Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961


Presidential Terms

1st Term: January 20, 1953 - January 20, 1957
  • Garnered 33,936,234 votes to Stevenson’s 27,314,99

2nd Term: January 20, 1957 - January 20, 1961

  • Garnered 35,590,472 votes to Stevenson’s 26,022,752

  • Won both elections by a landslide, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson.
  • Under the slogan “I Like Ike”
  • Running partner was Richard M. Nixon
  • Being a war hero helped win both elections

Cold War

  • Signed an armistice ending the Korean War
  • Sent combat troops into Lebanon in 1958
  • Did not sent other armed forces into active duty throughout his presidency

Eisenhower and Khrushchev

Joseph McCarthy

  • Anti-Communist crusader
  • Accused Secretary of State Dean Acheson of purposely employing 205 Communist party members
  • His communist "hunting" did the most damage to American traditions
  • Nicknamed "Low-Blow Joe"
  • He destroyed many careers by accusing people of being communist
  • The majority of Americans approved of his views
  • Eisenhower did not like McCarthy but he stayed out of his way
  • Eisenhower allowed him to control personnel policy at the State Department
  • Disadvantaged the government of a number of Asian specialists
  • He went too far when he attacked the U.S. Army, in the spring of 1954 military men fought back in 35 days of televised hearings
  • The Senate condemned him for “conduct unbecoming a member”
  • He finally died of alcoholism

Joseph McCarthy

Desegregation Of The South

  • African Americans were still segregated under Jim Crow laws.
  • Gunnar Myrdal wrote An American Dilemma in1944, exposing the contradiction between America’s professed belief that all men are created equal and its awful treatment of black citizens.
  • Eisenhower didn't show real interest in race issue.
  • African Americans such as Jackie Robinson, the first black MLB player, helped break down the racial barrier but it was not enough.

Little Rock Crisis

  • In 1957 Governor Faubus sent the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine Black students from entering Little Rock Central High School
  • Eisenhower sent in U.S. paratroopers to ensure the students could attend class

Brown v. Board of Education

  • overturned earlier rulings going back to Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896
  • declared that state laws that established separate public schools for black and white students denied black children equal educational opportunities
  • handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court's unanimous (9-0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
  • Racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution
  • Paved the way for integration and the civil rights movement

The Montgomery Bus Boycott

  • a political and social protest campaign started in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama by Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat in the "white only" section
  • intended to oppose the city's policy of racial segregation on its public transit system
  • Inspired a young Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Caused deficits in public transit profits because a large percentage of people who used the public transportation were now boycotting it
  • The struggle lasted from December 1, 1955, to December 20, 1956,
  • Led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses unconstitutional

The Civil Rights Act of 1957

  • A landmark piece of legislation, it outlawed racial segregation in schools public places, and employment
  • The bill was amended prior to passage to protect women
  • Explicitly included white people for the first time
  • Created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Little Rock Nine

Eisenhower’s Republicanism Policies

  • Wanted to balance the federal budget and guard the Republic from “creeping socialism.”
  • Tried to curb the TVA by encouraging a private power company to build a generating plant to com-pete with the public utility created by the New Deal
  • Eisenhower responded to Mexican Immigration by starting Operation Wetback which returned as many as 1 million Mexicans back to Mexico.
  • Canceled the tribal preservation policies of the “Indian New Deal,” in place act 1934 by terminating the tribes as legal entities in order to revert to the assimilationist goals of the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887
  • The Highway Act offered great benefits to the trucking, automobile, oil, and travel industries, but also robbed the railroads of business

Eisenhower signing Highway Act

Beginning of Vietnam War

  • Nationalist movements had sought for years to throw off the French colonial rule in Indochina
  • By 1954 American taxpayers were financing nearly 80% of the costs of the French colonial war in Indochina.
  • American aid continued despite Frances crumbling attempts
  • The Americans had no choice but to back France because there was no easy way to call off their bet

Space Race With The Soviets

  • Americans were shocked by Russia's Sputnik I and Sputnik II
  • "Rocket Fever" became rampant in the US
  • Eisenhower started NASA and gave billions of dollars to missile development
  • Americas first missile tries were failures
  • In 1958 the National Defense and Education Act (NDEA) authorized $887 million in loans to needy college students and in grants for the improvement of teaching the sciences and languages