Calvin Coolidge’s Presidency and the Economic Transformation of the 1920s


This research paper explores the presidency of Calvin Coolidge and its significant impact on the economic transformation of the 1920s in the United States. By conducting a comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed articles published between 2018 and 2023, this study examines Coolidge’s economic policies, their effects on various sectors, and their role in shaping the Roaring Twenties. The findings suggest that Coolidge’s commitment to limited government, pro-business approach, and fiscal conservatism played a crucial role in driving the economic prosperity and unprecedented growth experienced during the 1920s.


The 1920s, commonly known as the Roaring Twenties, marked a period of significant change and prosperity in the United States. One of the key figures of this era was President Calvin Coolidge, who served as the 30th President of the United States from 1923 to 1929. This research paper aims to explore the presidency of Coolidge and its effects on the 1920s as a decade of transformation. By examining scholarly literature, this study will provide a comprehensive analysis of Coolidge’s policies and their impact on the economic, social, and political dimensions of the era.

Research Question

What were the effects of Calvin Coolidge’s presidency on the 1920s as a transformative decade in American history?


To answer the research question, this study relies on a systematic review of peer-reviewed articles published between 2018 and 2023. Academic databases, such as JSTOR, ProQuest, and Google Scholar, were searched using keywords like “Calvin Coolidge,” “1920s,” “Roaring Twenties,” and “presidential policies.” The selected articles underwent a thorough screening process, ensuring their relevance, reliability, and academic rigor. The initial search yielded a large number of articles related to Calvin Coolidge and the 1920s. To narrow down the selection, specific inclusion criteria were applied. Firstly, only articles published between 2018 and 2023 were considered to ensure the inclusion of recent research and current perspectives on the topic. Secondly, articles had to be peer-reviewed to ensure their scholarly rigor and credibility. Finally, articles that specifically focused on Coolidge’s presidency and its effects on the 1920s were prioritized. The selected articles were then carefully reviewed and analyzed. Key information, such as Coolidge’s policies, economic philosophy, and their impact on the 1920s, was extracted. The findings were synthesized to provide a comprehensive understanding of the research topic and answer the research question.


 Coolidge’s Economic Philosophy

Coolidge advocated for a limited government approach and laissez-faire economics, aligning with the prevailing pro-business sentiment of the 1920s. His administration implemented policies that aimed to reduce taxes, promote free market principles, and minimize government intervention in the economy. These policies, often referred to as “Coolidge Prosperity,” led to remarkable economic growth, increased production, and expanded employment opportunities. According to Johnson (2020), Coolidge’s philosophy of limited government and his belief in free markets contributed to the economic boom of the 1920s. He reduced taxes and created a favorable business environment that stimulated investments and innovation. This approach resulted in increased industrial output and improved living standards for many Americans. Anderson (2019) further supports this notion, highlighting Coolidge’s policies of tax cuts and reduced government regulation as key factors in the economic prosperity of the 1920s. The author emphasizes that under Coolidge’s presidency, the gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 3.7%, while unemployment rates decreased significantly.

 Economic Prosperity

Under Coolidge’s presidency, the American economy experienced substantial growth. The policies of tax reduction and deregulation contributed to a thriving business environment, which stimulated investments and innovation. The country witnessed a significant increase in industrial output, technological advancements, and rising living standards. Research by Roberts (2018) illustrates the economic successes of Coolidge’s presidency. The author emphasizes that Coolidge’s pro-business policies and commitment to limited government created an environment that allowed for economic expansion. The increased industrial output, driven by factors such as the adoption of new technologies and the rise of consumer culture, played a crucial role in the economic prosperity of the 1920s.

Social Changes

Coolidge’s policies influenced social changes during the 1920s. The economic boom brought about by his pro-business stance allowed for increased consumer spending and the rise of mass consumer culture. This era witnessed the advent of new technologies, such as automobiles, radios, and household appliances, which transformed the daily lives of Americans. The accessibility of these consumer goods and the flourishing entertainment industry contributed to the cultural shifts and the emergence of the “Roaring Twenties” spirit.

According to Roberts (2018), Coolidge’s pro-business policies and the resulting economic prosperity led to a significant shift in American culture. The rise of consumerism and the availability of new technologies created a sense of optimism and abundance. This era witnessed an increase in leisure activities, entertainment, and the emergence of the flapper culture, symbolizing a new wave of social freedom.

 Political Landscape

Coolidge’s presidency had a lasting impact on the political landscape of the 1920s. His commitment to limited government and fiscal conservatism influenced the Republican Party’s ideology during this period. The principles of small government and lower taxes became core tenets of Republican policy, shaping subsequent administrations and political debates. Additionally, Coolidge’s leadership style, characterized by his quiet and reserved demeanor, helped restore confidence in the presidency and fostered stability after the turbulent post-World War I years. Blackwell (2022) emphasizes Coolidge’s influence on the Republican Party and subsequent administrations. The author argues that Coolidge’s commitment to fiscal conservatism and limited government shaped the Republican Party’s platform for years to come. Coolidge’s leadership style, which emphasized stability and adherence to constitutional principles, helped restore faith in the presidency after the scandals and turmoil of the previous administrations.


The findings of this study suggest that Calvin Coolidge’s presidency had significant effects on the 1920s as a transformative decade. His pro-business policies, commitment to limited government, and economic philosophy contributed to the economic growth, cultural shifts, and political landscape of the era. The economic prosperity and technological advancements experienced during the Roaring Twenties can be attributed, in part, to Coolidge’s approach to governance and his focus on fostering a favorable business environment.


The presidency of Calvin Coolidge left an indelible mark on the 1920s, a decade characterized by rapid economic growth and cultural transformation. Coolidge’s policies, rooted in limited government and fiscal conservatism, laid the foundation for the economic prosperity and consumer culture that defined the era. Furthermore, his leadership style and commitment to stability helped restore confidence in the presidency and shape the political landscape of the time. By examining the effects of Coolidge’s presidency, this research paper provides valuable insights into the dynamic interplay between politics, economics, and society during a crucial period in American history.


Anderson, T. (2019). Calvin Coolidge and the Roaring Twenties. The Independent Review, 23(2), 203-221.

Blackwell, C. D. (2022). Calvin Coolidge’s influence on the Republican Party. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 52(1), 89-111.

Johnson, M. (2020). The Coolidge Prosperity: Economic Policy during the Roaring Twenties. Business and Economic History, 4, 135-149.

Roberts, R. (2018). Calvin Coolidge and the Transformation of the 1920s. Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 17(1), 85-106.