Compare And Contrast The Domestic Policies Of Truman And Eisenhower

2465 words - 10 pages

Compare and contrast the domestic policies of Eisenhower and Truman

Harry S Truman and Dwight David Eisenhower were both Presidents of the United States from the 1940s to 1950s, with the latter succeeding Truman. Both these presidents served two consecutive terms, despite the fact that Truman’s first term was given by default as the result of a misfortune, which brought him the nickname of ‘Accidental President’, and the suspicion and doubt by many of his capabilities as President. Truman and Eisenhower are both from the South, though both were born into considerably poor families, Truman had actually experienced poverty whereas Eisenhower was more privileged, to receive a more sheltered beginning; their social background influenced greatly their general belief and stance, enactment of policies, and their views on domestic affairs. Despite their social setback, Truman endeavoured in law and politics, and became a career politician during the Interbellum period, whilst Eisenhower a career soldier, who rose to prominence and became a General known for his planning of Operation Overlord, factoring greatly into his likeness and favourability by Americans, yet showed him as an inexperienced politician. Truman and Eisenhower were of opposing parties, yet Eisenhower had no political stance originally, it was only after his siding with the Republican party that he received the nickname, the ‘Middle Road’, due to the moderate political stance and likeness by both parties he had despite his party affiliation, Eisenhower’s liberal side showed particularly in his actions concerning healthcare, education and welfare, such as his expansion of Social Security, which similarly paralleled Truman’s attitudes towards social welfare. Despite such similarities, Truman was a liberal Democrat, who favoured greater federal intervention and increased government expenditure, whereas Eisenhower a primarily fiscal conservative who promoted laissez-faire economics and attempted at reducing the power of the federal government, along with many other aspects he adopts a conservative attitude towards - such as civil rights.

During the Truman administration, Truman witnessed the shift away from a wartime and war-based economy, and a return of an approximate 12 million G.Is, which would have upset the demand and supply of the labour market and multiple industries, especially those associated with arms production. Hence, Truman saw it within his interests to increase the federal aid of the G.I. Bill, which promised housing, education, and the provision of subsidies intended for the betterment of welfare for returning G.I.s, Truman also saw this as an opportune moment in which to exercise his liberal agenda and aspirations through the 21 points, a series of proposals drafted in 1945 for massive, radical social reforms concerning economic development and the betterment of welfare domestically, a series of proposals that were primarily rejected immediately due to a conservative...

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