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President Harry S. Truman

President Harry S. Truman. Libertyville HS. Election of 1944. Dem nominee: FDR (of course . . . ) GOP nominee: Thomas Dewey (NY governor) Campaign focused on New Deal, FDR’s popularity Wartime successes during campaign Liberation of Paris Battle of Leyte Gulf. Results

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President Harry S. Truman

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  1. President Harry S. Truman Libertyville HS

  2. Election of 1944 • Dem nominee: FDR (of course . . . ) • GOP nominee: Thomas Dewey (NY governor) • Campaign focused on New Deal, FDR’s popularity • Wartime successes during campaign • Liberation of Paris • Battle of Leyte Gulf Results Roosevelt: 432 ECV / 25.6 million Dewey: 99 ECV / 22 million

  3. Death of FDR • FDR, 62 years, was dying • Paralysis (polio) • Lifetime chain smoker • High blood pressure • Emphysema • Atherosclerosis • Severe heart disease • April 12, 1945: FDR died while sitting for portrait • His death shocked the nation

  4. Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) • Missourian • No college degree (2 years) • Served in WWI (Artillery) • Elected to US Senate from MO, in 1934 • “Truman Committee” investigated fraud, mismanagement in military during WWII • Selected VP in 1944 (didn’t want it) • VP 82 days before becoming president

  5. President Truman • Asked all members of FDR’s cabinet to stay • Central principle of his admin: they advise, he decides, they support • “The Buck Stops Here” • “If you can’t stand the heat…” • Avid walker through DC • Called “the common man’s common man” (down home, folksy)

  6. Truman: Foreign policy challenges • United Nations • Truman strongly supported institution • Soviet Union • Aggressively spreading communism in Greece, Eastern Europe, Turkey • “Truman Doctrine”: policy of containment of USSR • US would support “free peoples resisting subjugation” • Recognition of Israel, May 14, 1948

  7. Truman: Foreign policy challenges • Rebuilding Europe: The Marshall Plan • Reconstruction of participating European states • “Softer” side of Truman Doctrine • Great success in resisting communism and helping Europe rebuild ($12.2 billion over 4 years) • Cold War • Truman started policy of confronting USSR, ideologically • Re-organized military services • Created CIA • Created National Security Council Marshall Plan recipients; red bar Shows relative total aid per state

  8. Truman: Domestic Transition • Goals of administration for postwar America • Make transition from wartime to a prosperous peace time economy • Resume and extend New Deal social programs • Fear: returning vets would cause spike in unemployment, like after WWI

  9. Truman: Domestic Transition • “G. I. Bill of Rights” (1944) would aid GIs’ return to civilian life • Education (free college education – 51% of vets) • Housing (100% loans for homes) • Business (loans to start) • Farm (100% loans to buy farms) • 1 year unemployment comp

  10. Truman: Domestic Transition • Employment Act of 1946 • Gov’t effort to control economy of US • Goals • Promote maximum employment • Promote maximum production • Promote maximum purchasing power • Created Council of Economic Advisors • Advise, assist President in forming economic policy • Created Joint Economic Committee: joint congressional committee to study, plan policies

  11. Resurgent GOP • Post war problems in US • Inflation increasing • Labor unrest • Wartime economic controls still in place • World tensions (USSR) • “Voter fatigue” • After 14 years of unified Democratic control of gov’t, people wanted change • GOP Slogan: “Had enough?” • 1946 Congressional midterm elections • +55 GOP in House, +12 in Senate • GOP in control (last in 1928)

  12. Legislative Accomplishments of the “Do Nothing” Congress • Congressional approval of the 22nd Amendment (President limited to 2 terms) • Taft-Hartley Act • Allowed states to adopt “right to work” rules • Drove communists out of labor movement • Adjusted balance of NLRA between business, labor • Unions HATED it!!! • Ended wage, price controls (but NOT rent controls) • Passed major tax cut

  13. Truman & Civil Rights • Commission to study issue – 1947 report • Create Civil Rights Commission • Punish lynching • Abolish poll tax • Create fair employment commission • Blasted by Southern Democrats as DOA • Truman 1948 Exec Orders • Desegregated federal work force • Desegregated military

  14. 1948 Election • Truman ran on promise of a “Fair Deal” • National health insurance • Repeal of Taft-Hartley • Aggressive civil rights laws • GOP : Thomas Dewey • Controlled Eastern GOP machine • “Dixiecrats”: Strom Thurmond • Continue racial segregation • “Progressives”: Henry Wallace • FDR’s VP, from 1941-45 • Called for closer relations with USSR • Universal health care

  15. 1948 Election • Three way split in Democratic party! • GOP unified, in control of Congress = very confident • Result? Results Truman: 303 ECV / 24.1 million Dewey: 189 ECV / 22 million Thurmond: 39 ECV / 1.1 million Dems regained control of Congress!!

  16. Truman’s Second Term • Dominated by foreign affairs, due to containment doctrine • Berlin Airlift • Formation of NATO, 1949 • Founding of People’s Republic of China, 1949 • Soviet espionage and the A-bomb • Korean War • Support for French in Vietnam

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