As an Irish American from the 1920-1940 era I know there were still anti-Irish factions,and Irish Anti=Brit factions in those days But I never heard a word against Coolige(who died when I was 2) or any pro Wilson feelings from our Irish friends. But this article explains a lot.
Interesting article. I recall being puzzled by Reagan's admiration for Coolidge since what I recall from high school and college history was that Coolidge was a taciturn man of few accomplishments, sandwiched between the corrupt Harding and incompetent Hoover.
35,000 Irishmen died fighting for the Allies in WWI in 3 Irish Divisions of the British Army. 7000 died fighting for the British in WWII.
In any event, we would not have fought 'the classic struggle' against Germany and Italy but for Germany declaring War on the US after Pearl Harbor.
Silent Cal is one of my heroes, an exemplar of what a politician should be: honest, efficient, and a man of few words.
As for Coolidge's relationship with the Irish, I find it a bit patronizing. At the time and place, however, it was progressive, ignoring the normal prejudices of the time.
And there's no little bit of political wizardry on Cal's part, co-opting the natural enemy of the Yankees. No, not the New York baseball team, but the usual polite term for the WASP upper classes in early 20th century New England, especially Boston, where my Dad landed and grew up around Coolidge's time in office.
One thing that ought to shame the Irish is not siding with the Allies in both World Wars. I very much understand the antipathy; Oliver Cromwell, the Black and Tans, the RIC/RUC and all of that. Liberty was quashed, again and again. Six Counties remain under British, not Irish, control.
But: to stay neutral in a classic struggle between liberal democracies (America and Britain) against fascist dictatorships (Germany and Italy) is to totally lack moral discernment.
To my Irish cousins on this St. Patrick's day, Éirinn go Brách. And isn't it a blessed thing to have been oppressed by such a liberal nation as Britain? There are so many worse that could have been in our faces.
Both of my Irish born grandparents worked in the Coolidge Whitehouse. My Galway born grandmother was a cook and my Cork born grandfather was a chauffeur. Both had nothing but kind words for the Coolidge and Harding families. Glad I caught your article and looking forward to your book.
I don't usually respond to comments on my own work, but I thought it might be important to mention that, in fact, Calvin Coolidge supported woman's suffrage and the meritocracy as applied to blacks.
During the Coolidge years, the numbers of blacks in federal employment reached a high of 51,882 in 1928, up from 22,540 in 1910. These gains weren’t a matter of affirmative action—the term wouldn’t be invented for another fifty years—but of the meritocracy Coolidge supported. While Wilson resegregated Washington, Coolidge was a longtime friend of blacks, despite the fact that many of them voted for the Democrats. He was the last Republican president to get a majority of the black vote, however.
I assume you are not much of a history buff...it was in late 1920 that the women's suffrage amendment was ratified by a sufficient number of states to become part of our national constitution.
Just how progressive would Calvin Coolidge have to have been if he were appointing women in that day and age?
Coolidge displayed a "lack of prejudice"? How many women and African-Americans did he appoint?
Silent Cal must have been quite an impressive man... my grandfather named his eighth child and fourth son Russell Calvin. Russ was born the same month Coolidge was inaugurated (March 1925) as President.