President Truman's Civil Rights Policy After The Cold War

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After the war, President Truman faced the monumental task of shifting America from war to peace. The more than 12 million men still in the military in 1945 wanted to return to their families and jobs, and demobilization occurred rapidly. While some veterans found civilian life difficult, others used GI Bill benefits to build or buy homes, start small businesses, and go to college. Most veterans went into the labor force, taking jobs from more than 2 million women workers. The government dismantled wartime agencies that regulated industry and labor and set price controls, which sparked immediate inflation. Backed by Democratic liberals and unions, Truman in 1945 tried to revive New Deal politics with a program he eventually called the Fair Deal. This would improve the social safety net and raise living standards. Truman pressed Congress to hike the minimum wage, create a national health insurance system, and increase public housing, Social Security, and educational aid. The year 1946 was one of labor revolt. The AFL and CIO launched…show more content…
In 1947, a Commission on Civil Rights appointed by Truman issued a report, To Secure These Rights, calling on the federal government to end segregation and guarantee equal treatment in housing, employment, education, and criminal justice. The Truman administration, calling the report an American charter of human freedom, hoped to deflect the Cold War criticisms that American racial relations violated democracy human rights. Though Truman soon presented a comprehensive civil rights program to Congress asking for a federal civil rights commission, anti lynching and anti poll tax laws for equal access in jobs and education, Congress rejected it. But in the summer of 1948, Truman desegregated the military, and the military became the first large integrated institution in American history. Truman went on to help construct the most progressive Democratic platform in history for the 1948 elections, which included a robust civil rights
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