I. Unpopular immediately after the war (“To err is Truman”) A. Kept soldiers in the field who wanted to return home. B. Reversed course after public outcry.public outcry C. Huge demand for consumer goods led to high inflation after WW2. 1. Truman vetoed Congress’ extension of wartime price controls. 2. Threatened to draft striking railroad workers into the army.
Demobilization Slogans: – “Home Alive in 45” – “No Boats, No Votes” Postcards to the Whitehouse... “Bring the boys home by X-mas” “Bring Daddy Home” Clubs
II. Truman’s Proposals A. Higher unemployment compensation B. Higher minimum wage. C. Federal housing assistance. D. National Health Insurance. E. All of these efforts to extend the New Deal were blocked by Congress. F. Republicans won control of Congress in the 1946 mid-term elections and passed the Taft-Hartley Act.
Taft-Hartley Act AKA: “Slave Labor Bill” Limits the closed shop Requires an 80 day cooling off period for strikes Union leaders must swear they are not Communists Passed over Truman’s veto
III. The 1948 Presidential Election. A. Truman’s support for Civil Rights alienated Southern Democrats. B. South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond ran as the “States’ Rights” Party candidate. C. “Dewey defeats Truman” – Famous (and incorrect) headline in the Chicago Tribune.
The 1948 Election Democrat: Harry Truman Maintain/ expand New Deal Adopts civil rights policies to counter Wallace Desegregates the military Attacks the 80 th “Do-nothing Congress”
The 1948 Election Republican: Thomas Dewey Gov. of NY Reverse the New Deal Attacks Truman for poorly managing the Communist threat.
The 1948 Election “Dixie-crat”: Strom Thurmond Gov. of South Carolina Segregationist Runs in reaction to Truman's civil rights policies
The 1948 Election Progressive: Henry Wallace Liberal New Dealer Truman’s fired him as Sec. of Commerce Accused of being “a tool of the communists”
Results of the 1948 Election Party/ Electoral College Pop Vote% Truman: Democrat30349.5% Dewey: Republican18945.1% Thurmond: Dixiecrat 39 2.4% Wallace:Progressive0.6%
IV. The “Fair Deal” – Truman’s Program to extend the New Deal A. Successes 1. Higher minimum wage 2. Federal funds for low-income housing 3. Extension of Social Security B. Blocked by Congress 1. Anti-lynching laws. 2. Elimination of the poll tax. 3. National health insurance 4. Federal aid for education 5. Repeal of Taft-Hartley