Dwight D. Eisenhower

By Dylan Mathwig

Eisenhowers Elections:

Election of 1952:

  • Democratic Adlai E. Stevenson vs. Republican General Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Eisenhower "Ike" himself was a war hero and had a glowing personality which captivated voters
  • Most campaigning was left to Vice Presidential Candidate Nixon who ran anticommunists campaigns
  • Accused of financing "slush funds", Nixon immediately appeared on television and gave what became known as the "Checkers Speech", in which he performed a theatrical appeal to the American people by mentioning his family dog Checkers. The Checkers speech also showed the political potential of television.
  • Ike appeared on television and created a mock interview in which he gave short answers and the questions were added in later.
  • Ike pledged to win the Korean War and won 33,936,234 to Stevenson's 27,314,992 votes. 442 to 89 Electoral votes.
Election of 1956:

  • Republican Ike won 35,590,472 to Democratic Stevenson's 26,022,752 in the popular vote and 457 to 73 in the electoral votes
  • Ike wins
  • Eisenhower suffers heart attack and receives surgery, begins presidency part time.

Cold War Action During Ike's Administration:

Cold War: A state of political hostility between two countries characterized by threats, propaganda, and other measures short of open warfare.

  • Korean War- Ike threatened to use atomic weapons and an armistice was finally declared but repeatedly violated in later decades.
  • Senator Joseph McCarthy- Ruthless "red-hunter" Wisconsin senator that accused the Secretary of State of knowingly employing over 200 communists and became a useful propagandist of the Republican Party. Politicians avoided McCarthy but citizens polls supported him. McCarthy went too far when he attacked the U.S. Army. Was effectively condemned by the Senate. Died three years later, but not before "McCarthyism" was coined; a term for the dangerous forces of unfairness and fear in a democratic society can unleash.
  • Ike sought to negotiate with new Soviet leaders after the death of Joseph Stalin at the Geneva Summit in 1955, but it did not go well.
  • Hungarian Revolt appealed to the U.S. in vain for aid, but the crisis was too small to utilize nuclear weapons.
  • Vietnam- Vietnam halved at the seventeenth parallel at the Multinational Geneva Conference. Eisenhower promised to aid the Diem regime. Change was relatively slow and Americans had realized they had backed the losing side.
  • False Lull in Europe: Germans enter NATO in 1955, Eastern European Warsaw Pact, Soviets end occupation of Austria, Communists denounced Stalins bloody excesses.
  • Lull brought to an end with the Hungarian Revolt that was ruthlessly crushed by the Soviets.
  • CIA installs the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, in Iran to secure oil for the West. Bitterly hated by Iranian people.
  • Suez Canal Crisis- Egypt wanted to build a dam on the Nile, US and Britain agreed, then Egypt asked the Soviets for help, US dramatically pulled dam offer. Egypt responded by threatened the Suez Canal which was where Europe's oil supply. British and French moved to invade without telling the U.S. so Eisenhower didn't back them with oil. It was the last time the Americans brandished its oil weapon as it no longer made the majority of the worlds oil.First United Nations police force was sent to maintain order. U.S. no longer an "oil power."
  • Eisenhower Doctrine in 1957-pledged U.S. military and economic aid to Middle Eastern Nations threatened by Communism.
  • OPEC- Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Basically a monopoly over the Middle Eastern oil that would have a tight leash on western economies for decades to come.


  • The Supreme court ruled the "White Primary" unconstitutional in 1944
  • Six African American Veterans lynched
  • Truman ended segregation in federal Civil Service Act in 1948
  • Eisenhower's administration did not wish to tackle the segregation issue
  • The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren, did a lot to benefit the African Americans
  • Brown vs. Board of Education in May, 1954- deemed that African American could join white people schools and segregation was declared unconstitutional
  • Rosa Parks refused to change seats triggering the bus boycott in December, 1955
  • White Supremacists created the Declaration of Constitutional Principles in 1956 to further suppress African American's
  • Little Rock Crisis of September, 1957. Eisenhower sent national guard members to escort some African American's a school in Little Rock.
  • Congress passes Civil Rights Act in 1957 which set up Civil Rights Commission
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference began in 1957
  • February 1, 1960- African American's utilized civil disobedience in "sit in's"
  • Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee began in April, 1960

Republican Policies

  • Cut government spending for the military
  • Supported state controlled oil fields
  • Attempted to curve TVA through encouraging private companies to build bigger plants
  • Freely distributed Salk polio vaccine
  • Operation Wetback in 1954 kicked illegal Mexican immigrants back to Mexico.
  • Tried to disband Native American Tribes regardless of the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 for Native Americans, relented effort in 1961
  • Interstate Highway Act of 1956, internal improvement to build highways