Presidential Speeches

July 22, 1920: Liberty Under the Law

About this speech

Warren G. Harding

July 22, 1920

Source Miller Center

Nation's Forum (NF 25) 49877 (5:06)

As in today’s world, violence and terrorism were prominent in post World War I America and Europe. The collapse of the Tsarist Empire in March* and subsequent communist victory in the November Revolution* of 1917 was of concern. But it was the Bolshevists’ closure of the democratic Constituent Assembly, the signing of the peace treaty with Germany, the massacre of the Imperial family, attacks on churches, and Red Terror that shocked the western world. The sense of the American people was that democracy was the future of government everywhere; and certainly not the beliefs of the small but vocal group of communists and socialists in the United States. Senator Harding was making that point when he stated that men “must always remember that the rights of freedom impose the obligations which maintain it.”

He also speaks of his approval of collective bargaining in labor/management relations but emphasizes the right of every American to seek employment without being forced to accept the conditions of the union shop.

Presidential Speeches |

July 22, 1920: Liberty Under the Law