When was the teapot dome scandal?

The Teapot Dome Scandal was a major political scandal that took place in the United States during the early 1920s. It involved the secret leasing of government-owned oil reserves at Teapot Dome in Wyoming and Elk Hills in California to private companies without competitive bidding. The scandal rocked the Harding administration, leading to the downfall of several high-ranking officials and causing widespread public outrage.

The scandal began in 1921, when Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall secretly leased the Teapot Dome and Elk Hills reserves to two private oil companies, the Sinclair Oil Corporation and the Mammoth Oil Company. Fall had been a close friend of Edward L. Doheny, the owner of Mammoth Oil, and Harry F. Sinclair, the owner of Sinclair Oil, and was accused of receiving generous personal loans and gifts from them in exchange for the leases.

The leases were highly controversial because they bypassed the competitive bidding process that was typically used for such government contracts. In addition, the reserves were believed to contain vast amounts of oil, making them highly valuable. As a result, Fall's actions were widely seen as corrupt and illegal.

The scandal was exposed by a Senate investigation in 1923, led by Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana. The investigation revealed that Fall had received over $400,000 in loans and gifts from Doheny and Sinclair, and had used his position as Secretary of the Interior to secure the leases for their companies. Fall was found guilty of accepting bribes and was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $100,000. Doheny and Sinclair were also found guilty of bribing Fall and were fined heavily.

The Teapot Dome Scandal had a profound impact on American politics. It led to the passage of the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibited government officials from receiving gifts or loans from private companies with which they had business dealings. It also helped to fuel the growing public distrust of government and big business in the 1920s, leading to the rise of populism and Progressive Era reforms.

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