Truman Essay, Research Paper
Harry Truman became President in April of 1945, and led 2 very vibrant terms. Although he was very unpopular and inexperienced, he made a lot of important decisions, which helped America to develop during a difficult period in time. He also solved many national and international crises, and without his leadership, the nation may not have prospered the way it did in the years following his Presidency.
Truman was sworn in while there was an Allied attack of Germany and preparations for an invasion of Japan. During the first month of his term, Germany surrendered and he went to Germany for the Potsdam Conference. Upon his return, he received word that the Manhattan Project had been completed, and he ordered the use of the atomic bomb on Japan. Truman’s decisions on foreign policy continued to be very outstanding. Along with his decision to drop the bomb on Japan, which changed the entire world, he also made many governmental decisions. He was faced with the threat of international communism, which he had to combat, and to promote economic recovery programs in countries destroyed by war. Truman also launched many programs, such as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Point Four Programs, and NATO. The Truman Doctrine sent US aid to Greece and Turkey, and also encouraged the American people to support the cold war. The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Plan, was to rebuild the European market, which would benefit U.S. trade, and to strengthen democratic governments in Western Europe. Under the Marshall Plan, the US spent $13 billion over 4 years. The Point Four provided aid to underdeveloped countries, and by offering scientific and technical aid; it helped to reduce famine, disease, and economic hardship of 35 Asian and African nations. Last, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, established a regional defense alliance to protect each country involved. Beside these programs, Truman also dealt with the large-scale problem of preventing North Korean Communists from taking over South Korea, and sent troops to fight in the war. The Korean War asked the whole nation to become involved in production and mobilizing troops, and the US involvement in the war proved to affect many people.
Truman also made many decisions affecting the American people domestically. After World War II, he passed the GI Bill, which provided the returning war veterans with cash, education, housing, and unemployment benefits. After the war, the nation switched from war production to the manufacturing of peacetime goods. Prices skyrocketed as demand rose, and laborers fought for wage increases that mirrored the economic upswing. Production costs went up, prices rose, and when workers looked for higher wages, inflation became a problem. He took quick action with the Fair Deal, which, although gained very little support from Congress, made significant changes. First, he used executive power to enact civil rights proposals. Second, he banned discrimination in the workplace, and had the military desegregated. The only measures supported by Congress were a few housing acts providing for construction of low-cost housing, a minimum wage increase, a Social Security expansion, and an increase in the protection granted by the FDIC.
Overall, the Presidency of Harry Truman was very effective. Truman did a lot internationally to help the US gain power, and at the same time maintain peace. Also, he made many decisions domestically, which helped the country prosper greatly. Throughout his Presidency he had lack of support from Congress as well as the people, but yet he was still able to better the country and help the citizens to feel safe and successful.