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Ch 19 Section 1 The Post-War Years at Home The Truman Presidency 1945-1953.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch 19 Section 1 The Post-War Years at Home The Truman Presidency 1945-1953."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch 19 Section 1 The Post-War Years at Home The Truman Presidency

2 Essential Questions What economic and social problems did Americans face following WWII? What economic and social problems did Americans face following WWII? How did President Truman respond to these challenges? How did President Truman respond to these challenges? What were the issues of the 1948 Presidential Election? What were the issues of the 1948 Presidential Election? What was Truman’s Fair Deal program and what elements of it were enacted? What was Truman’s Fair Deal program and what elements of it were enacted?

3 Challenges for Truman President Truman took over for FDR after his death in April 1945 President Truman took over for FDR after his death in April 1945 Truman was seen as determine and confident yet he had a tremendous job ahead Truman was seen as determine and confident yet he had a tremendous job ahead Major challenges were demobilizing the troops and reconverting the economy to a peace time economy Major challenges were demobilizing the troops and reconverting the economy to a peace time economy

4 “To Err is Truman” Demobilization delays hurt Truman, “Bring Daddy Home” and “No Boats No Votes” Demobilization delays hurt Truman, “Bring Daddy Home” and “No Boats No Votes” Truman lashed out at detractors and had trouble convincing Americans he was sincere Truman lashed out at detractors and had trouble convincing Americans he was sincere Truman took responsibility for the good and bad…”The buck Truman took responsibility for the good and bad…”The buck stops here!”

5 The Impact of the GI Bill Not only did the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act pay for part of college tuition but it also gave them one year of unemployment benefits while they were job hunting and low interest government loans (Buy homes or start businesses) Not only did the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act pay for part of college tuition but it also gave them one year of unemployment benefits while they were job hunting and low interest government loans (Buy homes or start businesses) By the summer of 1946, 10 million men and women were released from the armed forces By the summer of 1946, 10 million men and women were released from the armed forces

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7 Housing and Redefining the Family Due to a major housing shortage William J. Levitt and other builders developed mass produced house in the suburbs and the new homes were $7,000 Due to a major housing shortage William J. Levitt and other builders developed mass produced house in the suburbs and the new homes were $7,000 Nearly 8 million women went to work during the war and made all family decisions, when the men came home tensions rose, 1 million marriages ended Nearly 8 million women went to work during the war and made all family decisions, when the men came home tensions rose, 1 million marriages ended Yet America experienced an increase in the birthrate or a “baby boom” was underway Yet America experienced an increase in the birthrate or a “baby boom” was underway

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10 Economic Readjustment After the war the US cancelled $35 billion in defense contracts After the war the US cancelled $35 billion in defense contracts In March 1946 some 3 million Americans were seeking work In March 1946 some 3 million Americans were seeking work During the war the OPA had halted inflation During the war the OPA had halted inflation Price Controls ended in June 1946 and prices skyrocketed (Ex. Sugar, Meat, Coffee, Beans, Rent and New Homes) Price Controls ended in June 1946 and prices skyrocketed (Ex. Sugar, Meat, Coffee, Beans, Rent and New Homes) Congress eventually reestablished price controls on prices, wages, and rents Congress eventually reestablished price controls on prices, wages, and rents Truman not agreeing vetoed the bill Truman not agreeing vetoed the bill

11 Remarkable Recovery Consumers were tired of rationing, some $135 billion had been saved by Americans during the war ( Defense work, Service Pay, and Bonds) Consumers were tired of rationing, some $135 billion had been saved by Americans during the war ( Defense work, Service Pay, and Bonds) Americans bought cars and homes Americans bought cars and homes Demand exceeded supply and eventually new jobs were created “The Affluent Society” Demand exceeded supply and eventually new jobs were created “The Affluent Society” By 1950 Americans could own automatic washers, appliances, power tools, cameras and TVs By 1950 Americans could own automatic washers, appliances, power tools, cameras and TVs

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13 Truman Faces Strikes Facing higher prices and lower wages 4.5 million discontented workers including steel workers, coal miners, automobile workers, maritime workers and railroad workers went on strike in 1946 Facing higher prices and lower wages 4.5 million discontented workers including steel workers, coal miners, automobile workers, maritime workers and railroad workers went on strike in 1946 US ports were closed for two weeks US ports were closed for two weeks General Motors and US Steel struck for months General Motors and US Steel struck for months Truman threatened to draft striking workers, he authorized the federal government to seize the coal mines, and he threatened to take control of the railroads as well Truman threatened to draft striking workers, he authorized the federal government to seize the coal mines, and he threatened to take control of the railroads as well Many issues were in court, many strikers gave in and worked with compromise contracts Many issues were in court, many strikers gave in and worked with compromise contracts

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16 “Had Enough?” Disgusted by shortages of goods, rising inflation, and labor strikes Americans were ready for a change in 1946 Disgusted by shortages of goods, rising inflation, and labor strikes Americans were ready for a change in 1946 By 1946 Truman’s approval rating was 32% By 1946 Truman’s approval rating was 32% Republicans won both Houses of Congress in the mid-term elections of 1946 (80 th Congress) Republicans won both Houses of Congress in the mid-term elections of 1946 (80 th Congress) They set to turn back the New Deal They set to turn back the New Deal They passed the 22 nd Amendment limiting the President to two terms They passed the 22 nd Amendment limiting the President to two terms

