Presentation on theme: "The Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower Eisenhower Lecture 2."— Presentation transcript:
The Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower Eisenhower Lecture 2
Biographical Information: Party: Republican Years in Office: (1953-1961) President Before: Truman President After: Kennedy Important Bio Information: West Point Class of 1915 1919 Participated in the Transcontinental Motor Corps Staff Officer for Generals Fox Connor & Douglass MacArthur Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during WWII President of Columbia University 1 st Supreme Commander of NATO Testing the feasibility of motor vehicles in war, the TMC traveled Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, a venture covering a distance of 3,251 miles in 62 days.
Election of 1952 Ike had never voted; appolitical Was courted by both parties Truman was very unpopular because he fired MacArthur and the stalemate in Korea Nominated on the first ballot VP candidate Richard Nixon (Why Nixon? Very popular for his “Red Hunting” & had worked hard for the GOP to ensure Ike’s nomination)
Democrats in 1952 Nominate Gov. Adlai Stevenson of Illinois Impressive career and political record Very intellectual (Too intellectual, called “Egghead” by detractors.) Ineffective campaigner Failed to connect with voters
Campaign 1952 Ike focused on Truman’s record, not his opponent Scandal with Nixon ends with “Checkers Speech” Ike happy to let Nixon play hard-ball on campaign trail Ike’s confidence, plain talk and heroic image were impossible to beat Pledges “I will go to Korea!” Eisenhower Campaign TV Advertisement Nixon’s Checker’s Speech *By 1952, TV could be a distinct advantage in building political power.
Election Results 1952
Eisenhower’s “Modern Republicanism” Ike was a moderate Republican to be sure. His plan was to steer a middle course: Individual Freedom & Market Economy + Maintain New Deal & Fair Deal Social Programs Eisenhower: conservative when it comes to economics, more liberal when it comes to social programs
Eisenhower & McCarthy Republicans had politically benefitted from McCarthy’s charges that Truman and the Democrats were “soft on Communism.” Ike shared McCarthy’s concerns, but disliked his methods. “I’m not going to get in a pissing contest with that skunk!”
McCarthy-Army Hearings: The Downfall of Senator McCarthy In 1954, McCarthy begins to investigate the US Army Some of the first Congressional hearings to be broadcast on TV Many Americans were disgusted with McCarthy’s tactics. Late 1954, the US Senate votes to censure McCarthy. (He dies in 1957 at the age of 48 from liver disease brought on by alcoholism.) McCarthy Video
Eisenhower & Government Infrastructure Projects Partners with the Canadian Government to build the St. Lawrence Seaway 1956 wins passage of the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act ($25 billion over 10 years to build 41,000 miles of interstate hwy) * The largest public works project to date! Why would this be popular with the majority of Americans?
Economic Realities during Eisenhower’s Presidency 3 short recessions (1953, 1957, 1960) Personal income went up 45% during the 1950s Growing influence of: 1.Consumer Economy 2.Science & Technology 3.Aerospace Industry 20% of Americans still below the poverty line By 1960, new white- collar jobs out numbered blue-collar jobs.
Labor Unions during the Eisenhower Administration Union membership will peak at an all time high of 34%, but begin a steady decline primarily because Right-to-work laws forbid unions and employers to enter into agreements requiring employees to join a union and pay dues and fees to it in order to get or keep a job. The ability of states to pass right-to-work laws was authorized by the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. *Then, and today, states with strong right-to-work laws are located in the South and West.
Eisenhower and the Korean War While he campaigned on a pledge to end the Korean War, Ike’s management of the war was little different from Truman’s. Stalin’s death and Ike’s threat to use nukes helped to bring about a settlement in 1953. Many Americans were frustrated by the “limited war” experience in Korea. National Korean War Memorial in Washington DC.
Eisenhower & “New Look” Cold War Policy John F. Dulles: Dulles had criticized Truman & Marshall as being too passive with the Soviets. To Dulles, Containment was immoral and advocated a more aggressive “roll back” strategy engaged in brinkmanship with Soviets and Red Chinese advocated greater reliance on strategic over conventional forces massive retaliation = deterrent that essentially guaranteed that the two superpowers never went head-to-head continued expansion of covert operations to roll-back communism especially the CIA Eisenhower and John F. Dulles
Eisenhower & US Cold War Policy Unrest in the Third World: Many third world countries, newly emerged from colonialism, became pawns during the Cold War. 1953 US supports a coup in Iran 1954 US supports a coup in Guatemala 1955 US takes over containment duties from the French in Vietnam 1956 Eisenhower condemns British- French-Israel during the Suez Crisis 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine pledged US military & economic aid to Middle Eastern nations threatened by communism. *Spirit of Geneva and a slight “thaw” in the Cold War Eisenhower and the Shah of Iran
Sputnik - 1957 In 1957, the USSR shocked the world by launching the first man-made satellite into orbit challenging the American perception of tech superiority. In response NASA was created National Defense and Education Act was passed pumping 100s of millions of dollars into math & science education …beep….beep…beep…beep…
Eisenhower and the Berlin Crisis During the 1950s, thousands of E. Germans flee to the West via Berlin. (Brain & workforce drain) The Soviets give the West an ultimatum to withdraw from Berlin. Diplomatic meetings occur and last for 3 months. Tensions ease…. “a thaw” Khrushchev visits the US and agrees to meet again in Paris. U-2 shot down over USSR (No Paris). JFK elected. Soviets threaten to cut off W. Berlin. The US deploys additional war planes to Europe (largest since WWII)
The Domino Theory Term created during the Truman administration to describe the theory that if one state in a region fell to communism, then the surrounding Countries would follow like falling dominos. No where was this theory more concerning to US policy makers than in Asia. In 1954, the US organizes the South East Asian Treaty Organization or SEATO.
The Vietnam Conflict After WWII, the French attempt to regain their former colony of French Indo-China (Vietnam) Communist leader Ho Chi Minh leads a Soviet backed independence movement. Beginning in the 1940s, the US supports the French with money and military supplies. By 1954, the US is contributing 80% of the money for the conflict. The French defeat at Dien Bien Phu.
The Vietnam Conflict The Geneva Conference of 1954 divides Vietnam at the 17 th parallel. Nation wide elections are scheduled for 1956. The US-supported Diem regime in the south calls off the elections fearing a communist victory. Ho resumes the struggle for national liberation in 1960 by supporting the Viet Cong guerrillas in the south.
Cuba, Castro & Communism 1952-1959 Fulgencio Batista was dictator of Cuba. The US supported Batista and his repressive regime because of the considerable business investment in Cuba and noncommunist support. ( There was also a significant American organized crime element in Cuba.) Castro and his revolutionaries seize control in 1959. In 1961, Castro creates a socialist state.
Cuba, Castro & Communism The Bay of Pigs: Preparation began under Eisenhower. CIA plan to return Cuban exiles to the island with the hopes of sparking an uprising against Castro. Original plan called for US air and naval support. Newly inaugurated JFK pulls the plug on direct US support. The invasion failed. Castro uses the escalation to get additional military aid from the USSR.
Odds & Ends during the Eisenhower Presidency Eisenhower never had a mandate from the voters, Dems control Congress The 22 nd Amendment was ratified in 1951 limiting the president to two terms or 10 years Alaska (49) and Hawaii (50) admitted to the union in 1959
Eisenhower’s Farewell Address Considered by many to be the second most important after Washington’s, President Eisenhower warned the nation to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex.” Video: Eisenhower’s Farewell Address