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The Truman Years 1945-1953 The Fair Deal -“The Buck stops here!”

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Presentation on theme: "The Truman Years 1945-1953 The Fair Deal -“The Buck stops here!”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Truman Years 1945-1953 The Fair Deal -“The Buck stops here!”

2 Readjustment & Recovery 15 million soldiers returned home –Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 –“GI Bill of Rights” 1. Paid college tuition 2. Provided unemployment for one year 3. Low-cost mortgages of housing

3 Mass Produced Homes urban sprawl & suburbs Assembly line method of production - tract housing “Levittown” - first suburbs in Long Island

4 Peacetime Economy “Reconversion” War contracts canceled - $35 billion 1 million defense workers laid off Truman proposed progressive reform: national health insurance, raising minimum wage, government maintained full employment Employment Act of 1946 - watered down bill created Council of Economic Advisors

5 Post-War Inflation The OPA ended price controls (1946) Prices skyrocketed 25% in 1st year Many items were scarce Congress had to reestablish price controls Why not a return the Depression?

6 Truman Plays Hardball Workers upset about low wages and high prices Steelworkers, miners, railroad workers went on strike Truman threatened to seize mines, draft all strikers, and using soldiers to keep them operating

7 Voters Blame Truman “Had Enough?” 1946 Republican slogan 1946 – Republicans gain control of Senate & House They overturned many New Deal policies Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 - repealed many gains of labor during new deal - called “slave labor bill” by workers - Truman veto overridden by Republican congress 22nd Amendment - 2 presidential terms (proposed in ‘47 adopted in ‘51).

8 Truman Supported Civil Rights Truman proposed: Anti-lynching laws Ban on the poll tax Permanent civil rights commission Congress rejected all. In response, Truman ordered the desegregation of the armed forces (Ex. Order 9981) & federal government in 1948.

9 1948 Four Way Election Democrats split 3 ways: –State’s Rights Party- “Dixiecrats” - pro-segregation Democrats - Strom Thurmond –Democrats - Truman –Progressives - Henry Wallace Republicans - Thomas Dewey “Give em Hell Harry” Speeches: Truman attacked “do-nothing” Republicans for not supporting education, social security, and minimum wage.

10 “ I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches. ” - Strom Thurmond


12 What happened to Strom Thurmond? Elected S.C. Senator in 1954 How long did he serve? Until 2003 at the age of 100 24 hour 18 minute filibuster in 1957 Joins Republicans in 1964 1989 awarded Presidential Citizens Award by Reagan 1993 awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bush

13 The Fair Deal Continuation of New Deal reform: proposed: national health care, federal aid to education, civil rights bill, public housing and farm program Blocked by Conservatives Increased minimum wage 40 to 65 cents Extended Social Security

14 How did Truman go from being reelected in 1948 to only a 23% approval rating by 1952?

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