Political Spectrum ReactionaryRadicalLiberalConservative 1.1. of, pertaining to, marked by, or favoring reaction, esp. extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change. – adjective 1.1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change. – adjective 3.3. favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues. – adjectie 1.1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
Harry S Truman How did Truman’s background make him ideally suited for the Presidency, and How did Truman’s background handicap him as President?
Micro Concepts Work Ethic Education Character Politics
Truman’s Background Father was a farmer, grew up with the work ethic of a farmer Poor eyesight prevented him from participating in many sports In National Guard prior to, and Artillery captain in WWI Led men from all walks of life They loved him
Truman’s Background Failed businessman after WWI No college education Was VERY well read Elected by a political machine to the Senate Always felt he had to fight that tarnish Earned a rep as tough and fair
Micro Concepts Revisited Work Ethic Education Character Politics
Truman as President What were the massive challenges that Truman faced when he became the President?
Presidential Micro Concepts Fear Unemployment Labor Civil Rights Red Scare Centrism
Fear! Fear of a new Depression (round two) WWI = 2 income families = cost-plus contracts = war bonds = end to depression but... People did NOT want this to happen - try to put policies and agencies in place to mitigate against it
Jobs Full employment 99+% but... many are held by women 14,000,000 men are coming home, what will they do for a living? GI Bill of Rights Moral obligation to American citizens to provide X, Y, and Z
War & Social Climate Shotgun marriages Rise in illegitimacy Women become bread-winners Women change their ideas about their roles in the family Divorce rate spikes in late 1940’s
Taft-Hartley Act Big blow to Unions, very conservative anti-New Deal proposed a cooling off period outlawed closed shops many states passed right-to-work laws Radical or Reactionary?
Truman & Civil Rights President’s Committee on Civil Rights called for desegregation in society, anti-lynching legislation, end to poll taxes, 1948 Truman desegregated the armed forces by Executive Order and forbade racial discrimination in federal jobs Jackie Robinson Radical or Reactionary? or... Progressive ? or...
Succession & Terms Needed a way to succeed the Presidency in case of a nuclear war created a lineage to succeed in case of govt decapitation 22nd Amendment Limited President to two full terms was aimed at FDR’s term of office Liberal or Conservative?
Early Red Scare American Fears: spread of communism, nuclear war, communist infiltration, fear of new depression -- pols played off these fears Smith Act and overthrowing govt HUAC indicts Alger Hiss in 1947 HUAC persecutes liberals, Hollywood, New Dealers, etc Truman’s loyalty program -- gave FBI authority to go after “reds”, ID’d 90 disloyal organizations Loyalty Review Board -- investigated thousands of federal employees, loyalty oaths issued Radical or Reactionary?
1948 Election Democrats and Dixiecrats Truman wanted to flesh out New Deal programs Republicans wanted to dismantle New Deal and anti-labor Dewey Defeats Truman? Truman’s victory came from those groups that were threatened by Reps
The Fair Deal Truman attempted to add to the New Deal did raise minimum wage, provide for public housing, and extend SS Was only able to maintain the New Deal, not add to it New Deal becomes accepted by both parties
The Vital Center Political consensus developed Three components to “vital center”: Anti-Communism Belief in econ growth curing problems Political pluralism -- a variety of ideas can compete in America The “center” carries elections through 1964
Essential Question Revisited What were the massive challenges that Truman faced when he became the President?