKDw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=266&vpy=157&dur=21&hovh=152&hovw=330&tx=175&ty=79&sig=113351431385285063128&page=1&tbnh=86&tbnw=187&start=0&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:21,s:0
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    Zeck, James. "The Teapot Dome Scandal." mc.cc.md.us. Jan. 30 2012.
    http://www.mc.cc.md.us/Departments/hpolscrv/jzeck.html
  7. ^ Zeck, James. "The Teapot Dome Scandal." mc.cc.md.us. Jan. 30 2012.
    http://www.mc.cc.md.us/Departments/hpolscrv/jzeck.html
  8. ^ Zeck, James. "The Teapot Dome Scandal." mc.cc.md.us. Jan. 30 2012.
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    http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1170&bih=821&tbm=isch&tbnid=_Bu42gAv92SyiM:&imgrefurl=http://20thcenturyhistory.blogspot.com/2010/10/october-25th-us-invades-granada-teapot.html&docid=-Ojo1Rek2TffrM&imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_yce4Cm35e9g/TMYQK93RyGI/AAAAAAAAALE/2WboFkXHhp4/s1600/Teapot%252BDome%252BScandal.gif&w=271&h=320&ei=pworT-nZOcf-2QWQ__WADw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=602&vpy=163&dur=850&hovh=244&hovw=207&tx=107&ty=141&sig=113351431385285063128&page=1&tbnh=144&tbnw=122&start=0&ndsp=27&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0
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    "Veterans' Bureau Scandal." u-s-history.com. Jan. 30 2012.
    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1379.html
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    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1379.html
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