President Dwight D. Eisenhower

President, War Hero, and Allied Commander

Big image

Election of 1952

  • The Democrats nominated Adlai E. Stevenson to run for the presidency from Illinois.
  • The Republicans chose General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Richard M. Nixon was chosen as Eisenhower's vice president.
  • Unfortunately for the Republicans, reports of Nixon secretly tapping government funds arose.
  • Nixon went on television and apologized in the Checkers speech.
  • This apology kept him on the ballot.
  • Eisenhower was extremely popular.
  • The slogan "I like Ike" bolstered his popularity.
  • Eisenhower’s last-minute pledge to go personally to Korea to end the war gave him an edge.
  • He garnered 33,936,234 votes to Stevenson’s 27,314,992.
  • He was popular in the South with 442 electoral votes to 89 for his opponent.

Election of 1956

  • Republican Nominees- Dwight D. Eisenhower with running mate Richard Nixon
  • Democratic Nominees- Adlai Stevenson with running mate Estes Kefauver
  • Eisenhower was very popular during his first term, earning an approval rating between 68 and 79 percent in 1955
  • There was peace and economic growth after Eisenhower agreed to sign armistice that ended Korean War in 1953 called "Eisenhower's Prosperity"
  • Eisenhower carried forty-one states
  • Received nearly 58 percent of the popular vote.
  • Eisenhower also took away from Stevenson's Democratic voters, such as African Americans.
  • Popular with African Americans

The Cold War

  • The staunch political rivalry, mistrust, and often open hostility short of violence between the USSR and the US after WWII.
  • It resulted in the Korean War, Vietnam War, Cuban Missile Crisis, the Arms race, and the Space race.

Eisenhower's Role in the Cold War-
  • “Policy of bold- ness” in early 1954. Eisenhower would relegate the army and the navy to the back seat and build up an air fleet of superbombers (called the Strategic Air Command, or SAC) equipped with city-flattening nuclear bombs.
  • These fearsome weapons would inflict massive damage on the Soviets or the Chinese if they got out of hand.
  • By 1954 American taxpayers were financing nearly 80 percent of the costs of a hopeless French colonial war in Indochina.
  • Eisenhower promised economic and military aid to the Western-friendly, Vietnamese Diem regime.
  • In the Middle East, the US was interested in Iran and its oil.
  • The CIA engineered a coup in 1953 that installed Shah Pahlavi, a US sympathizer.
  • Eisenhower commissioned NASA to compete with the Soviets in the space race.
  • In February 1958 the United States managed to put into orbit a satellite weighing.
  • President Eisenhower hoped to get along better with the new Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev who denounced Stalin's bloody tactics.
  • However this hope was lost after an American U2 spy plane was shot down over Russia.
  • Eisenhower later accepted responsibility after the pilot Francis Gary Powers was captured.
  • Also the Soviets who crushed the Belgian resistance and uprisings further alienated the United States.

Joseph McCarthy

  • Was a general term for making ruthless and unfair charges against opponents.
  • Based on the antics of Joseph McCarthy, a demagogic Wisconsin senator in the 1950s
  • Republican.
  • He was a stanuch Anti-Communist.
  • Had a prominent role in the Second Red Scare.
  • Believed that there were communists within the State Department.
  • He accused Secretary of State, Dean Acheson for knowingly employing 205 communist members.
  • This gave him national exposure.
  • Denounced General George Marshall.
  • Accused of being a bully and liar after he attacked the US Army.
  • He fades into obscurity after that.
  • Eisenhower and desegregation in the South

    Little Rock Crisis-

    • Unfortunately Eisenhower was not a strong proponent of racial integration
    • He was raised in all white town and served in a segregated army
    • He was forced to act when Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus nationalized the National Guard to prevent nine black students from attending Central High School in Little Rock
    • Eisenhower sent troops because the Governor was challenging Federal Authority

    Brown v. Board of Education Topeka

    • The Topeka board of education denied Linda Brown admittance to an all white school close to her house.
    • Thurgood Marshall argued that a separate but equal violated equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.
    • The courtdecided separate educational facilities were inherently unequal.
    • The Supreme Court reversed Plessy v. Ferguson in 1954 by ruling in favor of the desegregation of schools.
    • The court held that "separate but equal" violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and was unconstitutional.
    • Many southerners saw it as "an abuse of judiciary power."

    Civil Rights Act of 1957

    • Primarily a voting rights bill
    • Was the first civil rights legislation enacted by Republicans in the United States since Reconstruction.
    • Set up a permanent Civil Rights Commission
    • Hardly enforced
    • It was Congress's show of support for the Supreme Court Brown rulings.
    • Its aim was to allow all Americans to vote.
    • Only about 20% of Blacks at the time were able to vote due to voter disenfranchisement.

    Montgomery Bus Boycott

    • Rosa Parks refused to give her spot on the bus to a white man
    • In response Martin Luther King Jr. organized a movement to boycott the Montgomery Bus system.
    • Blacks boycotted the buses for over a year.
    • This drew national recognition for MLK

    Eisenhower's Republicanism Policies

    • Initiated Operation Wetback-
    • About 1 million Mexicans were up rounded up and sent back to Mexico.

    • Eisenhower cancelled the tribal preservation policies of the “Indian New Deal,”
    • He terminated the tribes as legal entities

    • Ike backed the Interstate Highway Act of 1956
    • A $27 billion plan to build forty-two thousand miles of road.
    • This created many construction jobs and speeded the suburbanization of America.

    • Eisenhower managed to balance the budget only three times in his eight years in office
    • 1959 he incurred the biggest peacetime deficit in American history.

    • Reduced Truman’s enormous military buildup
    • However he did not completely reduce defense spending
    • It took about 10 percent of the GNP

    Beginning of the Vietnam War

    • The French had troops statoned in Indochina.
    • By 1954 American taxpayers were financing nearly 80 percent of the costs of a bottomless French colonial war in Indochina.
    • A notable Vietnamese leader, and supporter of Vietnamese self-determination, Ho Chin Minh became increasingly communist.
    • The French could not withstand the guerrilla tactics of the Vietnamese,who wanted to kick the French out.
    • The fortress of Dienbienphu fell to the nationalists,
    • A multi- nation conference at Geneva roughly halved Vietnam at the seventeenth parallel
    • The victorious Ho Chi Minh promised that Vietnam- wide elections would be held within two years.
    • In the south a pro-Western government under Ngo Dinh Diem took control in Saigon
    • The Viet- namese never held the promised elections because it seems the communists would win.
    • Eisenhower promised economic and military aid to the Western-friendly, Vietnamese Diem regime.

    The Space Race

    • Soviet scientists astounded the world on October 4, 1957, by launching into orbit a “baby moon” (Sputnik I)
    • This amazing scientific breakthrough shattered American self-confidence.
    • There were significant military gains to be made by going in space.
    • The Americans realized that the Soviets could possibly deliver long range missiles and there were many military implications of satellites.
    • Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and directed billions of dollars towards missile development.
    • By the end of the decade, several satellites had been launched, and the United States had successfully tested its own ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missile).