Eisenhower

1953-1961

Election

  • Eisenhower ran as a Republican in 1952 to counter the non-interventionism of Robert Taft.
  • Nixon was his vice president.
  • He won by a landslide defeating Adlai Stevenson.
  • In his 2nd election in 1956 he defeated Stevenson easily again.

Foreign Policy (Cold War and Vietnam)

  • Cold War - a struggle with U.S. and U.S.S.R. for ideological dominance
  • Eisenhower promoted nuclear deterrence over the use of conventional forces to fight Communism.
  • He used the threat of nuclear weapons to quickly draw an end to the war in Korea, dividing it at the 38th parallel.
  • He fought against illegal immigration from Mexico in Operation Wetback.
  • He supported building super bombers to be able to attack China and Russia with nuclear weapons.
  • Eisenhower failed to make peace with Khrushchev. He helped depose the leader of Iran in a coup.
  • The Formosa Resolution established U.S. defense of Taiwan. He stopped the invasion of Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel.
  • He stated the Domino Theory, where if some countries fell to communism, others would begin to fall to communism too.
  • A major failure was Cuba's fall to communism, where Dr. Fidel Castro took over
  • Vietnam War - a war to stop the spread of Communism
  • The French got out of Vietnam after the battle of Dien Bien Phu
  • North Vietnam eventually attacks South Vietnam, which the U.S. defends

Domestic Policy (Space Race, Republican Policies, desegregation & McCarthy)

  • Eisenhower covertly opposed McCarthyism.
  • McCarthyism - Joseph McCarthy created fear that Communists had infiltrated the government
  • He launched the Interstate Highway System, DARPA (internet), NASA (to race against Sputnik), and the National Defense Education Act to improve America to fight communism.
  • When Sputnik, a satellite, was launched by the Soviets, Americans feared that the Soviets had surpassed the U.S. technologically
  • NASA was used to compete with the Soviets' space program
  • He continued New Deal programs and expanded Social Security.
  • The Eisenhower era was a time of desegregation.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1957 ensured (tried to ) all Americans could vote
  • Brown v. Board of Education allowed him to enforce civil rights
  • He desegregated the Armed Forces and enforced desegregation with federal troops in Arkansas.
  • In Birmingham, blacks boycotted segregationist busses
  • This was important as Communists used desegregation as a point of propaganda.
  • In this time of economic growth, America became more white-collar and technologically oriented.