Harry truman administration domestic and foreign policy
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Harry Truman Administration Domestic and Foreign Policy. Truman. Truman’s White House. Domestic Issues. Truman became President after the death of FDR. Truman had first achieved national recognition by heading the Senate War Investigating Committee.

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Harry Truman Administration Domestic and Foreign Policy

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Harry truman administration domestic and foreign policy

Harry Truman AdministrationDomestic and Foreign Policy



Truman s white house

Truman’s White House

Domestic issues

Domestic Issues

  • Truman became President after the death of FDR.

  • Truman had first achieved national recognition by heading the Senate War Investigating Committee.

  • Truman is most remembered for his foreign policy, but he did attempt a number of domestic reforms.

Fair deal

Fair Deal

  • Truman attempted to expand and preserve some of FDR’s programs.

  • He called this the Fair Deal.

  • This included the Social Security Act of 1950, the National Housing Act, and raising the minimum wage.

  • Truman was repeatedly frustrated in domestic legislation by the Republican controlled Eightieth Congress which passed the Taft-Hartley Act over Truman’s veto.

  • Truman expanded the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (GI Bill).

Civil rights

Civil Rights

  • Truman created the President’s Committee on Civil Rights.

  • He also banned segregation in the armed forces

  • He was unable to persuade Congress to pass any civil rights legislation.

Election of 1948

Election of 1948

  • Truman is known for pulling off one of the greatest political upsets in the history of the US during the Presidential Election of 1948.

  • The Republicans nominated Thomas Dewey, the governor of NY.

  • Truman won the Democratic nomination, but the party was split.

Democratic party splits

Democratic Party Splits

  • States Rights Party (called the Dixiecrats) were alarmed by Truman’s civil rights positions and nominated Strom Thurmond of SC as their candidate.

  • Progressive Party, made up of other Democrats unhappy with Truman, nominated Henry Wallace, (FDR’s former Vice President) as their candidate for President.

Whistle stop campaign

Whistle Stop Campaign

  • The “experts” said the election would be a Dewey landslide.

  • Truman, however, refused to give up.

  • Instead, he staged a 20,000 mile, 8 week long, “Whistle Stop” campaign.

  • During this tour, Truman gave over 800 speeches and took his message directly to the common man.

  • He attacked what he called the “do-nothing, good for nothing 80th Congress” for causing many of the problems facing the nation.

  • He also called Congress into special session to deal with many of the problems Republicans claimed to have a plan to remedy.

Great upset of 48

Great Upset of ‘48

  • In the end, Truman won the election, getting 49.5 % of the popular vote, compared to Dewey’s 45%.

Upset winner

Upset Winner!

Foreign policy during the truman administration

Foreign Policy during the Truman Administration

Truman doctrine

Truman Doctrine

  • Truman believed the US must help free people keep their freedom and chose their own destinies by giving economic and financial aid and help militarily against armed minorities or outsiders.

  • This was called the Truman Doctrine. Under this, the US sent aid to Greece and Turkey.

Marshall plan

Marshall Plan

  • Truman got Congress to pass the Marshall Plan (European Recovery Plan).

  • $12 billion went to 16 countries over a four year period to help rebuild after World War II.

  • None of the countries became Communist.

Munich germany before marshall plan

Munich, Germany: Before Marshall Plan

Munich after marshall plan

Munich: After Marshall Plan

Berlin blockade

Berlin Blockade

  • The USSR closed off all roads leading to West Berlin after France, England, and the US merged their zones to form West Germany.

  • Truman ordered a massive airlift to supply West Berlin.

  • For 321 days, the airlift delivered thousands of tons of supplies to west Berlin until the Soviets dropped the blockade.

  • From July, 1948 to May, 1949 12,000 tons of food and supplies were delivered daily.

Berlin airlift

Berlin Airlift

Nato and warsaw pact

NATO and Warsaw Pact

  • In August, 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed.

  • This was the first time the US had joined a peacetime alliance for the defense of Europe.

  • In response, the Communist countries formed an alliance called the Warsaw Pact.

Nato and warsaw pact1

NATO and Warsaw Pact

Revolution in china

Revolution in China

  • In 1949, Mao Zedong’s Communist forces overthrew the Nationalist Army of Jiang Jieshi

  • Mao established the People’s Republic of China.

  • Truman refused to recognize this government.

  • Jiang had established a government in exile on the island of Formosa (Taiwan).

Truman critics

Truman Critics

  • In part, because of the loss of China, Truman’s administration was criticized for being “soft on Communism” by some critics.

  • There was much criticism of how Truman had handled the situation in China and also some rumors of communist sympathizers in the State Department.

  • To combat these, a Loyalty Review Board was established.

