Money in American Politics

The First 200 Years

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About the Book

The people who run our government are affected by money just like the rest of us. Over the years, many of these officials have worried about meeting mortgage payments, holding off creditors, and avoiding bankruptcy. Others made fortunes by devoting their time to supervising their business interests. Either way, these distractions affected the lives of everyday citizens–from the price of shirts to the decisions for war or peace.

In school, students are taught about governmental principles underlying political controversies, but instructors seldom talk about money that presidents and cabinet members stood to gain or lose, depending on who prevailed in a political dispute. This book will help fill the gaps in that knowledge. To ignore the business activities of our leaders is to ignore most of their adult lives. Having such awareness allows voters to see motivations in government decisions that may otherwise be obscure. Concentrating on presidents and cabinet members, from the birth of the U.S. through the Carter administration, this book tells how they and their associates gained and lost wealth, and how this affected their nation’s well-being.

About the Author(s)

Richard Lawrence Miller worked for former President Herbert Hoover’s personal archivist after college. He became a public radio producer, whose programs were heard on National Public Radio and other outlets. A retired community organizer, he lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Lawrence Miller
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 261
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8408-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4180-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Chapter 1 3
Colonial Antecedents 3
Revolution 8
Frontier Real Estate 10
Constitution 12
Chapter 2 15
Banks 15
Whiskey Rebellion 21
Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures 22
Jay Treaty 24
XYZ Affair 26
Chapter 3 30
Louisiana Purchase 30
Burr Murders Hamilton 30
War of 1812 31
Internal Improvements 34
Banks Again 38
Chapter 4 49
American Indians in the Jackson Era 49
Tippecanoe 50
And Tyler, Too 53
Mexican War 55
Chapter 5 56
California Gold 56
Quicksilver 59
Slavery 62
Worker Rights 68
Chapter 6 72
Transportation 72
Cotton 73
Railroads 77
Civil War 80
Real Estate 90
Chapter 7 93
Abraham Lincoln’s Estate 93
Andrew Johnson Impeachment 94
Presidency of Grant 95
Election of 1876 101
Rutherford Hayes 103
Chapter 8 104
Pennsylvania Railroad 104
Marine Industry 105
James Garfield 106
Robert Lincoln 107
Pullman Railroad Cars 107
Chapter 9 110
Chester Arthur 110
Young Theodore Roosevelt 110
Grover Cleveland 111
Tobacco 112
Railroads Again 112
Chapter 10 114
Sherman Anti-Trust Law 114
Lumber 115
Benjamin Harrison 115
Alaskan Seals 116
Closing the Frontier 117
Chapter 11 118
Department Stores and Mail Order Houses 118
Telegraph and Telephone 119
Gas 122
Electricity 123
The Cross of Gold 125
Chapter 12 126
William McKinley 126
Private Clubs 127
China 130
Chapter 13 133
Theodore Roosevelt 133
Steel 134
Panic of 1907 135
Northern Securities 136
Santa Fe Railroad 136
Meat 137
Kuhn, Loeb Bank 138
Panama Canal 139
Chapter 14 142
William Howard Taft 142
Philippines 144
Bull Moose Campaign 145
Woodrow Wilson 146
National City Bank 148
Mexico 149
World War I 150
World War I Finance 153
Chapter 15 155
Herbert Hoover 155
Election of 1920 160
Warren G. Harding 161
Newspapers 162
Insurance 163
Chapter 16 168
“Mellon’s Millions” 168
Aluminum 168
Banking 171
Coal 172
Oil 173
Teapot Dome 175
Chapter 17 179
Calvin Coolidge 179
Dawes’ Dollars 179
Stock Market Crash 181
FDR 186
Atomic Energy 193
Chapter 18 195
Harry Truman 195
Eisenhower 197
Tidelands Oil 198
Dixon-Yates Contract 198
Hanna Mining 199
Chapter 19 201
General Motors 201
World War I Strikes Again 203
J.P. Stevens 203
Cuba 204
Chapter 20 207
JFK 207
Motion Pictures 207
Real Estate 208
Textiles 209
Insurance Again 210
Chapter 21 211
Aviation 211
Automobiles 212
Marine Industry Again 214
Rockefeller Foundation 215
Chapter 22 217
LBJ 217
Brown & Root 218
Real Estate 218
Broadcasting 219
Chapter 23 224
Richard Nixon 224
Chile 225
China Again 226
Gerald Ford 227
Chapter 24 228
Jimmy Carter 228
Coca-Cola 229
Aviation Again 231
Banks Yet Again 232
Lumber Again 233
Coal Again 234
The Carter Administration Summed Up 234
Epilogue: A Shadow on the Wall 235
Notes 241
Works Cited 243
Index 247