Appointed by President Warren G. Harding
Continued in office under President Calvin Coolidge
The career of Charles Evans Hughes was indicative of the residual strength of Progressivism after the First World War. The goals of the State Department under Hughes reflected trends already established by Republican administrations between 1898 and 1913. American foreign policy during Hughes's tenure in office did not constitute a repudiation of Progressive foreign policy, but rather a rebuttal of Wilsonian internationalism.
Charles Evans Hughes earned the position as Warren Harding's secretary of state by virtue of his stature as a Progressive reformer. Though he had only limited foreign policy experience before 1921, Hughes was a leader in the Progressive reform movement and an important figure of conciliation in the Republican Party. After the election of 1920, the Republican Party was concerned with maintaining unity between its various factions. The position of secretary of state would be filled by someone of stature within the Progressive movement, not within the foreign policy establishment.
The early career of Charles Evans Hughes followed a typical pattern of a middleclass reformer. Hughes's father was the pastor of a Baptist church in New York. Parental authority was strong, and much attention was given to moral education. Hughes absorbed the classic Victorian virtues of diligence and reliability. His childhood was marked by a program of self-education that encouraged a voracious intellectual curiosity. He was thorough to a fault and typically worked to exhaustion. He entered Brown University in 1878 and graduated at the age of 19. After considering professions in teaching and the ministry, Hughes took up the study of law. He graduated from Columbia University's Law School and entered the New York Bar in 1884.
Hughes became a successful lawyer in the competitive environment of New York City. At the age of 25 he helped form the partnership of Carter, Hughes, and Cravath. Hughes became a skilled courtroom attorney, and the firm developed a reputa-tion for corporate litigation. The strength of his legal practice in New York led to