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The Eisenhower Era. Introduction At this time Eisenhower is the president of the United States and for Americans all they wanted was some peace in which.

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Presentation on theme: "The Eisenhower Era. Introduction At this time Eisenhower is the president of the United States and for Americans all they wanted was some peace in which."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Eisenhower Era

2 Introduction At this time Eisenhower is the president of the United States and for Americans all they wanted was some peace in which they could pursue. The nation at the time needed that break because of the years of war and depression, and so by the 1950’s Americans found themselves in the frontline of the Cold War and divided over the issue of communist subversion and civil rights. They need Eisenhower to be a reassuring leader and he seemed ready for the job.

3 Affluence and Its Anxieties Continuing through the Post WWII era the economic boom brought in many changes in American society. One of those changes was home construction. One of every four homes standing in America in 1960 had been built during the 1950’s and 83 percent of those new homes were in suburbia. Also science and technology also drove the economic growth in the 1950’s. Many inventions such as the computers, and such giants as IBM became the corporation in the dawning information age. Computers will change old business practices like billing and inventory control and opened new frontiers in airline scheduling, high speed printing and telecommunications. Aerospace industries grew in the 1950’s thanks to Eisenhower and he also expanded the passenger airline business. In 1957 the Boeing Company brought out the first large passenger jet, the 707, and two years later it brought out the first presidential jet called Air Force One for President Eisenhower.

4 Affluence and Its Anxieties The nature of work was also changing those who would be white collars workers vs. blue collar workers. For the first time white collar workers would outnumber those blue collar workers. Blue collar workers were signaling from an industrial to a postindustrial or service based economy. The surge of the white collar worker was helpful for women. A cult of domesticity emerged in popular culture to celebrate those eternal feminine functions. When in the 1950’s television programs like Ozzie and Harriet or Leave it to Beaver depicted suburban families with a working husband, two children and a wife who did not work outside the home. As the 1950’s progressed a quiet revolution was destined to transform women’s roles and the character of the American family. Some 40 million new jobs were created in 3 decades after 1950; more than 30 million were clerical and service work. Women will fill a huge majority of these positions. However the urban age did raise huge questions and the women’s new role as both workers and homemakers.

5 Affluence and Its Anxieties Feminist Betty Friedan gave focus and fuel to women’s feelings in 1963 when she published The Feminine Mystique that launched the modern women’s movement. Many of these women who were already working for wages, but they were also struggling against the guilt and frustration of leading a life that defined by the postwar cult of domesticity.

6 Consumer Culture in the 50’s In the 1950’s there was a huge expansion of the middle class and consumer culture. Fast food style McDonalds opened in California, Disneyland opened its doors in 1955. Manufacturers, retailers, and advertisers spread American style consumer capitalism throughout much of the noncommunist world. The rapid rise of this life style had to do with the television and by 1960 every American home had one. Attendance at movies sank as the entertainment industry changed from the silver screen to the tube. Even religion capitalized on the TV, by taking to the airwaves and preaching to them. Sports also were affected, and in 1958 the New York Giants moved to San Francisco, and the Brooklyn Dodgers went to Los Angeles. Those touches made sport franchises. Popular music was transformed, such people like Elvis Presley created rock n’ roll, and listening and dancing to rock and roll was a rite of passage for millions of young people around the world. Elvis’ music inspired teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney to form a band that would become the Beatles.


8 The Advent of Eisenhower In the presidential election of 1952 many were deadlocked on Korea, Truman’s clash with MacArthur, and traces scandals that were hitting the White House, Democrats nominated Stevenson, the governor from Illinois. Republicans chose Dwight D. Eisenhower on the first ballot and Nixon as his running mate. The outcome of the presidential election of 1952 was never really in doubt. Eisenhower’s last minute pledge was to go personally to Korea and end the war. Eisenhower won overwhelmingly with 442 electoral votes vs. Stevenson’s 89. Eisenhower went to Korea and seven long months later after he hinted that he might use atomic weapons, an armistice was signed. They agreed to end the war for reasons of their own, especially with the financial costs. The fighting has lasted three years and 54 thousand American lay dead, and the joined the million Chinese, North Koreans, and South Koreans. Eisenhower: His image was that of sincerity, fairness, and optimism. He was widely perceived as an unmilitary general and he struck a pose of unpolitical president and he enjoyed the affection and respect of our citizenry. In the end Eisenhower cared more for social harmony than for social justice.