House unamerican activities committee

House Unamerican Activities Committee

  • Alger Hiss. A member of the US State Department was investigated by the HUAC for possible espionage violations.

  • He was convicted of Perjury.

  • Richard Nixon was a part of the HUAC.

National security council

National Security Council

  • In April, 1950, the National Security Council published Paper Number 68 (NSC 68) which said that Communism is a “single world movement” directed by the Soviet Union.

  • We needed an immediate large-scale buildup of the US military in order to combat the spread of communism.

The united nations

The United Nations

  • The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 191 countries

  • The UN has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

Organs of the un

Organs of the UN

  • The United Nations has six main organs. Five of them — the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat — are based at UN Headquarters in New York. The sixth, the International Court of Justice, is located at The Hague in the Netherlands.

General assembly

General Assembly

  • All UN Member States are represented in the General Assembly — a "parliament of nations" which meets to consider the world's most pressing problems.

  • Each Member State has one vote. Decisions on such key issues as international peace and security, admitting new members and the UN budget are decided by two-thirds majority. Other matters are decided by simple majority

Security council

Security Council

  • The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council may convene at any time, whenever peace is threatened. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to carry out the Council's decisions.

  • There are 15 Council members. Five of these — China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States — are permanent members. The other 10 are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms

Security council decisions

Security Council Decisions

  • Decisions of the Council require nine yes votes. Except in votes on procedural questions, a decision cannot be taken if there is a no vote, or veto, by a permanent member.

  • The Council can take measures to enforce its decisions. It can impose economic sanctions or order an arms embargo. On rare occasions, the Council has authorized Member States to use "all necessary means," including collective military action, to see that its decisions are carried out.

Korean war

Korean War



  • In the early 1900’s Korea was ruled by Japan. At the end of WW II, Soviet and American troops pushed the Japanese out of Korea.

  • A boundary was set up at the 38th Parallel (38 degrees North latitude) to separate the American occupation forces in Southern Korea from the Soviet forces in Northern Korea.

  • The United Nations tried to unite the country, but failed.

  • In 1948, North and South Korea set up different governments.

  • The US and Soviets withdrew their troops, each leaving behind an army they had trained and supplied.

  • North Korea adopted Communism while South Korea adopted a republican form of government.

Start of war

Start of War

  • On June 25, 1950, the North Korean army invaded South Korea.

  • President Truman pledged American aid to South Korea.

  • The UN Security Council met and called on UN members to furnish all possible assistance to South Korea.

  • 19 UN member nations contributed to the effort, but the major burden was on the US.

Harry truman administration domestic and foreign policy

  • In early August, 1950, General MacArthur and the UN troops and South Koreans were backed up in Pusan in southwest Korea.

  • On September 15, 1950, MacArthur staged a daring seaborne attack on Inchon and moved eastward recapturing the capital of Seoul, South Korea.

  • The North Koreans found themselves trapped and began to break apart.

  • Thousands surrendered and the rest retreated into North Korea

Inchon invasion

Inchon Invasion

Invasion of north korea

Invasion of North Korea

  • MacArthur’s forces followed them into North Korea.

  • By November, 1950, The UN Troops were at the Yalu River (boundary between North Korea and the People’s Republic of China).

  • Unfortunately, MacArthur had made several mistakes.

  • He was sure the Chinese would not enter the war on the side of the North Koreans and had, as a result, left his army too spread out and short on provisions.

Chinese entry

Chinese Entry

  • In late November, 1950, Chinese “volunteers” crossed the border and reinforced the North Koreans and pushed the UN forces back to the 38th Parallel.

  • With the entry of the Chinese into the war, MacArthur wanted to blockade China and begin bombing it.

  • In January, 1951, Truman ordered MacArthur to fortify the defensive line at the 38th Parallel and NOT to attack China.

Truman fires macarthur

Truman fires MacArthur

  • MacArthur refused to accept Truman’s orders and attempted to appeal to Congress over the President’s head.

  • As a result, Truman replaced MacArthur with General Matthew Ridgway.

  • MacArthur returned to the US as a hero.

  • A ticker tape parade was held in NYC and MacArthur was invited to speak to Congress.

  • Many Americans viewed Truman with contempt.

  • Some Congressmen pondered the possibility of impeaching Truman.

Stalemate and armistice

Stalemate and Armistice

  • After January, 1951, the war reached a stalemate.

  • Peace talks started in July, 1951.

  • Finally on July 27, 1953, North Korea and the United Nations signed an armistice agreement.

  • This recognized the permanent division of Korea into two separate countries.

Harry truman administration domestic and foreign policy

  • The Korean War lasted three years.

  • 33,629 Americans died in the “police action.”

  • The war was unpopular in the US.

  • This war was our first experience with a “limited war.”

Korean war1

Korean War

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