The Eisenhower Era

Jean Choi

Elections of Eisenhower and His Republicanism Policies

  • 34th President
  • Ran for the Republican Party in the Election of 1952---Republican Eisenhower vs. Democrat Stevenson
  • won the election by a landslide on November 4, 1952,became the first Republican president in 20 years
  • Arrived at the White House prepared to impose conservative values on the federal government
  • domestic policy picked up where Roosevelt's New Deal and Fair Deal programs were left off.
  • made reducing Cold War tensions through military negotiation a main focus of his administration.
  • emphasizing a balanced budget.
  • -“conservative when it comes to money, liberal when it comes to human beings"

  • Sought to cut federal spending but the military buildup required by the continuing Cold War prevented Eisenhower from making the cuts to the military budget he would have liked.
  • In the Cold War atmosphere led Pres. Eisenhower to build up the Strategic Air Command. Aerospace industries thrived,
  • ended the Korean war in 1953
  • Election of 1956--- Eisenhower vs. Adali Stevenson, won 457 to 73
  • Congress and Eisenhower declared the Eisenhower Doctrine in 1957. It promised that U.S will help the Middle East if threatened by communism.

The Cold War and the Space Race

  • Cold War: heated military and political tension between the U.S and U.S.S.R.
  • The Space Race--
  • -On Oct. 4, 1957, Russians placed the first satellite in orbit called Sputnik I.
  • Rocket fever started --- Eisenhower set up the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and provided money.
  • This also had an impact on schools
  • -- After the launching of Sputnik, there was more emphasis on sciences and math, because of this, the National Defense and Education Act (NDEA) provided millions of dollars in college loans to teach science and languages.
  • government began developing the Interstate Highway System which authorized the construction of 42,000 miles of interstate highways linking all the nation's major cities.
  • --this was partly to make it easier to move soldiers and nuclear missiles around the country.
  • -- sped up travel
  • --- promoted tourism and development of suburbs
  • cost was extremely high so Eisenhower managed to balance the federal budget only three times in eight years.

Joseph McCarthy

  • Was opposed to Senator Joseph McCarthy (Republican senator who accused hundreds of Democrats as being Communists) and contributed to the end of McCarthyism
  • after being elected president, Eisenhower made it clear to those close to him that he did not approve of McCarthy and he worked actively to diminish his power and influence.

Desegregation in the South

  • As desegregation of schools began, he sent troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, to assure compliance with the orders of a Federal court
  • also ordered the complete desegregation of the Armed Forces. "There must be no second class citizens in this country," he wrote.
  • 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka:
  • - Topeka board of education denied Linda Brown, a black student, admittance to an all white school.
  • -Justice Thurgood Marshall argued the case for Brown; argued that a separate but equal violated equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.
  • -as a result, the Court ruled that it does not apply to educational facilities and that schools should "desegregate with all deliberate speed."
  • - great victory for civil rights
  • Eisenhower personally was opposed to segregation but didn't do much cause he was opposed to rapid change.
  • Little Rock Nine- a group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
  • --students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower,
  • --considered to be one of the most important events in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
  • 1955 Montgomery bus boycott-- began when Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man as was required by Jim Crow laws.
  • -this boycott brought Martin Luther King Jr. to national prominence.
  • Eisenhower supported the Civil Rights Act of 1957:
  • --voting rights bill, strengthened the voting rights of Southern blacks and the punishments for crimes against blacks.
  • --showed government's changing views of race relations

Start of Vietnam War

  • Geneva Accords was signed by France and Vietnam in 1954, Eisenhower did not approve
  • Eisenhower and secretary of state John Foster Dulles believed that the agreement gave the communist too much power in the north.
  • Eisenhower refused to commit American troops to the Franco-Vietnamese War.
  • Vietnamese nationalist movements tried to force the French out of Vietnam
  • Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh was becoming more Communist so US backed away
  • Ngo Dinh Diem led the government in the south and was pro-Western; Eisenhower promised aid to the south