9 The Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy One of the problems that Eisenhower faces is the anticommunist’s crusader Joseph McCarthy who is a senator from Wisconsin. McCarthy came into the lime light when he accused another senator of being a communist. Pressed to give names, McCarthy later conceded that there were only 57 genuine communists and in the end failed to root out even one. McCarthy and what became known as McCarthyism, flourished in the seething Cold War atmosphere of suspicion and fear. The senator was neither the first nor the most effective red hunter, but he was surely ruthless, and he did the most damage to American traditions of fair play and free speech. Eisenhower privately loath McCarthy but publicly tried to stay out of his way. He always said that he would never get in the gutter with this guy. McCarthy extreme antics damage America’s international reputation for fair and open democracy at a moment when it was important to keep Western Europe on the United States’ side in a Cold War. A few months later the Senate formally condemned him for conduct unbecoming a member. Three years later, unwept and unsung, McCarthy died of chronic alcoholism. But McCarthyism has passed into the English language as a label for the dangerous forces of unfairness and fear that a democratic society can unleash only at its peril.

10 Desegregating American Society America in the 1950’s there were 15 million black citizens and two thirds of who still made their homes in the south. A set of laws known as the Jim Crow laws governed all aspects of their existence, from the schoolroom to the restroom. Every day blacks were separated from every aspect from whites, economically inferior and politically powerless. Trains and busses, public toilets, drinking fountains, restaurants, schools, and waiting rooms were all segregated. Increasingly African Americans refused to suffer in silence. On a chilly day in December 1955, Rose Parks, college educated black seamstress made history in Montgomery Alabama. She boarded the bus and took a seat in the white’s only section and refused to give it up. Her arrest violating the Jim Crow statues sparked a yearlong boycott of city buses and no longer would they submit of segregation any longer. The Montgomery bus boycott also caught the attention of Martin Luther King Jr, who at 27 years old who had been sheltered by segregation and educated and raised in a prosperous black family in Atlanta took his passionate devotion to the bible and was thrown to the forefront of the black revolution.

11 Seeds of the Civil Rights Revolution When President Truman heard that they were lynching black war veterans he responded by commissioning a report in 1948 that ended segregation in federal civil service and ordered equality of treatment and opportunity. Justice Earl Warren publically hated President Eisenhower, but he led the courageous Court the address these urgent issues. The Warren Court in Brown vs. Board of Education was a forceful opinion that ruled that segregation in the public schools was unequal and thus unconstitutional. The separate but equal facilities that were once legal under the Constitution were now no more. President Eisenhower remained reluctant to promote integration, and shielded many away to educate White Americans about the need for racial justice. He believed that Brown vs. Board of Education had upset the customs and grievances of generations of Americans.

12 Seeds of the Civil Rights Revolution By September of 1957 Ike was forced to act. The National Guard was mobilized to prevent harm to the nine black students enrolling in Little Rock’s Central High School. Eisenhower sent troops to escort the children to their classes. Blacks continued to take civil rights into their own hands, and Martin Luther King Jr formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. It aimed at mobilizing the power of the black churches on behalf of black rights. Sit in movements were launched in February 1, 1960 and sat at the white’s only place at a lunch counter. The next day more of their classmates returned the next day, then 85 the next day and this caused a wave of sit- in’s to compel equal treatment in employment, housing and voter registration.

13 The Vietnam Nightmare Western Europe, thanks to the Marshall Plan and NATO, seemed secured by the 1950’s, but Vietnam was a whole other story. The Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh became increasingly communist while the United States became increasingly anticommunist. By 1954 American taxpayers were financing 80 percent of the colonial war in Indochina, it added up to 1 billion per year. Despite massive aid and French forces, these forces continued to crumble under Ho Chi Minh’s nationalist guerrilla forces called the Viet Minh. Secretary Dulles and Vice President Nixon favored intervention with American bombers to help out the French. Eisenhower feared that another war in Asia would be too costly. After a nationalists victory a multination conference in was held in Geneva. At the conference they agreed that the North would hold elections and the South who was under Ngo Dinh Diem would be entrenched at Saigon. They never held elections and Vietnam remained divided. The United States did not sign the Geneva Accords, though Eisenhower promised that he would send economic and military aid to the Diem regime, provided they change a couple of things, but the Americans evidently will back a losing horse and will not be able to call of their bet.

