Eisenhower

By Paulina Gonzalez

Election

1952 presidential election,


  • Democrats nominated Adlai Stevenson the Illinois governor.
  • The Republicans chose war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower. Richard Nixon was Eisenhower's running mate for V.P.
  • Eisenhower was the clear favorite. War hero, grandfatherly, and the "I like Ike" slogan was popular.
  • Attacked Stevenson by portraying him as being soft on communism. Campaign was hurt when Nixon was accused of having used a secret "slush fund" as a senator.
  • Nixon went on TV and gave the Checkers speech.
-spoke of his dog Checkers and how his little girl loved the dog and said he was innocent. He was forgiven and he stayed as VP candidate.
  • the Checkers speech showed the new power and influence of TV.
  • Because of this Eisenhower did some question-and-answer spots for the campaign.
  • Eisenhower, won 442 to 89 in the electoral.



Election of 1956
  • Eisenhower vs. Adlai Stevenson.
  • Democrats stabbed at Eisenhower's health and said he was a part-time president who did more golfing than governing.
  • Eisenhower won big again, 457 to 73.
  • Congress went to the Democrats.

The Cold War

  • Pres. Eisenhower built up the Strategic Air Command. Aerospace industries thrived, like the Boeing Company which built the first passenger jet airliner, the 707.


  • Russia formed the Warsaw Pact (1956) to balance NATO.
  • The "spirit of Geneva" encouraged an ease in tensions.
  • Eisenhower asked for arms reductions, Khrushchev was receptive.
  • Khrushchev publicly denounced Stalin's atrocities
  • 1956 Hungary was protesting against the communists.
  • The Soviets rolled in the tanks and crushed the rebellion.
  • The U.S. didn't provide aid, it was clear the Cold War would continue.
  • Communism, colonialism, and oil merged in events in the Middle East as well.
    • U.S. worried Russia would invade the Middle East for oil.
    • CIA pulled off a coup in Iran and placed Mohammed Reza Pahlevi in charge as basically a dictator.
    • In Egypt, nationalist Gamal Abdel Nassar wanted to build a dam on the Nile.
    • America and Britain offered some help, then Nassar flirted went towards communism.
    • Sec. Dulles removed the U.S. offer and Nassar took over the Suez Canal. This threatened the oil supply to the West.
      • Britain and France attacked Egypt (Oct. 1956) without America knowing.
      • Eisenhower refused to supply oil to Britain and France and they had to withdraw.
      • The U.N. sent in peacekeeping forces.
      • The end to America's "oil weapon."
    • Eisenhower and Congress declared the Eisenhower Doctrine in 1957.
    • promised U.S. help to the Middle East if threatened by communism.
      • In the Middle East, communism wasn't the real threat to the U.S., nationalism and the power of oil was.
      • In 1960, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran linked with Venezuela to form OPEC (Org. of Petroleum Exporting Countries).


  • Testing of nuclear weapons was not healthy.
  • Both the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. said they'd stop "dirty tests."
  • policing this wasn't possible
  • in 1958 Lebanon was threatened by Egypt and communism.
  • They asked for U.S. help under the Eisenhower Doctrine.
  • Eisenhower sent several thousand U.S. troops and the situation was resolved without any loss of life.
  • In 1959, Nikita Khrushchev invited Eisenhower to Russia.
  • Khrushchev spoke to the U.N. General Assembly and offered complete Soviet disarmament.
    • Khrushchev met Eisenhower at Camp David.
    • Russian leader spoke of evacuating Berlin.
    • This "spirit of Camp David" didn't last long.
    • The next year, there was to be a summit in Paris. Berlin was to be the main topic.
      • an American U-2 spy plane was shot down. The plane had been spying on Russia in their airspace. The "U-2 Incident" was an embarrassment to the U.S and to Eisenhower. The summit fell apart.

Joseph McCarthy

  • Sen. Joseph McCarthy claimed that Sec. of State Dean Acheson knowingly hired 205 communists though it had lacking evidence, the red-hunt was on.
  • McCarthy accused Gen. George Marshall in being in some kind of communist conspiracy.
  • Eisenhower didn't like McCarthy Eisenhower did allow purges to go on at the State Dept.
  • Multiple Asian specialists were removed when the Vietnam War started, their absence hurt.
  • McCarthy met his downfall when he threw charges at the U.S. Army.
  • Hearings were shown on TV where he came across as reckless, a bully, and a liar.
  • Condemned by the Senate and died three years later of alcoholism.

