President Eisenhower

Nitya Chivukula

The Presidential Election of 1952

  • Democrats reluctantly nominated Adlai E. Stevenson
  • Republicans enthusiastically nominated General Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • The convention also nominated Richard M. Nixon, a red-hunter, to be the running vice president for Eisenhower in order to satisfy the anticommunist wing of the party
  • Eisenhower was loved by many: his personality, appearance, war credentials, and brief time as president of Columbia University made him favorable by the citizens
  • Also, his campaign to go to Korea to end the war = made many of the Americans love him
  • Nixon: rough campaigning while Eisenhower: struck a grandfatherly pose for the citizens
  • After a scandal about Nixon came out, he saved his chance of winning with his Checkers Speech
  • Eisenhower then started appearing on the television by simulating fake discussions
  • He won by a landslide
  • Eisenhower got 33,936,234 votes while Stevenson got 27,314,992 votes
  • Eisenhower also gained 442 electoral votes while Stevenson only got 89
  • He also managed to get many Republicans into office with him
  • first supreme commander of NATO, the North American Treaty Organization, from 1950-1952

Eisenhower goes on to 1956

  • This election faced the same two opponents against each other
  • Republican Eisenhower against the returned Democratic Adlai Stevenson
  • While voters still loved Eisenhower, Democrats were trying hard to find anything to taint Eisenhower's presidency
  • Once again Eisenhower won by a landslide
  • He gained 35,590,472 popular votes and 457 electoral votes
  • Stevenson only got 26,022,752 popular votes and only 73 electoral votes
  • Unlike the last election, this time Eisenhower was unable to either Senate of the House of Representatives for the Republicans
  • While he won strongly, he was unable to bring his party with him and he started his term in poor, sickly health

The Cold War

  • After World War 2, it became obvious that there were tow major powers vying for power and influence: the Soviet Union and the United States
  • It became more apparent that the U.S. wanted to spread its ideology while the Soviet Union wanted to spread communism across the globe
  • Thus tension grew, and from around 1947-1991, both major powers entered a period of tension, both militarily and economically'
  • While no actual fighting took place, the hostility between the two nations was quite tangible
  • As both countries started creating dangerous war weapons, H bomb, which was deadlier than the atomic bomb, everyone feared of a destructive war
  • The imaginary iron curtain, where Eastern Europe disappeared behind due to Stalin, created much tension as well
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Eisenhower and the Cold War

  • 1952: The United States bombs its first hydrogen bomb: Soviet Union later follows adding to tension
  • 1953: CIA places the shah of Iran
  • 1954: The French defeat the Vietnamese
  • 1955: The Warsaw Pact is signed: this was a collective defense treaty among the 8 communist States of Central and Eastern Europe = the Soviet Union wanted to maintain military control over this area in Europe
  • 1955: The Geneva Summit Meeting takes place between the Big Four
  • 1956: The Suez Crisis explodes: The United States needs to deal with the Hungarian Revolt while Egypt's meets Britain, France, and Israel head on
  • 1956: Soviet Union crushes the Hungarian Crisis
  • 1957: Sputnik satellites are launched by the Soviet Union
  • 1957: Eisenhower Doctrine- a speech where Eisenhower singles out the threat of the Soviets and how it is the duty of Americans to keep the threat of communism away
  • 1958: Berlin Crisis
  • 1959: Cuban Revolt lead by Castro
  • 1960: U-2 Incident

Joseph McCarthy

  • "Tailgunner Joe"
  • junior senator in Wisconsin
  • became popular after claiming that many communists worked in the State Department
  • Speech in February 1950: accused Secretary of State Dean Acheson of employing about 200 communists
  • although his efforts were futile, his speech won him national visibility = his Republican colleagues believed that this kind of attack would benefit the Democratic administration
  • after Republican victory in 1952: saw the threat of communism everywhere
  • not the most effective but the most ruthless
  • ruined many writers, officials, and actors = damaged fair play and free speech
  • despised by Eisenhower
  • final straw = attacked the U.S. army
  • spring of 1954: army fought down days of trial
  • few months later, Senate condemns him
  • dies three years later due to alcoholism
  • name goes down in history as the dangerous forces of fear and unfairness that even a democratic nation could release


Little Rock crisis

  • September of 1957: Orval Faubus, the governor of Arkansas, brought together the National Guard in order to prevent nine black students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High School
  • Eisenhower in retaliation sent troops in to escort the children to the classes

Brown v. Board of Education

  • May 1954
  • decision of the Warren court
  • ruled that segregation in schools was unequal and so unconstitutional
  • reversed the Plessy v Ferguson case
  • startled the conservatives
  • civil rights progress due to Chief Justice Earl Warren

The Montgomery Bus Boycott

  • December 1955
  • Rosa Parks, a black woman, boards a bus and sits in the section for whites
  • she refused to give up her seat and thus was arrested
  • also helped Reverend Martin Luther King get popularized while enabling him to start his own revolutionary racial equality campaign

The Civil Rights Act of 1957

  • 1957
  • set up a Civil Rights Commission
  • it investigated violations of civil rights for people, especially blacks, while also protecting the voting rights of everyone
  • represented a "the mildest of civil rights as possible" by Eisenhower
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Eisenhower and his views

  • entered with the philosophy of "dynamic conservatism"
  • believed in all the things to do with people = be liberal and be human
  • BUT when it came to other's money or economy or government = be conservative
  • tried to balance federal budget as well as guard the Republic form from creeping socialism
  • stopped Truman's military expansion
  • small-government philosophy
  • = supported transfer of oil fields to states from the government
  • = encouraged a private company to build a generating plant and compete with a bigger plant
  • condemned free distribution of a anti polio vaccine
  • Operation Wetback = gather up the illegal immigrants
  • wanted to cancel the tribal preservation policies and the Indian New Deal
  • wanted assimilation of the Native Americans instead
  • did not oppose all of the New Deal programs = unemployment reforms and social security etc
  • Might have even implemented the New Deal in a better way = Interstate Highway Act
  • while he tried his best= there was the biggest peacetime deficit in American History

= Economic troubles revived the Democrats

Vietnam War: The Start

  • many nationalistic movements to get rid of the French influence
  • leader Ho Chi Minh has tried asked for aid in the self-determinism of the people as early as with Woodrow Wilson
  • Cold War made Ho Chi Minh increasingly communist
  • America gave much money to France in order to aid their effort in the war = the French were still not able to stand ground
  • 1954: a French troop were trapped at a fortress
  • Nixon wanted intervention while Eisenhower was against it and so he held back
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The Race for Space

  • 1957: Soviet Union sends a satellite to orbit around the globe = Sputnik
  • then they sent another satellite that not only was bigger, but it carried a dog in it as well
  • the Sputniks highlighted a claim that the Soviets had been makine = they had superior industrialization and technology
  • made Americans look bad
  • military problems: with this technology the Soviet Union could easily launch something at the United States
  • "Rocket Fever" spreads through the country
  • Eisenhower establishes NASA- National Aeronautics and Space Administration- as well as poured billions of dollars into the programs developing missiles
  • many embarrassing incidents: Vanguard missile
  • February 1958: finally U.S. is able to a small satellite in orbit
  • Sputnik incident: the education in America vs the education in the Soviet Union
  • leads to the National Defense and Education Act- gives $887 in loans to colleges students as well as for the improvement of science and language curriculum
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