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Truman and Eisenhower 1945-1960 Post war America Truman faces immediate difficulties 1946 US elects Republican Congress Effectively block Truman’s Fair.

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Presentation on theme: "Truman and Eisenhower 1945-1960 Post war America Truman faces immediate difficulties 1946 US elects Republican Congress Effectively block Truman’s Fair."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Truman and Eisenhower

3 Post war America Truman faces immediate difficulties 1946 US elects Republican Congress Effectively block Truman’s Fair Deal Had hoped to carry on FDR’s legacy Congress and Truman will have a contentious relationship throughout his presidency Known as “Give’em hell Harry” Post war inflation Savings plus high wages coupled with decreased production causes prices to rise Truman blamed for economic woes Inflation will create unrest among labor unions Economy recovers despite inflation

4 Domestic Policy under Truman Remainder of FDR’s term consumed primarily by foreign policy in Europe Truman unable to take major action at home Major labor strikes following war Wages didn’t keep pace with inflation Taft Hartley Act Passed over Truman’s veto (overridden 12x) Prohibited closed shop, cooling off period for strikes, & union finances made public Intended to weaken unions Civil Rights Bitter emerging issue (Minorities served military) Truman desegregates military in 1947

5 1948 Election Republicans nominate conservative Thomas Dewey Major split in Democratic party Progressives nominate Henry Wallace States Right (Southern) Democrats pick Strom Thurmond Primarily Southerners opposed to Truman’s stand on civil rights Mainstream Democratic party stays with Truman Truman forced to make “whistle stop” campaign Attacks Republican Congress in speeches Truman aided by success in Berlin Truman victorious in relatively close election Victory allows revival of Fair Deal Truman raises min wage, increases Soc. Sec., & builds low income housing (National Housing Act)

6 I Like Ike ( ) Foreign policy challenges combined anticommunist hysteria allow Ike to easily defeat Stevenson in 1952 “Dynamic Conservatism” Reflected beliefs of modern Republican party Reduced gov. spending & growth of social programs Executive branch tied to business Few new programs (Federal Highway Act 1956) Preferred to operate behind the scenes Civil Rights (Brown/Little Rock) Popularity aided by growing prosperity Does face minor downturns. But, in general most sectors growing rapidly Especially defense budget

7 1950’s Prosperity Economic/Social factors following WWII combine for a prosperous economy High wages/war savings Inflation following war helped war industries transition Housing boom in the suburbs Baby boom GI Bill Mass produced housing fills demand Consumer culture Abundance of mass produced consumer goods Planned obsolescence Heavily influenced by advertising Television (more people owned TV’s than refrigerators) “Homogenized society” increasing move toward conformity

8 Counterculture Some forms of popular culture placed an emphasis on rejection of conformity Beat generation Jack Kerouac On the Road Allen Ginsberg Howl (poet) JD Salinger Catcher in the Rye Rock and Roll Music Relied heavily on African American R&B Seen as dangerous Elvis Jazz culture develops bebop Parker, Monk, Davis Art: Abstract expressionism New York School Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, William de Kooning

9 “The Other America” Prosperity of the 1950’s did not reach all segments of society 35 million Americans lived below poverty line Many lived in depressed rural areas Approx 2/3 lived in urban slums Minorities are disproportionately affected Beginning of black civil rights movement 1954 Brown v. Board of Education “separate is inherently unequal” Reverses Plessy decision but doesn’t reverse Jim Crow laws throughout South Little Rock 1957 Eisenhower sends in federal troops but takes no public stand 1955 Murder of Emmitt Till 1955 Montgomery bus boycotts (Rosa Parks)


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