What did Harry S. Truman do?
President: Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 - December 26, 1972)
Term: April 12, 1945 - January 20, 1953
Background: Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri to John Anderson Truman and Martha Ellen Young Truman from a Scots-Irish descent. His father was a farmer took care of livestock. Truman was named after his mother's brother Harrison Young and Truman's middle name came from Truman's grandfather Anderson Shippe Truman. When Truman was young, he was really interested in music, reading and history. Truman was the only president to not earn a degree after the date of 1897. Truman then enlisted in the Missouri Army in 1905 and continued serving until 1911 and was involved in World War I. Truman then became the United States Senator from Missouri and was in office from January 3, 1935 to January 17, 1945. He then became the 34th Vice President of the United States and was in office from January 20, 1945 to April 12, 1945.
Political Party: Democratic
Vice-President: None (1945-1949), Alben Barkley (1949-1953)
Major Domestic Policy: During Truman's term, the Presidential Succession Act was passed, which stated that if both the President and the Vice-President were to die, then the next person in office, which is the Speaker of the House, would assume responsibility of Presidency. This act came about when people began to fear the nuclear weapons and wondered what would happen if both the President and the Vice-President were to be killed. Due to the passage of the Wagner-Connery Act, employers were not scared of the power the employees had. The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 was passed making a turning point in the power of the workers. Now, certain union practices were not allowed and employers had a chance of being sued if they were subject to a breach contract. Also, Union members were forced to take an oath in order to show that they were not affiliated with the communist party. The United States began to worry over Communism due to the fact that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics took over Eastern Europe. This caused a The Second Red Scare and was led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Although McCarthy did not have any empirical facts, he based his sayings on peoples fear. Truman's term also consisted of the Fair Deal in order to bring economic reform to the United States. He stated "Every segment of our population, and every individual, has a right to expect from his government a fair deal." One of Truman's major accomplishments under the Fair Deal was the Housing Act of 1949. This Act took federal funds in order to build public housing and urban renewal. Also passed by Truman was the Social Security Act of 1950, which expanded Social Security to cover older age citizens. Truman also supported Civil Rights, which led to him stating "Every man should have the right to a decent home, the right to an education, the right to adequate medical care, the right to a worthwhile job, the right to an equal share in the making of public decisions through the ballot, and the right to a fair trial in a fair court." The Armed forces desegregated in 1948.
Major Foreign Policy: Truman had just gained presidency since Roosevelt died in office one month before Germany surrendered. Truman's attention was focused on Europe, and therefore he created the Marshall Plan. The poor were vulnerable to Communism causing Truman to create the Marshall Plan and passed in 1947 following the Czechoslovakian Communist revolution. For 15 months, Congress devoted $5.8 billion and then considered spending more. Then the Truman Doctrine was established for the fight against Communism, which stated that totalitarian governments were a hazard to the United States because they corrupt the creation of worldwide peace. After Communism was spreading and gaining too much power, the United States then supplied the anti-Communist supporters with money and weapons. It was clear that Korea would now become an independent nation once the war was over, but resulting from V-J Day, the Soviet's developed a Communist government. The United States worked towards helping Korea setting up a Democratic government on the peninsula on the southern part. North Koreans went over the boarder on June 25, 1950 and war was declared as the United Nations acted fast especially due to the fact that the Soviet leader of China was gone on protest leaving them short handed. All the Nations in the United States contributed to the war, but it was mostly fought by the United States. A year later the Korean War was ended with a peace treaty being signed that divided Korea on the 38th parallel line. Overall, 33,000 Americans died and 103,000 were hurt. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established and the North Atlantic Treaty was signed on April 4, 1949. NATO was formed in order to prevent the flow of communism without a war. Eventually, NATO turned not only politically, but had to establish an Army resulting from the Korean War in order to keep the Russian's out of American, and to keep Germany from gaining power. Also occurring during this time was the Berlin Blockade when Germany had surrounded Berlin, not allowing trade or imports into the area in hopes of taking control of Berlin. In order to bring supplies to the people of Berlin, Western Allies flew over by airplane and dropped supplies. This is known as the Berlin Airlift, and was so effective that the Soviets stopped their blockade. During his Presidency, Truman as used the atomic bombs over Japan in August 1945 after they had not accepted the Potsdam Declaration. On August 6, 1945 at 8:15 an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. When the United States heard nothing back from Japan, they then dropped a second bomb on August 9 over Nagasaki. The Japanese then agreed to surrender on August 14.
Major Supreme Court Decisions:
• Dennis vs. United States (1950)-Defendants that wanted to overthrow the government or were affiliated with the Communist Party were not in violation of the First Amendment.
• Sweatt v. Painter (1950)-Held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment entails the petitioners to be attending the University of Texas Law School.
Intellectual and Social Developments:
• The Truman Doctrine was established in 1947; the Marshall Plan was established in 1948; NATO was founded in 1949.
• Liberalism was on a rise as both Conservatives and Liberals believed in a permanent mobilization of a large military.
• Due to the rise in the military and more consumer culture, the American economy came stable.
• Migration to the cites rose.
• There was a growth consumer culture and a rise of television in the household and more events were being broadcasted on live air.
• There was a growth of suburbia as the baby boom occurred.
Truman's Legacy: Truman will always be known as one of the most unpopular politicians. He will be recognized for his hard work on dealing with Communism and working towards aiding the poor who are susceptible to the spread of Communism. He also worked hard towards taking the aftermath of World War II, and toke on the responsibilities towards protecting the New Deal, and added on to it especially due to the rise in minimum wage in 1949 and then in 1950 there was an enlargement of Social Security.