President Eisenhower


- First Term: election of 1952

  • Elected on January 20, 1953
  • Republican
  • Democratic candidate was Adlai Stevenson
  • Eisenhower won by a landslide
  • He got 55% popular vote and 83% electoral vote
  • It was the end of 20 consecutive years of Democratic control of the White House

- Second Term: election of 1956

  • Elected on January 20, 1957
  • Republican
  • Democratic candidate was Adlai Stevenson again
  • Eisenhower easily won again, and got even more votes
  • He won 57% popular vote and 86% electoral vote
  • He had some health issues but it was a quiet issue
  • Won easily because he had ended the Korean War and the nation was prosperous

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Cold War

- What was it?
  • A sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc (US with NATO plus the others) and the Eastern Bloc (USSR and its allies from the Warsaw Pact)
  • There aren't specific start and end dates for the war, but it is commonly said that it was from 1947-1991
  • It was called the Cold War because there wasn't any actual violent fighting between the two sides

- During the Eisenhower presidency:
  • Armistice signed in Korea
  • French lost Battle of Dien Bien Phu; withdrew from Indochina and split it up
  • USSR and PRC offered military and economic aid to North Vietnam
  • US offered military and economic aid to South Vietnam
  • Space race: Sputnik was launched by the USSR
  • Castro came to power in Cuba
  • U2 spy plane shot down over the USSR
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Joseph McCarthy

  • Joseph McCarthy was a republican senator who accused hundreds of Democrats of being communists

  • His philosophy flourished in the Cold War atmosphere of suspicion and fear

  • Removed from the Senate when he attacked the the US Army
  • Eisenhower did not support McCarthy at all and waited a long time to criticize him publicly
  • Eisenhower thought that as president he should avoid public confrontations that might damage the proper prestige of presidency

Desegregation in the South

- Little Rock Crisis
  • In 1957 Governor Faubus sent the Arkansas National Guard to keep nine black students from entering Little Rock Central High School
  • Eisenhower sent in US paratroopers to ensure the students could attend class

- Brown v. Board of Education
  • The Topeka board of education denied Linda Brown's admission to an all white school close
  • Overruled the old Plessy v. Ferguson principle that black public facilities could be "separate but equal"
  • Declared that racially segregated facilities are inherently unequal and ordered all public schools to be desegregated

- Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus in 1955
  • Martin Luther King Jr. led a boycott of city buses
  • After about a year, Supreme Court ruled that segregation of public transportation was illegal

- Civil Rights Act of 1957
  • Primarily a voting rights bill
  • The first civil rights legislation enacted by the Republicans in America since Reconstruction
  • Set up a permanent Civil Rights Commission

Republicanism Policies

  • President Eisenhower was conservative and strived to balance the federal budget and to guard America from socialism
  • He supported the transfer of control over offshore oil fields from the federal government to the states
  • In 1954, he undercut the bracero program of legally imported farmworkers and gathered a million illegal immigrants for Operation Wetback
  • Eisenhower wanted to terminate the Indian tribes as legal entities and turn to the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 instead
  • He supported the Interstate Highway Act of 1956, but still did not support the policies of the New Deal and Fair Deal
  • In 1959, he brought about the biggest peacetime deficit ever in the US

Vietnam War

  • 1954: Dien bien phu in northwestern Vietnam fell to the nationalists
  • The conference at Geneva halted Vietnam at the 17th parallel
  • The pro-western government in the south was established at Saigon
  • President Eisenhower promised aid (economic and military) to the south

Space Race

  • October of 1957: Soviets launched the Sputnik I into space

  • November of 1957: they launched the Sputnik II, along with a dog

  • Eisenhower responded by creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA

  • Soon, people thought the Soviet Union's education system was better than the United States'

  • Therefore the NDEA provided $887 million in loans to college students and in grants for the improvement of teachers