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Harry Truman report card

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Tom Schoenherr

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Harry Truman report card

Harry S. Truman
Tom, Sam, Will
Chief Legislator
Chief of Party
Guardian of the Economy
Chief Diplomat
Truman was born in Missouri
on May 8, 1884

Truman's father, John, was a farmer and livestock herder.
Truman was an avid piano player
Truman applied for West Point, but was turned down because of poor eyesight.
Born in Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"
In the midterm elections of 1946, the Democrats lost 55 seats in the House to the Republicans
This was the first time since 1928 the Republicans had gained control of the Senate and the House at the same time
Truman was content as a U.S. Senator yet reluctantly ran with FDR.
Served in World War I in France as an artillery officer in the National Guard
Succeeded Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the 33rd President of the United States
Elected U.S. Senator in 1934
In campaigning for reelection Truman:
Favored civil rights for African Americans
Embraced liberal policies such as national health care and a higher minimum wage
And recognized Israel as a country to appeal to Jewish Americans
He took over as President when FDR died 82 days into his fourth term
Truman's Supreme Court appointments included:
This didn't allow for many bills to be passed
Overall Truman ran a very organized and productive administration despite his reluctance to run with FDR and the overwhelmingly Republican Congress.
With the end of World War II, Truman faced the task of changing the economy
Truman presented his list of proposals known as the Fair Deal to Congress to help change the economy.
from war -time to a peace -time economy.
This deal included:
A higher minimum wage
An extension of the FEPC
(Which guarded African-Americans from discrimination in government jobs)
And expansions of Roosevelt's New Deal
Republicans as well as Conservative Democrats in Congress shot almost all of these ideas down
Truman also had to reduce some of the government control over goods
With the end of the war, Truman reduced some
of the price freezes that had been in place.
These were the results:
The Democratic party did not fair well in the midterm elections and the President and Congress did not work well together.
He became president upon F.D.R's death
on April 12, 1945
One of Truman's first legislative feats was the Full Employment Act of 1946
There was also a shortage of consumer goods because many factories had been converted to produce wartime goods.
The reduced regulation and decreased number of goods led to sudden and steep inflation.
A series of strikes followed this as well.
This economic downturn and upheaval led to Truman's meager approval rating of 32%
After his reelection...
Truman was attempting to balance the federal budget by high taxes and limited spending.
Which coupled with inflation and unemployment led to this slow economic growth.
Truman soon realized that the Federal Budget was not going to balance anytime soon.
Once he loosened his policies, the economy began to recover
Truman faced a great number of problems after WWII, and he struggled to change from a war-time to a peace-time economy. Truman's attempts at reform were almost entirely fruitless, and despite his efforts, inflation was still rampant.
Truman was known to match American public opinion with much of his foreign diplomacy.
He supported the creation of the United Nations
Truman also supported the Marshall Plan
He issued the Truman Doctrine
This was a proposed idea to aid the war ravaged Europe in recovery
This was an assembly of Nations to promote peace and cooperation worldwide.
This held the belief supported by most Americans that the Soviet Union was trying to dominate the world.
Truman believed that he did not have to destroy communism but contain it.
This doctrine marked the start of the Cold War.
Truman supported a Jewish Homeland
This was despite strong opposition by his advisors that it would raise oil prices.
Truman said that he offered support "based on justice rather than oil."
He joined NATO
This stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization
It was a joining of the world's major opponents to Communism, such as the US, England, France, and Spain
Truman was successful in uniting and assisting nations, and his diplomacy helped to stop the spread of Communism.
The main purpose of the act was to give the responsibilities of unemployment, inflation, and economic stability to the federal government
Many Republicans in Congress opposed the act and made a compromise bill called, The Unemployment Act
It created the Council on Economic Activity which Truman used as an economic adviser more than as an independent body
In 1947 Truman signed the National Security Act into action
It created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The National Security Council
And the Department of Defense
Truman vetoed the Taft-Hartley Bill which was against organized labor but Congress overrode his veto and passed the bill