Eisenhower and desegregation in the South


  • Jim Crow laws still segregated the races in the South. Only about 20% of southern blacks were actually registered to vote (only 5% in the Deep South states).
  • Southern whites used cultural norms to keep blacks second class.
    • Ex: intimidation, threats of job loss, beatings and lynchings. They often went unpunished.
  • Rest of world saw this in America, Swede Gunnar Myrdal wrote "An American Dilemma". He pointed out the hypocrisy of "The American Creed" (liberty, equality, etc.) against the racism in America.
  • Continuation of WWII's "Double-V" argument—how could the U.S. fight Hitler's racism yet let it carry on at home?
  • The Civil Rights movement began after the war.
  • In 1947 Jackie Robinson became the first black to play in the Major Leagues. This move one of the first steps in the Civil Rights movement.
  • In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to white riders. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott was led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., succeeded in changing the custom, went onto national stage.
  • By boycotting, King showed his tactic of "peaceful resistance"
  • The "Warren court", headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren engaged in judicial activism to make changes.
  • The case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS (1954) built on the Sweatt v. Painter case
  • Brown v. Board said segregated public schools were unconstitutional and should be integrated with "all deliberate speed."
    • overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson "separate but equal" case.
    • "Deliberate speed" was slow in the South as local school districts didn't want to integrate.
      • After ten years, only 2% of schools in the Deep South were integrated.
      • Real integration of schools in the Deep South occurred around 1970.
  • Eisenhower was forced to act on civil rights at Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
  • The AR governor had activated the National Guard to continue to segregate black students into the school.
  • Eisenhower called in federal troops to admit the students.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to organize black churches.
    • In Greensboro, NC, the "sit-in" movement began.
    • Black students protested segregated lunch counters by sitting at white-only counters.
    • They wouldn't get served, but their sitting down shut down the counters until the policy was changed.
      • the movement spread and became wade-ins, lie-ins, and pray-ins.
      • Black students formed the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to organize efforts.

Eisenhower’s Republicanism policies

  • Eisenhower had promised "dynamic conservatism"
  • be liberal with people, be conservative with money.
  • Eisenhower was a more in the middle and wasn't too liberal or conservative.
  • Eisenhower sought to balance the federal budget and prevent "creeping socialism."
  • cut military spending,
  • supported transferring control of offshore oil drilling to the states,
  • tried to cut back on the TVA by encouraging private power companies instead of government ones.
  • Salk polio vaccine was given freely, Eisenhower's secretary of health, education, and welfare said it was socialism coming in through the back door.
  • Under Sec. of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, government bought up grain at the clip of $2 million per day in attempts to keep prices up. Farmers still struggled.
  • Mexican government concerned that illegal Mexican immigration into the U.S. would undermine the bracero program of legal immigrants. Eisenhower started "Operation Wetback" to return illegal Mexican immigrants.
  • FDR's "Indian New Deal" would go back to policies like the old Dawes Severalty Act, end tribes and assimilate into mainstream American culture. This move was unpopular and ended in 1961.
  • Eisenhower kept much of the New Deal.
    • Social Security, unemployment benefits stayed on.
    • Eisenhower brought the Interstate Highway Act of 1956. built 42,000 interstate miles.
    • Changed the economic and social structure of America.
    • They helped businesses and families move from downtowns to suburbs

Beginning of the Vietnam War

  • French had colonial rule over Southeast Asia . The Asians wanted their freedom.
    • Vietnam's leader attempted to appeal to Woodrow Wilson for self-determination, in 1919 later FDR. Vietnam grew more and more communist, and the U.S. started backing away.
  • America only wanted to let France handle the growing communism (the U.S. paid for 80% of France's fighting).
    • Battle of Dienbienphu France was surrounded, lost, and France simply decided to leave Southeast Asia which created a void where communism could grow. Marked the real beginning of America's interest in Vietnam.
  • Geneva conference split Vietnam in half at the 17th parallel. North Vietnam communist, a non-communist government in South Vietnam was led by Ngo Dinh Diem.
  • Like NATO, Sec. Dulles created SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization). It was more symbolic.

Space race with the Soviets

  • Oct. 4, 1957, Russian's placed the first satellite in orbit, the 184 pound Sputnik I. A month later, Sputnik II put a 1,100 pound satellite in space with a dog.
    • Four months later, the U.S. sent up Explorer I with America's first satellite.
    • America thought that if the Soviets could put a dog in space, they can deliver a nuclear weapon to the U.S. using ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles).
    • Space race started
      • Eisenhower set up NASA and channeled money.
      • By 1960 many U.S. satellites were up and ICBMs were tested.
      • After Sputnik, emphasis was taken from the humanities (art, drama, dance, etc.) and placed on the sciences and math.
      • The National Defense and Education Act (NDEA) provided millions of dollars in college loans to teach science and languages.