Truman _ Eisenhower.ppt - Reagan Humanities by pengxuebo


									                  US Post WWII
             Truman and Eisenhower
• Harry S. Truman 1945-1953
  – After WWII, a fear of the return of the Great
    Depression was around
     • Marshall Plan was created to help stop the depression
       from returning
        – Read the handout and answer the following:
           » Besides the visible destruction of Europe, what other damage
             happened because of WWII?
           » Explain the issue with farming in Europe and how it affected
             the cities.
           » What help is required according to Marshall? How can the
             US help?
Harry S. Truman 1945-1953
• Another action to help stave off another depression was
  to give the jobs back to the returning soldiers.
   – GI Bill of Rights: helped soldiers pay for employment, vocational,
     technical, and a college education, and medical care ($13.5
     Billion was put into the economy for veteran education and
     training alone.)
   – This allowed higher education for all rather than a few as it had
     been prior to the GI Bill of Rights
• Veterans Administration guaranteed home loans and
  purchase of houses with no money down which
  stimulated a postwar housing boom.
• Because of pent up demand from the depression and
  wartime shortages, inflation, not depression was the
   – After wartime restrictions were lifted, in 1946, prices rose an
     average of 25%
     Harry S. Truman 1945-1953
• After the death of FDR in April 1945, Harry S.
  Truman became President
  – He was not seen as the strong leader that FDR
    was. (Tough act to follow!)
     • In the off year Congressional elections of 1946 the
       Republicans used American anxieties about the postwar
       world, and Truman’s ability to handle them and won
       majorities in both houses of Congress for the 1st time
       since 1930
     • Republicans proposed program did little more than try to
       reverse the reforms of the New Deal and turn down
       Truman’s “Fair Deal”
           Truman’s Fair Deal
– In June 1945 Truman witnessed the signing of the
  charter of the United Nations, hopefully established
  to preserve peace.
  • Thus far, he had followed his predecessor's policies, but
    he soon developed his own. He presented to Congress a
    21-point program, proposing the expansion of Social
    Security, a full-employment program, a permanent Fair
    Employment Practices Act, and public housing and slum
    clearance. The program, Truman wrote, "symbolizes for
    me my assumption of the office of President in my own
    right." It became known as the Fair Deal.
          Truman’s Fair Deal
– Truman vetoed 80 Republican bills that attacked
  the New Deal and sent many proposals to
  Congress, many of which were shot down
  • He did get an increase in the minimum wage and he
    brought 10 million more under Social Security
– Truman’s actions assured reelection in 1948.
          Unions under Truman
• A result of WWII was the reemergence of
  business influence and a decrease in support of
  labor unions.
  – Conservatives did not like the strength of organized
    labor; therefore, they passed the Taft-Hartley Act
    (over Truman’s veto) which outlawed “closed” (all
    union) shops, made unions liable for damages from
    jurisdictional disputes and required unions to take
    non-Communist oaths
  – Union membership peaked in the 1950’s then
    steadily declined.
       – Why do you suppose union membership declined after the
         Minorities under Truman
• 1st president to actively advocate the end of
  discrimination against American blacks.
  – An executive order banned racial discrimination in
    the military, civil service and in companies that did
    business with the gov’t
     • It was the Korean War that effectively integrated troops
  – Truman’s Civil Rights Policies insured the
    Democratic Party the black vote
                Election of 1948
• Democrats: Truman
• Southern Branch of Democrats Dixiecrat Party:
  Strom Thurmond
• Progressive Party: Henry Wallace
• Republicans: Thomas Dewey
  – Would the splits hurt Truman? NO!
     • Southern walkout assured Truman the southern black
       urban vote
     • Truman campaigned against the “do nothing eightieth
       Congress” (mostly Republican)
  – Most predicted a Republican victory
Election of 1948
      • Truman received 24.1 million
        popular votes to 22 million
        for Dewey and 303 electoral
        votes against Dewey’s 189.
      • Truman won for 2 reasons:
        1. coalition of Democratic
        blacks, union members and
        northern urban ethnics; 2.
        Republicans were so
        confident of victory many did
        not vote
              Communist Scare
• The Truman Doctrine, 1947
  – Policy of containment of Communism
• The Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe, the
  Chinese Communist victory in China, the
  invasion of South Korea by the North Koreans,
  and the Soviet explosion of an atomic bomb in
  1949 confused and frightened the American
  – This helped Truman’s policy of “scaring the hell” out
    of people so they would accept his containment
               Communist Scare
• When the foreign factors along with politicians
  who were willing to take advantage for their
  own gain came together, it created a great fear
  of subversion and communism
  – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of
    sharing secrets of atomic weapons with the Soviets
    and were executed in 1953. (Zinn p. 432-435)
  – Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy became
    famous for his Communist accusations. (Zinn p. 430-432)
     • He was supported by Republicans of the time because it
       was a way to combat against the Democrats who held
       office for a long time.
          Communist Scare
• For a while an attack on McCarthy was an “attack on the
  American way of life”
• When 2 Democrats opposed McCarthy on the Senate
  floor and lost their next elections many began to fear
• McCarthy and McCarthyism are products of American
  party politics
   – Because no one in either party attacked him
• Many careers and lives were ruined because of
  accusations and innuendo
• “Black Lists” were created in education, entertainment,
  business and gov’t.
• The “House Un-American Activities Committee” called
  100’s of witnesses , there was no distinction between
  Communism and traditional right of dissent
     McCarthy under Eisenhower
• 1952 election saw Dwight Eisenhower become
  – McCarthy became an embarrassment to the
    Republican party
     • Army-McCarthy Hearings April-June 1954
        – McCarthy accused the military of harboring Communists and
          Eisenhower of not doing enough to combat against it.
        – This caused his downfall and he was eventually censured by the
          Senate for breaking Senate rules for a refusal to appear before a
          Senate subcommittee and answer questions

• The real issue of McCarthyism and America’s
  second Red Scare was civil liberties in a time of
• Eisenhower was the first Republican president
  since the New Deal
  – His acceptance of New Deal programs “legitimized”
  – Eisenhower emphasized “dynamic conservatism”
    • Caution in financial and economic matters, but with
      attention to social welfare.
  – Under Eisenhower the St. Lawrence Seaway and
    Interstate Highways were built.
  – The Agricultural Trade and Development and
    Assistance Act (1954) was designed to solve 2
    problems: 1. help the American farmer by getting rid
    of surplus food; 2. use the food as an instrument of
    foreign policy
• The 1950’s were an age of unprecedented
  wealth and prosperity (although maldistributed)
  – What made people wealthier if there were still many
    poor around?
     • “Discretionary income”: income people had left over after
       paying for necessities
• Social developments
  – TV: 1950: 9% homes had a tv: 1955: 64.5%;
    1970’s: more tv’s than refrigerators, bathtubs, or
     • Impact: less reading? Creation of a mass culture?
  – Growth of national franchise companies

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