Dwight D. Eisenhower

Nicole Messer

Presidential Election of 1952

  • Military deadlock in Korea
  • Issues between Truman and MacArthur
  • War-bred inflation
  • Scandal from the White House
  • Democrats nominated hesitant Adlai E. Stevenson and the Republicans enthusiastically chose General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and then the convention chose Richard M. Nixon to be his running mate.
  • Eisenhower was popular from World War 2. Called a hero
  • Won 442 electoral votes (Stevenson 89) and 33,936,234 popular votes vs. Stevenson's 27,314,992


  • Eisenhower was popular and referred to as "Ike"
  • Great personality, captivating grin, good for television politics
  • Wartime supreme commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, army chief of staff after the war, first supreme commander of NATO from 1950-1952
  • Served a brief term as president of Columbia University (1948-1950)
  • Nixon did all of the campaigning, using claims of corruption and communism in order to hurt the opposing runners
  • Eisenhower considered dropping him after Nixon's "slush find", but Nixon made a public pity apology (Checkers Speech) where he talked about his family's dog and was able to successfully sway the public's opinion of him, saving him.
  • Let himself be filmed and interviewed for television
  • Eisenhower's last-minute pledge to personally go to Korea to end the war sent him over the edge, winning the election

Second Election (1956)

  • Eisenhower vs. Adlai E. Stevenson (Democrat)
  • Won 457 electoral votes to 73 and 35,590,472 to 26,022,752 popular votes
  • Democrats struggled to find anything to use against Eisenhower
  • For the first time since 1848, the president wasn't able to get a majority of his party into Congress


  • Took a 3 day flying trip to Korea in December of 1952
  • There were thousands of American, Chinese, and Korean casualties
  • Billions of American dollars were invested and wasted in this fighting
  • By 1950, Korea remained divided at the 38th parallel
  • Eisenhower helped to soothe anxieties of Americans

Cold War

  • Between U.S. and the Soviet Union
  • Battle between which would prevail - Communism (Soviet) or Capitalism (America)
  • Vietnam War
  • Warsaw Pact was signed (defensive treaty created 8 different nations (Eastern and Central Europe) that were communist during the cold war).
  • Soviets no longer occupied Austria
  • Soviets destroyed Hungarians in 1956
  • The Iranian government sided with the Soviets, and the CIA staged a coup in order to attempt to overthrow the leader and put Mohammed Reza Pahlevi in command
  • Suez Crisis
  • Eisenhower Doctrine: financial and military aid to Middle Eastern countries that were anti-communist
  • Creation of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
  • Cuban Revolution-Fidel Castro - overthrew Cuban gov. and became friends with Soviets because of their satellite base 90 miles away from the U.S. Eisenhower gave $500 million to Cuba under the Monroe Doctrine.

Joseph McCarthy

  • "Knew" that the Secretary of State Dean Acheson had employed 205 Communists. Speech in 1950 in Wheeling, West Virginia.
  • Revealed that there were 57 Communists instead of 205
  • Republicans used him against the Democrats
  • Accused General George Marshall (Sec. of State/war hero) of being involved in a conspiracy
  • Damaged freedom of speech, writers, political officers, etc
  • Eisenhower still allowed him to control the personnel policy in the State Department
  • Asian officials who could've proved good council during the Vietnam War were weeded out by McCarthyites
  • Had downfall when he attacked the U.S. military
  • Trial displayed for 35 days on television for everyone to watch
  • Condemned by Senate for not conducting himself properly
  • Died from chronic alcoholism three years later

Desegregation of the South

  • Jim Crow laws still in place - segregated blacks and whites in all areas
  • When laws failed to be enforced, there were harsh consequences
  • An American Dilemma by Gunnar Myrdal revealed the discrepancy between the U.S' proclamation that all men were created equal and the harsh racial segregation
  • White primary of the S. Dem. party was ruled unconstitutional in 1944 by the Supreme Court
  • Sweatt vs. Painter - Marshall ruled that blacks must be allowed to attend integrated schools in TX and OK
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott - Rosa Parks initiated it after refusing to give up her seat in the "whites-only" section
  • Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas - Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional and unequal
  • Southern Democrats responded with the created of the "Declaration of Constitutional Principles in 1956" which was a pledge to resist segregation
  • Governor Orval Faubus used National Army troops in order to keep 9 black students from attending Central High School in Little Rock. However, Eisenhower, who wasn't a big on civil rights, sent in troops to escort the kids into the school.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1957 is passed by Congress, setting up a Civil Rights Commission which investigates violations of civil rights and authorized federal injunctions in order to protect voting rights

Eisenhower Republicanism

  • Balance federal budget
  • Wanted to reverse New and Fair Deal policies
  • Conservatism
  • Cut down defense spending
  • Tried to curb TVA
  • Salk's polio vaccine was allowed to be freely given
  • 1 million Mexicans were sent back to Mexico through Operation Wetback
  • Established act in response to the Dawes Severalty Act which terminated the legal entity of tribes with cash incentives
  • Interstate Highway Act of 1956 - created 42,000 miles of highway that linked all of the countriy's major cities.Created lots of new jobs and boosted industries such as the oil and travel agencies.
  • Eisenhower was blamed for recessions, especially since he only balanced the budget 3 times throughout the course of his 8 year year presidency
  • Led to the merge of the AF of L and CIO

Beginning of the Vietnam War

  • Eastern Asia Nationalists wanted to remove French control from Indochina
  • U.S. was anti-Communist and Vietnam became Communist. U.S. funded 80% of the colonial war in Indochina for the French
  • French garrison was captured by Viet Minh at the Dienbienphu
  • Against his advisor's wishes, Eisenhower held back on "policy of boldness"
  • Dienbienphu fell and a Genevan conference with several nations divided the nation at the 17th parallel
  • Ho Chi Minh agreed as long as Vietnam wide elections would follow in the next two years
  • The south was controlled by Ngo Dinh Diem and his Western style government and had the full support of the U.S.
  • Pressure was put on Diem's regime by Minh and his guerrilla

Space Race

  • The Soviets launched the first man-made satellite, Sputnik, was laughed into space on Oct. 4 1957
  • Soviets claimed that communism was the reason for their "superior production"
  • U.S. feared that the Soviets would be able to reach them with their intercontinental ballistic missiles, but Eisenhower wasn't worried
  • Eisenhower created the National Aeronautic and Space Administration during the "rocket fever" that swept the nation
  • After many failed attempts, the U.S. was successfully able to put a small satellite into space and by the end of the decade had its own ICBMs
  • Led to radical improvement in the American education system, including the establishments of the core classes science and math
  • National Defense Education Act lent $887 million to students and grants in 1958