Dwight D. Eisenhower

General and President

The Elections

The Election of 1952

Republican- Dwight Eisenhower (war hero in WWII)
  • Vice president- Richard M. Nixon (California Senator)
  • Anti-Communism and ending the war in Korea campaign
  • 442 electoral votes

Democrat- Adlai E. Stevenson (governor of Illinois)

  • 89 electoral votes


Television used for campaigning- 10 second sound bites became the new form of political campaigning


The Election of 1956

Republican- Dwight Eisenhower

  • 457 electoral votes

Democrat- Adlai E. Stevenson

  • 73 electoral votes

The Cold War

  • 1940-1991
  • Capitalist US and Communist USSR at the brink of war but no fighting occurred except for small isolated battles
  • Armistice was signed with Korea to end fighting and communism was contained to only parts of Korea north of the 38th parallel

Senator Joseph McCarthy

  • Anti-communist
  • Accused Secretary of State Dean Acheson of employing 205 communists into political positions
  • He had no evidence for these accusations
  • Accused numerous Democrats, actors, and authors of being communist
  • Even accused General George Marshall of being communist
  • McCarthyism- known as making unfair and ruthless charges against an opponent (in this case the democrats)

Desegregation of the South

Jim Crow laws
  • South's constitutional way of discriminating against the Black population; equal but separate
Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Rosa Parks- December 1955, she refused to move to the back of the bus and sat in the "white only" seating, she was arrested for violating the Jim Crow laws
  • She sparked a year long Black boycott of using the city buses which was a sign for all of the South that the Black population was not going to stand for segregation anymore

Truman ended segregation in 1948 in federal civil serves and the military

Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

  • Chief Justice Earl Warren was the first to try to put a stop to the segregation in the South
  • May 1954, unanimous decision (in the Brown vs Board case) declared that segregation in public school was unequal and unconstitutional
  • This decision went against the one in Plessy vs Ferguson (1896) that stated that separate but equal facilities was constitutional
  • Resistance to this ruling in the South was great but it was a start to desegregating the South

Crisis at Little Rock

  • September 1957, the national guard was mobilized by the governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, to stop 9 black boys from enrolling in Little Rock's Central High School
  • President Eisenhower was not a major supporter of integration but Faubus was going against federal legislation and Eisenhower sent troops to escort the boys to class, promoting integration in the process
Civil Rights Act
  • Set up a permanent Civil Rights Commission to investigate violations of civil rights (crisis at Little Rock) and protect voting rights

Eisenhower's Policies

  • Liberal in Civil Rights movements and other issues involving humans
  • Conservative with the government' money and the economy
  • Main goal was to balance the government's budget- which he managed to do three times while he was in office but never for too long and the biggest peacetime debt was during Eisenhower
  • Small government
  • Wanted to do away with the Indian New Deal, where the government recognized the Indian Tribes, and return to forced assimilation
  • Kept some New Deal policies- Social Security, unemployment insurance, and farmers compensation
  • Continued the Interstate Highway Act, which planned for 42 thousand miles of highway to be built.
  • Eisenhower Doctrine- provide financial help to any country resisting communism in the Middle East

Vietnam War

  • Vietnam leader Ho Chi Minh became strong communist while the United States was strongly anti-communist
  • French trapped at the Dienbienphu fortress and Nixon favored bombs but Eisenhower did not approve of using bombs due to the lack of French support
  • Geneva Conference- Vietnam split at the 17th Parallel- North communist- South pro-western
  • Eisenhower planned to help out the South, ruled under Ngo Dinh Diem

The Space Race

October 4 1957- The Soviet Union launched the first Satellite in to space, Sputnik and Sputnik II about a month later

The USSR prove that they were superior in scientific technology than the US

  • Crushed US confidence
  • Gave communism some credibility
  • Struck fear into Americans- USSR can go to space then they can easily launch a missile at the US

Eisenhower created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop the US's space program and missile science

  • February 1958- US launched a small Satellite into space
National Defense and Education Act (NDEA) as passed to help improve American education which was being criticized as being behind that of the Soviet Union