17 The Taft - Hartley Act The law set out to undo many of the labor gains on the Wagner Act of 1935 The law set out to undo many of the labor gains on the Wagner Act of 1935 Union had 15 million members, 40% of the workforce, and tremendous power Union had 15 million members, 40% of the workforce, and tremendous power The law outlawed the closed shop, secondary boycotts, and the use of union dues for political activities The law outlawed the closed shop, secondary boycotts, and the use of union dues for political activities An 80 day cooling off period to be called by the President was enacted An 80 day cooling off period to be called by the President was enacted Union leaders had to swear under oath they were not Communists Union leaders had to swear under oath they were not Communists Formation of Unions was made more difficult (Truman vetoed the bill entirely) Formation of Unions was made more difficult (Truman vetoed the bill entirely)

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19 Truman Supports Civil Rights In 1946 Truman created a Commission on Civil Rights In 1946 Truman created a Commission on Civil Rights Truman was the first US President to propose an anti-lynching law, a ban on poll taxes as a voting requirement, and a permanent civil rights commission Truman was the first US President to propose an anti-lynching law, a ban on poll taxes as a voting requirement, and a permanent civil rights commission In July 1948 his issued an executive order banning segregation and discrimination in the armed forces In July 1948 his issued an executive order banning segregation and discrimination in the armed forces Truman ordered an end to discrimination in the hiring of federal employees Truman ordered an end to discrimination in the hiring of federal employees

20 Jackie Robinson In 1947 Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers In 1947 Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers He received death threats to himself and his family, but he was determined to stay He received death threats to himself and his family, but he was determined to stay By 1950 he was an all-star and one of the most popular Americans By 1950 he was an all-star and one of the most popular Americans

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22 The Election Of 1948 Some Democrats wanted IKE in 1948 Some Democrats wanted IKE in 1948 Despite the inflation and Labor unrest Truman was nominated for the Democrats Despite the inflation and Labor unrest Truman was nominated for the Democrats Henry A. Wallace an old New Dealer ran for the Progressive Party Henry A. Wallace an old New Dealer ran for the Progressive Party Truman sent spending measures for Education and Housing that he knew the Republicans would kill, Truman called them “The Do Nothing Congress” Truman sent spending measures for Education and Housing that he knew the Republicans would kill, Truman called them “The Do Nothing Congress” Southern Democrats angry about Truman’s Pro Civil Rights Position broke away and formed the Dixiecrats Southern Democrats angry about Truman’s Pro Civil Rights Position broke away and formed the Dixiecrats

23 The Election of 1948 II Truman (D) Truman (D) Dewey (R) Dewey (R) S. Thurmond (States’ Rights) S. Thurmond (States’ Rights) Wallace (P) Wallace (P)

24 Major Upset of 1948 Truman rallied the New Deal coalition, through vigorous campaigning and a whistle stop train tour Truman rallied the New Deal coalition, through vigorous campaigning and a whistle stop train tour He got support of organized labor, African-Americans, Jews and New Deal Liberals He got support of organized labor, African-Americans, Jews and New Deal Liberals “Give’em Hell Harry!” “Give’em Hell Harry!” He ran as the savior He ran as the savior of the New Deal Dewey was ahead in the polls

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27 Truman’s Fair Deal Truman wanted an extension to FDR’s New Deal Truman wanted an extension to FDR’s New Deal “…every individual has the right ot expect from our Government a Fair Deal.” “…every individual has the right ot expect from our Government a Fair Deal.” Truman wanted a system of health insurance, crop subsidy system, civil rights advances and Federal Education Aid Truman wanted a system of health insurance, crop subsidy system, civil rights advances and Federal Education Aid All measures were defeated by Southern Dem. and Rep. All measures were defeated by Southern Dem. and Rep.

28 Fair Deal Victories The Housing Act of $2.8 billion for slum clearance and low-rent housing projects The Housing Act of $2.8 billion for slum clearance and low-rent housing projects The Minimum Wage Act of 1949 – 40 cents to 75 cents per hr. The Minimum Wage Act of 1949 – 40 cents to 75 cents per hr. Social Security Amendments of Extend coverage to new workers, provide pensions for the self-employed, and increase benefits Social Security Amendments of Extend coverage to new workers, provide pensions for the self-employed, and increase benefits Civil Rights- Many measures were defeated, but through executive order Truman appointed the first black Fed. Judge in 1951 Civil Rights- Many measures were defeated, but through executive order Truman appointed the first black Fed. Judge in 1951

29 Truman’s Downfall Despite these victories Truman’s approval rating sank to 23% in 1951 Despite these victories Truman’s approval rating sank to 23% in 1951 Frustration over Truman’s handling of the Korean War contributed ( Ex Firing of Mac Arthur) Frustration over Truman’s handling of the Korean War contributed ( Ex Firing of Mac Arthur) Rising Tide of McCarthism/Loyality Issues Rising Tide of McCarthism/Loyality Issues Wages and Prices being frozen during the Korean War Wages and Prices being frozen during the Korean War Some political kick backs in the administration Some political kick backs in the administration Truman decide not to run in 1952, Americans looked to the positive political change of IKE ( Dwight D. Eisenhower) Truman decide not to run in 1952, Americans looked to the positive political change of IKE ( Dwight D. Eisenhower)


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