Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Dwight D. Eisenhower History Essay by Matt Winick
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower has had a significant role in the twentieth century as a World War II commander and then becoming the 34th president of the United States. In the twentieth century, the nation went through trouble with discrimination against blacks and having a gruesome war in Korea with the U.S. losing the war. With new ideas Eisenhower worked to make the country strong by creating a highway system and by working to improve civil rights.
Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas, on October 14, 1890, but moved at the age of 16 to Abilene, Kansas. His parents were David Eisenhower and Ida Elizabeth Stower. Dwight had five brothers. In his teen years, he went to Abilene high school in Kansas and graduated in 1909. Before going to West Point, Eisenhower worked at Bell Springs Creamery where he would cook and sell foods like sweet corn, apples, and other food. Before Dwight went to West Point, he spent time working on jobs to support his brother going to college. In 1911 Eisenhower registered at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Dwight Eisenhower married Mamie Doud in 1916. They had two sons. However, one son named Doud died from scarlet fever at the age of 3. Their other son was John Eisenhower. (“All About IKE”)
During World War II Dwight Eisenhower played a major role in planning the battles to fight the Germans. On November 1942 Dwight D. Eisenhower was working on a plan called Operation Torch. Operation Torch was a plan for the Allies to invade Africa to drive out the Nazis. Another battle plan that Eisenhower worked on was D-Day. The D-Day plan had the British and the U.S. ships land in Normandy Beach so troops could enter into Europe to free Italy, France, and head into Germany. D-Day was supposed to be on June 4, but the plan was delayed due to a storm, so D-Day was moved to June 6, 1944. World War II made Eisenhower opposed to wars in the future. (“Dwight”)
After World War II Eisenhower became the President of Columbia University from 1948 to 1953. After being President of Columbia University, Eisenhower decided to run for the 1952 Presidential election after Republicans persuaded him to run. (All About IKE) In the 1952 Presidential election he ran with Richard Nixon, a former U.S. Senator from California, as his vice president. He and Nixon ran against Adlai Stevenson, a Governor of Illinois, and John Sparkman, a Senator from Alabama, who were Democrats. In the Eisenhower campaign Dwight Eisenhower campaigned about ending the Korean War, about improving Civil Rights, and about fighting corruption in the government. On November 4, 1952, Dwight Eisenhower won the election with 55% of the votes and won 41 states, while Stevenson won only 44% of the votes and 9 states. (“Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections”)
Eisenhower’s first term focused on ending the Korean War. The Korean War was started in the Truman Administration to protect South Korea from Communist North Korea. The war was very bloody and many U.S. troops were killed. Another thing in the Korean War was that the Red Army from China allied with North Korea in fighting the South Koreans and the U.S. troops. Eisenhower ended the Korean War by entering in the Korean Armistice Agreement. The Korean Armistice Agreement divided Korea at the 38th parallel with North Korea a communist government and South Korea a democratic government. Also the 38th parallel blocked people from entering both sides. (“All About IKE”)
President Eisenhower’s foreign policy included the Eisenhower Doctrine. The Eisenhower Doctrine fought communists by supplying money and weapons to the Middle Eastern states including Egypt. The Eisenhower Doctrine was also created by the Secretary of State Dulles. (“All About IKE”)
While Eisenhower was president he worked on taking down Joseph McCarthy, a Republican Senator from California. Joseph McCarthy was leading anti-communists and was accusing people, including writers and actors, of being communist. Eisenhower was working with a group of people to find a way to stop McCarthy’s extreme views. This group had Herbert Brownell, Sherman Adams, and Henry Lodge. They had a plan to have the army testify at the McCarthy hearings. When the army was at the McCarthy hearings, McCarthy accused the army of being communist, and this was on television and the public saw his radical accusation. This plan made Joe McCarthy lose his Senate seat and stop his anti-communist movement. (“Dwight”)
Eisenhower decided to run for a second term as president in the election of 1956. Eisenhower still had his running mate Richard Nixon for vice president. His democratic opponent was Adlai Stevenson who ran against Eisenhower in the 1952 Presidential election. Eisenhower was able to win due to his popularity and ended the Korean War like he promised in the 1952 Presidential Election. Overall in the election Eisenhower won 57.4% of the votes and 41 states, while Stevenson, his democratic opponent, won only 42% of the votes and 7 states. (“Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections”)
In Eisenhower’s second term Eisenhower played a big role at home when he was president because he created programs to help improve transportation and also increase defense spending to compete with the Soviets because of The Cold War. He also protected African Americans from getting hurt by whites when they would enter a school that was desegregated by a Supreme Court case called Brown vs. Board of Education.
During Eisenhower’s presidency Eisenhower was a supporter for Civil Rights. The Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education decided that “separate, but equal” in education was unconstitutional, and it also overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson’s decisions that separate, but equal was constitutional. This law made schools integrate black and white. Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas, a southern Democrat who was against civil rights and integrating schools refused to allow blacks to go into white schools. The governor ordered state troopers to stop Africans Americans from going to school. When Faubus did this, Eisenhower sent the army to protect nine African Americans going to Little Rock Central High School, so they would not get attacked by whites. These student were was known as the Little Rock Nine. (Korda pg. 696-699)
The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was passed by the 84th Congress, and it was signed by Eisenhower. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 helped fix roads and build highways to improve transportation and help the economy grow. The Federal Highway Act spent about 25 billion dollars on this project. These 25 billion dollars were used to build 41,000 miles of the highway system. The Highway Trust Fund handled the money where it would collect taxes from fuel, automobiles, and automobile products. The reason that Eisenhower wanted to build the highway was because when he was a general he volunteered to be in a military vehicle that traveled on the Lincoln highway to California. On this journey the road conditions were badly damaged and bridges were shattered, but the vehicle was successful at reaching San Francisco, California. (“Dwight”)
Eisenhower’s presidency focused on improving the defense due to The Cold War against the Soviet Union. Eisenhower signed the National Defense Education Act in 1958. The National Defense Education Act was to improve education and hire teachers to teach math, science, and foreign language. It also was used to help motivate people to go into colleges. This act was used to compete in defense-related fields with the Soviet Union. (“Dwight”)
In conclusion Eisenhower was an effective president. His presidency had many achievements like ending the Korean War, ending McCarthy’s extreme views of anti-communism, creating jobs on infrastructures, and being a supporter for Civil Rights. Dwight also helped the Allied military defeat the Nazis in World War II with planning many battles in North Africa and D-Day. These battles were a success for the Allies to help win the war. Eisenhower was known for being a moderate Republican. As a moderate Republican Eisenhower was liberal on social issues like improving social security, increasing federal spending to create jobs, and improving on education. Nowadays politicians seem to forget that transportation and infrastructure work create jobs and that they need federal support. During Eisenhower’s presidency the economy had low inflation and the national debt didn’t increase. