Dwight D. Eisenhower

1953-1961

Election of Eisenhower

- First term: 1953-1957

- Second term: 1957-1961

- Republican

- Election of 1952: not a close election, he was a popular candidate and American

- Election of 1956: not a close election, he continued to be popular because of all his accomplishments in his first term as president

- Vice President: Richard M. Nixon

- Slogan: "I Like Ike"

The Cold War

- A state of political hostility between the USSR and the US regarding nuclear weapons

- 1953: CIA-backed coup in Iran

- 1955: Warsaw Pact signed

- 1956: Suez Crisis: Eisenhower re-elected

- 1957: Eisenhower Doctrine; Sputnik I launched by USSR

- 1958: NDEA passed

- 1960: U-2 rocket incident embarrasses the US government

- 1961: Eisenhower gives the farewell address

Joseph McCarthy

- Senator Joseph McCarthy was an anti-communist crusader that was extremely popular and had much power

- Elected to Senate because he was a supposed "war hero"

- Gave powerful speeches that won him national visibility that discredited the Democratic party and accused them of knowingly employing communists

- Denounced General George Marshall

- Built off of the communist-fear from the Cold War

- Red-hunter

- Eisenhower did not like him but tried to stay out of his way as not to get on his bad side

- Eisenhower allowed McCarthey to control personnel policy at the State Department which caused damage and a loss of morale/effectiveness at the foreign service

- Also discredited Aisans (Vietnam)

- Final blow: attacked the US Army

Eisenhower and Desegregation in the South

Crisis at Little Rock

- Promoted integration

- Orval Faubus (governer of Arkansas) informed the National Guard to prevent nine black students from enrolling in Little Rock's Central high school

- Eisenhower sent troops to escort the children to their classes

- Federal authority challenged

Brown v. Board of Education

- Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unequal and unconstitutional

- Decision did not pass well with conservatives

- Reversed the Court's earlier decision regarding segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson and denounced the "separate but equal" policy

- Eisenhower did not like the Supreme Court's decision

- Believed that the decision upset "the customs and convictions of at least two generations of Americans"

- Refused to endorse their decision publically

- He did not believe that any prejudices should succumb to compulsion

Montgomery Bus Boycott

- December 1955

- African American, Rosa Parks, refused to sit at the back of the bus and sat in the "whites only" section

- She was arrested for breaking the Jim Crow Laws

- Sparked a yearlong black boycott of the Montgomery Bus System

- Incident also introduced Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Civil Rights Act of 1957

- First Civil Rights Act to be past since the Reconstruction Era

- Set up a permanant Civil Rights Commission to investigate violations of civil rights

- Authorized federal injunctions to protect voting rights

Eisenhower's Republicanism Policies

- Dynamic conservatism (dealing with people: liberal, dealing with money: conservative)

- Balance federal budget

- Guard the Republic form from socialism

- Stopped Truman's military build-up to save money

- Small-government philosophy

- Transfer of control over offshore oil fields from the federal government to the states

- Attempt to curb the TVA

- Free distribution of the Salk antipolio vaccine

- Responded to the Mexican government's concerns that illegal Mexican immigration to the US would undercut the bracero program of legally imported farm workers inaugurated during WWII

- Sought to cancel the tribal preservation policies in the "Indian New Deal"

- Wanted to terminate the tribes and go back to assimilationist policies

- Accepted many New Deal programs and improved them

- Interstate Highway Act of 1956

Beginning of the Vietnam War

- East Asia not secure in the 1950s

- Nationalist movements wanted to throw off the French colonial yoke in Indochina

- Cold War events dampened the dreams of the anti-colonial Asians

- Asian leaders (Ho Chi Minh) were becoming communist while the US was becoming anti-communist

- US financial aid to Indochina

- US did not immediately come to their aid militarilly because they feared nonsupport from Britain and did not want a war so soon after the war with Korea

- Eisenhower promised economic and military aid to the Diem regime if it undertook specific social reforms and though change there came slowly, the US had to back up their promise/aid

Space Race with the Soviets

- October 4, 1957: USSR launched Sputnik I into orbit around the globe

- One month later: USSR launched a larger satellite, Sputnik II which arried a dog

- Scientific breakthrough shattered US confidence

- US scientific achievement previously halted/slow

- Many troops occupied in Little Rock

- "Rocket Fever"

- Eisenhower createdand funded NASA for missile development

- At first, US had many fails (Vanguard missile)

- February 1958: US put a small satellite in orbit

- NDEA funded improvement of teaching the sciences and languages