Calvin's motivation to become something better came from his father, who was a local politician. He noticed his son had great speaking skills and urged his to become a lawyer and to enter politics. Calvin never was known for being a great lawyer (he was an honest guy how could he have been a great lawyer), but was a great politician and a candidate. He basically worked from the bottom to the top of the political ladder. In 1898 he had been elected to North Hampton City Council, while working in his law office. This was a start to the many small political positions he held which includes city solicitor, clerk of the county courts, and chairman of the Northhampton Republican Party organization. He climbed up the political ladder higher and higher as each of his terms ended at each position.
In 1907 he was elected to the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. In the house he fought for a six-day work week, women and child labor laws, and women’s voting rights. He also fought an unsuccessful fight for labor injunction and companies that tried to create monopolies.
In 1910, he decided to go back to local politics and became mayor of Northampton, Massachusetts. He made major changes in the city. He cut taxes and reduced most of the city’s debt. He improved the city’s fire and police departments as well as the city’s road and sidewalk conditions.
In 1912, he went up the political ladder again when he was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. He became Senate president in 1914. In that position he fought against the governor’s veto of railroad extention. He was mainly a progressive fighting for better labor conditions and improvements. He supported a minimum wage for women, workmen’s compensation, women’s suffrage, legalizing labor strikes, state income tax, and the direct election of senators.
In 1916, he became Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and later was elected to governor of that state (1919). As governor he improved the cost of living for public employees, limited to workweek for women and children to 48 hours, regulated outdoor advertising, and established a state budget system. His most famous duty as governor was when he handled the Boston police strike in 1919. Around three-fourths of the police force went on strike because of disagreements of the police commissioner. The strike led to a violent crime spree in the city. Coolidge ordered state troops into the Boston area to control the city and supported the police commissioner. Coolidge was urged to give in to the strikers demands but Coolidge refused and told the them, “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime.” For his firm stand against the strike, Coolidge gained praise from people throughout the country.
In 1920, Republicans wanted to nominate a popular man for president, so that they could control the White House again. Some Republicans were in support of Coolidge, but most were in the support for Warren G. Harding because they thought he could win the election. Coolidge was then nominated as a candidate for Vice President by Wallace McCamant of Oregon. This nomination came in the middle of a speech by Senator Lenroot who was (at least until that point) the front runner for the nomination. Coolidge won the Republican nomination by a landslide. With the respect of Coolidge on the Republican ticket, Harding won the 1920 election easily.
Not many Vice-presidents actually do a lot of work while in office, but Coolidge was an exception. He not only did his job of watching over the Senate, but he also sat in on cabinet meetings. Even though he didn’t express any opinions at the meetings, his presence at the meetings helped him learn about the duties of being president. He enjoyed his job as the Vice President until that fateful day in August 1923...
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