Normalcy: The New Slang Essay

Normalcy: The New Slang Essay

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The "Roaring Twenties" were a turbulent time in American history. The United States had just returned from the carnage of World War I and was ready to revolutionize their ideas, morals, and most importantly, their presidents. The presidential election of 1920 was a particularly integral election due to the introduction of the right of women to vote and America's social & political unrest. Warren G. Harding, a Republican, defeated Democrat James M. Cox, on a platform that urged Americans to "return to normalcy". Normalcy was a play on words of normality by Harding, which meant to conform to the norm. But the question that stood on many historians was: Why did Americans actually vote to "return to normalcy"? The simple answer was that the nation was ready to recover from their wartime anxiety and wanted a country without financial or political stress and Harding was the president that promised that to them.
Americans loved Republican Senator Warren G. Harding when he ran for president. He looked like a president, sounded like a president, and spoke vaguely on issues, so he would not aggravate any sides. But most notably, he reminded people that "'America's present need…is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy'" (Pietrusza 3) and America agreed. Harding conducted a low-risk campaign that was based on the image of being the "president next door". He focused on an image consistent with America's desire for peace and tranquility. He invited voters to his front porch and used his newspaper skills (he was a former newspaper editor) to tame the press, who gave him good press (Pietrusza 225). Even his successor as president, Calvin Coolidge, used the same tactics of going on as business as usual and touring for...

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Dean, John W. Warren G. Harding. New York: Times Books, 2004.
Murray, Robert K. The Harding Era 1921-1923: Warren G. Harding and his
Administration. University of Minnesota Press, 1969.
Pietrusza, David. 1920: The Year of Six Presidents. New York: Carroll & Graf
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