Harry S. Truman And Communism

1474 Words6 Pages
Though the end of World War II made the United States a global superpower, it also prompted new challenges for the President to tackle. Diverging aims for the postwar world divided the previous World War II Allies, and sparked a Cold War which heightened tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. The struggle to contain Communism abroad as well as the unresolved issue of crippling inequality at home called for a strong leader to make effective use of his authority and firmly resolve these issues. From 1945 to 1964, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson emphasized Cold War Liberalism, which supported equality and democracy while combatting Communism abroad. Similar to Social Welfare Liberalism…show more content…
Truman was placed as the new Vice President during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fourth term, but quickly inherited the presidency after Roosevelt’s death. Roosevelt was an extremely successful president who pushed for relief, reform, and recovery. Following such a productive presidency would be tough to do, yet Truman was eager to continue Roosevelt’s legacy. He believed that a free society at home cannot exist without a free society abroad. Truman responded to the spread of Communism to Greece and Turkey by declaring in the Truman Doctrine that “the United States would aid the democratic struggle against totalitarianism by supporting ‘free peoples who are resisting the subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.’” Not everyone agreed with it, and it proved costly as the nations it aided did not turn to Democracy. However, it set the tone for how the United States was to conduct its foreign policy. In addition, it paved the way for the Marshall plan, which was improved and more successful. Providing the necessary measures to ensure that weaker nations would not have to resort to a communist government demonstrated a devotion to soothing the threat of Soviet influence, reflecting Truman’s role in actively combatting Communism. In juxtaposition with Roosevelt whom chose not to concern himself with civil rights issues, “Truman spoke more boldly on civil rights than any previous president had… The first president to address the NAACP, Truman asserted that all…show more content…
Johnson had to step up to the presidency and fulfill Kennedy’s promises to the nation. The “Johnson Treatment” was an unforgettable trait that allowed him to aggressively achieve his domestic agenda to create a Great Society. Kennedy’s legacy lived on through Johnson, who was able to completely transform legislation. Johnson was successfully able to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which finally made discrimination illegal. This was extremely significant, as he was the only president thus far to actively enforce such anti-discrimination laws. He also was wary about southern voter’s reactions, but unlike other presidents who chose to remain passive, he guaranteed that what was promised would become a reality. Social Welfare Liberalism was the overarching theme of Johnson’s presidency. The poor and the elderly did not have access to health care, and in response, Johnson created the Medicaid and Medicare programs to provide such necessary assistance. The federal government had paternalistic responsibilities to take care of the needs of its people through a variety of programs and reforms. In doing so, Johnson was able to most effectively improve the overall quality of life and defend their individual rights to coexist in integrated facilities or get treated with the proper medical care without having to worry about the cost. Though the concept of a paternalistic government providing help to Americans in need was
Open Document