His stand on this bill
earned him the support
of organized labor groups
Inflation of food prices was still prevalent during this time and Truman called for a return of governmental price controls
He knew Republicans in Congress would
reject this measure
As he predicted they created a more conservative alternative; this alternative was based on rationing regulations. Truman signed the bill but called it
"pitifully inadequate"
In this act Truman had turned food inflation
into a Republican problem
He rejected a Republican proposed wool tariff calling it an isolationist policy
He vetoed tax bills that appeared
to favor the rich
These actions and his veto of the Taft-Hartley tariff gave him the title of the main defender of
After his reelection in 1948 Truman felt energized to propose New Deal type legislation which he called the Fair Deal
His Fair Deal called for the following:
Economic Controls
Repeal of the Taft-Hartley tariff
An increase in the national minimum wage
Civil Rights legislation
TVA type development projects
National Health insurance
A housing bill
Truman had overestimated his support
Public opinion polls showed that most people favored preserving the New Deal and not expanding it
The only significant
measures of
the Fair Deal to
pass were
Modest public housing laws
Slum clearance
And in 1950 the Social Security Amendment, which
increased benefits
Truman was a skilled legislator and used this ability to gain political support, however he was not able to pass much of his Fair Deal.
When Truman first took office World War Two had not ended
The decision he would soon make would later become one of the most frequently argued over topics in American history
Before Truman had to make this choice he attended the Potsdam Conference with Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill ( Soon to be replaced by Clement Altee)
The Conference was held from July 16th to August 2nd 1945
When Truman first became president World War Two had not ended
Soon he would face one of the most controversial decisions in American history:
Allied Control of Germany
Russia entering the war in the far east
When Truman became president he found out that he had the ability to use the new invention of the atomic bomb against Japan in the east
He decided to use the new weapons
On August 6th an atomic bomb was dropped on
the Japanese city of Hiroshima and again on
August 9th on Nagasaki
The bombs' immediate effectiveness totaled
150,000 lives with many more to come
After the war Germany was split by the Allied
forces as well as Germany's capital, Berlin
On June 24 1948 the Soviet Union had begun
to block out any land access to West Berlin
On June 25
initiated the
Berlin Airlift
Truman may have ended the second World War
but he also started the Korean War in 1950
Officially the UN went to war with North Korea
but US troops did the majority of the fighting
During this conflict Truman removed General
Douglas MacArthur from command in Korea
Truman was able to end the second World War but he also removed General Douglas MacArthur, who many Americans at the time, and still today think was a great military hero.
Truman's approval rating was lower than
president Nixon's when he left office
However his presidency was plagued by such events as World War II, the Korean War, and the American public disagreeing with many policies and decisions that histories agree with today
Overall Grade:
Today historians can agree that the atomic
bombs dropped on Japan did the job
weather it was the best method or not
A subject that can cause more disagreement is the removal of MacArthur during the war in Korea
and is more a question on how you feel
about MacArthur than anything else
Head of State
Truman was living in the shadow of the first president, and the only president, to be elected for four terms
Truman was able to use his legislative ability
to gain what little political support he had
Truman was unable to live up to the precedent set by FDR and had one of the all time lowest approval ratings when he left his office in 1953, despite this historians today see him as a much better president than he was revered as when he was president.
The biggest challenge to Truman being a
successful head of state was being FDR's successor
This was the atomic bomb announcement
How to end the war
Chief Executive
These organizations relayed information directly to him and expanded his powers over Congress
Truman created the National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Department of Defense
Fred M. Vinson (Chief Justice)-1946
Harold Hitz Burton-1945
Tom C. Clark-1949
Sherman Minton-1949
He had them present ideas and arguments for different policies
Compared to Roosevelt's cabinet, Truman's was larger and played a more prominent role in decision making
Truman was also the first President to have a highly organized administration
Prior to the establishment of the CIA, Truman stated:
"I considered it very important to this country to have a sound, well-organized intelligence system, both in the present and in the future."
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