vnculture1112

Thesis

Thesis:

Throughout his two-term presidency, Dwight Eisenhower was faced with many challenges in which it was his responsibility to lead the United States.  As president, he was given many powers, including those of commander in chief, dealing with foreign policy, and passing legislation.  As president, Eisenhower used his power and influence in a very effective way.  For instance, Eisenhower used his experience in the military to furthur his skills as commander in chief.  He led the United states in various struggles against foreign powers and protected the nation from threats of communism.   He also used his power to pass legislation to furthur the spread of civil rights, a very important feat in our nation’s history.  Eisenhower was also effective in the use of his power and influence because he managed to get the things done that he wanted done.  Some of these major things included a balanced budget, keeping the economy stable, the containment of communism, and ending the war in Korea.These were all goals of Eisenhower’s before he became president, and all of these goals were accomplished by the time he left.  President Eisenhower  was an influential leader due to his effective use of power and influence given to him by the presidency.

1. What were the key domestic issues/initiatives undertaken by President Eisenhower? How successful was he in accomplishing his goals in these areas?

Eisenhower’s domestic policy agenda was known as the “Middle Way.”  The main goal of this initiative was to stop the growth of the federal government. Eisenhower sought a balanced budget and low rates of inflation.  Between 1956 and 1957, the administration managed to balanced the budget, which was a huge feat to overcome.  During his presidency, Congress also passed improvements on Social Security and a new highway construction program ( Galambos, Louis). Another domestic issue that Eienhower faced was that of segregation.  During his presidency, The Civil Rights Act was passed.  There was also the issue of the desegregation of a school in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Eisenhower sent troops to disperse the crowds of angry protestors.  Other accomplishments of Eisenhower’s included raising the minimum wage and creating the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.  Overall, Eisenhower was very successful in accomplishing his goals in domestic policy.  He influenced legislation in many different areas, including the nation’s economy and those affecting the rights of citizens.

2. Who were the key political adversaries of Eisenhower’s?

A key political adversary of Eisenhower’s was Senator Joseph McCarthy.  Reffering to him, Eisenhower stated that  “There is a certain reactionary fringe of the Republican Party that hates and despises everything for which I stand or which is advanced by this Administration.” (Galambos, Louis). Republican senator Joseph McCarthy made accusations that the United States government was infiltrated with communist spies.  Although he had no evidence to back up his accussations, this was still a major concern to the Eisenhower administration.  McCarthy also started using television to appeal to the american people, and then later declared that the military was infiltrated with communists (American President). This accussations caused negative images on the Eisenhower administration, making it difficult for Eisenhower to positively appeal to the public.

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