14 Cold War Crises in Europe and the Middle East The United States will back up the French in Indochina and Germany will join NATO after some hesitations. During 1955 the Cold War seemed to die down for just a bit. Events Prior: -Khrushchev denounced the bloody excessed of Joseph Stalin. -Hungarian struck for freedom. -Iranians didn’t want Western Government to control their oil anymore. The United States sent the CIA in 1953 on a coup and putting a younger leader who will be a dictator and secure the oil for American, but it will leave Iran with resentments and will pay for it two decades later. -Suez Crisis- Nasser of Egypt wanted to build a canal in Suez, Americans offered help to pay for it. Nasser started to look into communist countries to pay for it and American withdrew their offer. Nasser also put a hold on the world oil supply. The British and French own the canal. America’s allies kept Washington in the dark about coordinating a blow with Israel, and a joint assault on Egypt in 1956. The French and the British made a fatal miscalculation the United States would supply them with oil with their Middle East supplies. This was the last time in history that the United State could brandish its oil weapon. Oil power clearly was numbered as the economic and strategic importance of the Middle East oil region grew dramatically. - 1960- Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia would join with Venezuela to form OPEC, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. This company would stranglehold on the Western economies that Nasser could not have imagined.

15 Round Two for Ike The election of 1956 was a replay of 1952 which Eisenhower would win by a vote of 457 electoral votes to 73 votes for the Democrats nominee Stevenson. Many believed that Eisenhower was not well and he spent most of his time with golf clubs, fly rod, and shotgun and not worrying about the powers of the presidency. An amazing breakthrough rattled American self-confidence. This event will cast doubts on America’s scientific ability and raised military questions. If the Soviets could fire heavy objects into outer space, they could certainly reach American with ballistic missiles. Rocket fever swept the nation and Eisenhower established NASA and directed billions of dollars to missile development. The most noticeable missile was the Vanguard and it blew up on TV, but by the end of the decade the United States had successfully tested its own ICBM’s. The Sputnik success led to a critical comparison of American educational system, and in the late 1950’s the National Defense and Education Act will authorize 887 million in loans to needy college students and in grants for the improvement of teaching the sciences and languages.

16 The Continuing Cold War The race toward nuclear annihilation continued throughout the world. Khrushchev was eager to meet Eisenhower and pave the way for a summit conference. The president invited him to America in 1959 and dramatically changed the analogy of complete disarmament. But he offered not practical mean of achieving this end. As a result of this tour was a meeting at Camp David. When they both left this meeting both sides were in an agreement to both leave Berlin but that was premature ending. Following the Camp David meeting, another meeting took place in May of 1960 in Paris. Both Washington and Moscow had taken a firm stance on the burning Berlin issue and neither one would back down. On the eve of the conference American U-2 spy plane was shot down in the heart of Russia. Honest Ike took personal responsibility for the incident and the conference in Paris collapsed before it could get off the ground.

17 Cuba’s Castroism Spells Communism Latin America was upset about the millions it was spending on Europe and nothing to the South. They always hated that America was continuing to intervene into their affairs. The most famous of these countries in Cuba which was won by Batista in the 1930’s, and by early 1959 Fidel Castro engineered a revolution and took Batista out of power. When Castro came into power he denounced American influence and eventually the US will get tired of Castro and cut him off of the heavy imports of Cuban sugar. After Castro came to power many Cubans nearly 1 million arrived 1960-2000. Washington broke all ties and imposed a strict embargo on trade with Cuba. This embargo remained until Castro’s leave in 2008.

18 Kennedy Challenges Nixon for the Presidency In the 1960 presidential election Nixon was the Republican nominee and the New Nixon was represented as mature, seasoned statesmen, and his running mate was Henry Cabot Lodge Jr, and by contrast with the Democrats nomination was youthful, dark-haired millionaire John F Kennedy Jr. Senator Kennedy was a Roman Catholic and the first to be nominated since 1928. Kennedy being Catholic feared many people including Protestant, Bible Belt South, and some have even said that they fear Catholics more than Communists. Southern Democrats usually stayed away while Northern Democrats supported him in large numbers. Television may have tipped the scales. Nixon agreed to meet Kennedy in four debates. Over 60 million people watched as they debated and no one won, although Kennedy did hold his own and the debates held the importance of image over substance and Kennedy was far more appealing. Kennedy squeezed through a comfortable margin of 303 to 219 electoral votes. Kennedy would now be the president and he would be the first Roman Catholic and the youngest person to date to be elected president. Like FDR, Kennedy ran well in the large industrial centers, where he had strong support from workers, Catholics, African Americans and workers. What also happened was the fact that the Democrats also swept both houses of Congress by wide margins.


20 The Old General Fades Away President Eisenhower in the end was admired and respected for his dignity, decency, sincerity, goodwill, and moderation. Many thought that his second term in his presidency he would be a lame duck, but he displayed more vigor, more political know how, and more aggressive leadership during his last two years as president than ever before. Eisenhower mounted no moral crusade for civil rights, and this was perhaps his greatest failing. As a republican president he worked with the Democrats with new reforms such as the Fair and New Deals. As a former general he also guided the nation through many threats to peace. He did leave the office without ending the arms race with the Soviets.

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