Eisenhower

Eisenhower's Elections

First Election:

  • 1952
  • Ran for Republicans
  • Against Stevenson
  • Running mate was Senator Richard Nixon
  • Made use of powerful new T.V.s
  • Won by over half a million in popular vote and 442 to 89 in Electoral College

Second Election

  • 1956
  • Ran for Republicans
  • Against Stevenson
  • Won by nearly 1 million in popular votes and 457 to 73 electoral votes
  • Failed to win either houses of congress for his party

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The Cold War During the Eisenhower Era

Cold War:

  • Political hostility towards USSR that never flamed into open war
  • Each side maneuvered to check the others power
  • Conflict took place between puppet states

Events Under Eisenhower:


  • Peace signed in Korea in 1953 after threat of atomic bombing; returned to pre-war status
  • Republican Platform in 1952 called for actively "rolling back" communist influence, not merely containing it
  • Threats of nuclear bombing made against China in response to their shelling of Taiwan
  • Stalin died in 1953 and was replaced by Khrushchev
  • Hungary unsuccessfully rebelled against USSR
  • Successful revolt in Vietnam leads to split at 17th parallel, with communist North Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh and democratic South Vietnam under Ngo Dinh Diem; America provided aid to the south
  • CIA stages coup in Iran to establish Phalevi as Shah and secure oil for the west
  • The Suez Crisis: French and British forces attack Egypt to reopen it to their country after Egyptian president Nasser nationalized it; U.S. forced them to withdraw by withholding oil
  • 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine promises aid to Middle Eastern countries threatened by Communists
  • Communists launch Sputnik I and II into orbit, beginning space race
  • Nuclear tests temporarily stop in 1958
  • An American U-2 plane is shot down over Russia during 1960 Paris conference, souring diplomatic attempts between US and USSR
  • Castro leads revolt against Batista and begins seizing and distributing American property in Cuba, leading to U.S. cutting ties with Cuba
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McCarthyism

  • Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin became well know after stating Dean Acheson, Secretary of State, employed 205 known communists
  • Other Republicans started making use of attacks
  • Accusations grew after Republican victory in 1952, especially focusing on democrats
  • Majority of people approved of his actions
  • Eisenhower avoided conflict with him, let him control State Department policy
  • Finally brought own downfall by attacking military, they fought back with televised hearings in 1954
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Desegregation in the South

  • Jim Crow laws still existed in 1950
  • Rosa Parks refused to move to back of bus to make room for white passengers, starting Montgomery Bus Boycott by blacks in area for a year
  • Boycott brought MLK to prominence in civil rights struggle
  • Chief Justice Warren, appointed by Eisenhower, fought to end segregation through judicial actions, such as the desegregation of schools in Brown Vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
  • Desegregation was heavily resisted in deep South
  • Eisenhower criticized Brown decision for going against American traditional values
  • in 1957, however, he was forced to protect 6 black children attempting to attend Little Rock's Central High school in Arkansas with federal troops
  • Congress that year established Civil Rights Commission to investigate civil rights violations
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Eisenhower's Republican Policies

  • Maxim was that policy concerning people should be liberal, but policy with money should be conservative
  • Sought to balance federal budget and fight increasing socialism
  • Stopped military buildup and transferred offshore oil rights to individual states
  • Fought TVA by encouraging competition from a private company
  • Operation Wetback in 1954 returned illegal immigrants to Mexico to preserve bracero program
  • Tried to reverse Indian New Deal
  • Protected New Deal initiatives like Social Security, unemployment insurance, and labor programs
  • Backed Interstate Highway Act of 1956 to build 42 thousand miles of highway with
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The Begining of the Vietnam War

  • In 1954, U.S. taxes paid for 80% of French colonial war against Ho Chi Minh
  • French lost at Dienbienphu in 1954, and resulting Geneva conference split Vietnam at 17th parallel into communist north under Ho Chi Minh and democratic south under Ngo Dinh Diem
  • Free elections were promised, but never held due to inevitability of communist victory
  • Eisenhower supported Diem in return for promise of social reform, which came slowly
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The Space Race

  • Soviets launched Sputnik I and II in 1957, the first nation to launch objects into orbit
  • Proved that communism was productive to speculative nations
  • Made real the threat of an ICBM attack on the U.S. from the USSR
  • NASA was created to lead research on missile development
  • Many early failures, including the Vanguard rocket blowing up a few feet above ground
  • Finally launched a small satellite into orbit in 1958 and had ICBM capability by 1960
  • America lagging behind made people question education system, and led to the NDEA which gave loans to needy students and improved quality of sciences and language teaching in schools
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