The Instigator
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The Contender
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Calvin Coolidge was a better president than Woodrow Wilson

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,246 times Debate No: 41629
Debate Rounds (4)
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I an this debate, I will argue that President Calvin Coolidge was better than President Woodrow Wilson.


Round 1 is acceptance.
No trolling/semantics.


I agree with you that Coolidge was far better. For the sake of debate though I challange you. Its hard for you though because Wilson deed a lot of important thing internationally and nationally. Coolidge restored the economy by not doing that much other then deregulation and tax cuts. He just the let the market sort itself out.
Debate Round No. 1


I. Economic Policy

Wilson created many of the problems that Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge had to deal with later. Wilson created higher tax rates, a huge federal government, and severe economic problems with unemployment rising up to 7%. It was only until Harding came along and later Coolidge that the economy started to recover. Unemployment then dropped to 3% during Coolidge's presidency. [2]

According to Shlaes:

"In July 1921, there had been 5.1 million Americans out of work; now that figure was 1.8 million. Manufacturing output was up a third since that time. Iron and steel production had doubled....The national debt of $28 billion, nearly all war costs, was finally down to $17.65 billion." [1]

Coolidge saw over 200% growth in the Dow Jones average, but Wilson didn't even see any growth. [3]

Foreign Policy

Wilson is likely one of the most ruthless and wreckless presidents we've ever had. When he was an ideologue who could not give the smallest compromises to US action in the League of Nations and as a result he achieved little during his overall presidency than several hypocritical invasions of countries like Mexico. He later said that he simply did it to teach the South Americans to elect good leaders. [4]

Coolidge on the other hand signed an important peace pact called Kellogg-Briand. This helped him cut more defense spending to balance the budget and achieve a large surplus by the time he left. [1]


Wilson, being the mean man that he was, actually did not believe in the Constitution and what it stood for. He criticized it and hated the checks and balances of the system. He firmly believed that the state should have full control over everything (in his opinion executive branch) and followed the teachings of the German scholar Georg Hegel. This guy was an awful president.

In comparison, Coolidge receive a classical education and greatly supported what the Constitution stood for. He brought the presidency back to something of what the Founders would support. [4]


1. Coolidge by Amity Shlaes
4. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the President by Stephen F. Hayward


JackFritschy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


JackFritschy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I would like to express my sincirest apologies to History Genius for forfieting to rounds of his debate. My internet aint great and i dont have much time on my hands. If he wishes to redo this debate, i am more then happy.

As for my arguments for why Wilson was better Ill start with coolidges domestic policy vs wilsons domestic policy. Wilson created the first criminal charges against the owners of trust, not the trust itself. This greatly added in the breaking of the power of big bussiness. The second major accomplishment was the creation of the income tax. This gave the goverment enough income do do more things then prevously able. Goverment could now aid in peoples lives and work to stop poverty and inequality. Before the income tax this was immpossible. It also stripped the rich of excess profit that had no purpose. Wilson also used his war time powers to nationalize the railroads and break their power. Rail road companies had monopolized the railroads and hurt farmers by charge them great amounts for the transportation of crops. Nationalization helped stop this.

Coolidges policies only led to the great depression. It is basic Keynesian econimics that economies work in bussines cycles. This cycle has a boom and a bust. Unfettered capitalism leads to big booms followed by overextension of profit seeking and the bust. Goverment can create a stable economy through goverment management that has no great booms or bust. All Coolidge has to show for his deregulation policies is the great depression.

Moving on to international issues, Coolidge weakened the American military and pursed isolationism. If he had not, the us could have been a player on the world stage and stopped the rise of fascism. The Kelllog Brandon pact left America weak and unready for war.

Wilson put america on the world stage. He intervened in Mexico, aiding in the overthrow of a dictator and ending a bloody civil war. Wilson defended Europe from the military despotism of Prussia and saved any hope of democracy in Europe. Wilson realized the threat of communism and moved to stop it by intervening in the Russian cival war. With more support, he could have crushed communsm in its cradle. Most of all, he fought for the League of Nations. If the us had been in the League, it might have been able to stop fascism. He fought for embracing the world while Coolidge fought for keeping america hidden from the world.

Ive had to subjugate myself to tons of liberal bs to write this but ive done it. If you want to redo this debate or a debate on another topic I am up for it. By the way "Coolidge" by Mrs. Shales was a very good book.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by NiqashMotawadi3 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited and just argued in the last round when Pro didn't have a chance to respond, but he didn't refute the arguments made by Pro but made other arguments supporting his position.