James J. Davis, Secretary of Labor under three presidents, 1921-1930

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dc.contributor.advisor Schmidt, Lester F. en_US
dc.contributor.author Dudley, John B. (John Bruce), 1934- en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-03T19:25:02Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-03T19:25:02Z
dc.date.created 1971 en_US
dc.date.issued 1971
dc.identifier LD2489.Z68 1971 .D8 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/handle/175938
dc.description.abstract Arriving in the United States as an immigrant in 1881, James J. Davis worked as an iron puddler and tin worker before entering upon a business career early in the twentieth century. In 1906 he joined the Loyal Order of Moose and as Supreme Organizer built up that nearly defunct fraternal order to over half a million members by the end of World War I. This achievement led to his appointment as Director General of the Moose in 1919. Davis's national reputation in fraternal circles and his brief experience as a labor leader placed him in contention for the Labor Department portfolio in 1920. However, even though he was a staunch Republican and had actively supported Warren G. Harding in the presidential campaign, his selection as Secretary of Labor was not expected.James J. Davis served as Secretary of Labor for nearly ten years. His first few months were difficult because there was a nationwide depression and several labor disputes occurred during this period. Davis demonstrated a measure of ability and tact in heading off a threatened strike in the meatpacking industry and then proceeded to deliver innumerable speeches for the remainder of 1921 in an attempt to create a climate of optimism to counter the negative atmosphere resulting from the economic slump. During this time Davis functioned primarily as a public relations agent for the Harding Administration.Secretary Davis played a significant role in helping the Administration settle a major coal strike in 1922 and also contributed in a lesser degree to the ending of a nationwide railroad strike which occurred the same year. At this time, however, Davis labored in the shadow of the more influential Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover. This subordinate status became even more evident after Calvin Coolidge became President in 1923.Throughout his career as Secretary of Labor, James J. Davis expended most of his energy on the subject of immigration. He supported the Quota Act of 1921 and waged a personal campaign to make the 1924 Immigration Act reflect a more selective immigration policy. Davis was only partially successful in these efforts. When Coolidge was in the White House Secretary Davis continued to push for selective immigration. His advocacy of some measures brought Davis into disagreement with the foreign policy aims of Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes and then his successor, Frank B. Kellogg. Davis's fight for selective immigration also placed him in conflict with such congressmen as Fiorello H. La Guardia who opposed the resrictionist measures of the decade.Although Secretary Davis was unable to persuade Congress to adopt many of his legislative proposals on immigration, he did bring about considerable change in the operation of the Immigration Service. Under Davis the Bureau of Immigration was reorganized and streamlined to meet the demands of the changing immigration policy of the United States during the 1920's.James J. Davis got along well with the three presidents whom he served. His relations with Harding were especially cordial. Coolidge, too, found Davis to be amenable and called on him to campaign for the party ticket in 1924 and 1928. Davis was used by Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover as an emissary to labor groups. These Republican Presidents counted on Davis to placate labor.After the 1929 stock market crash Davis was pressed into service defending the efforts of the Hoover Administration to cope with the ensuing depression. In 1930 Secretary Davis became a candidate for the United States Senate from Pennsylvania by winning the Republican primary election. He then gained that office with a landslide vote. After weathering a challenge of his credentials because of alleged excessive campaign expenditures, Davis took his seat as the junior United States Senator from Pennsylvania. en_US
dc.format.extent iv, 322 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Labor policy -- United States. en_US
dc.subject.other Davis, James J. (James John), 1873-1947. en_US
dc.title James J. Davis, Secretary of Labor under three presidents, 1921-1930 en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url http://liblink.bsu.edu/catkey/417467 en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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