This chapter focuses on the man who succeeded Warren Harding at the time of his death. Calvin Coolidge was a reticent man who reflected many of the values of his rural New England roots; “Silent Cal” was the antithesis of the activist president. His reluctance to assume national leadership or to impose his will on Congress did not, however, translate into reluctance to defend the president's prerogatives. Coolidge was more than willing to fight to assert the president's sole right to control the execution of the federal laws. He attempted to dominate the independent agencies by influencing the rediscount policy of the Federal Reserve Board, dictating policy to the U.S. Shipping Board, requiring that commissioners submit undated letters of resignation before appointing them, and threatening to remove commissioners who disagreed with his policies.
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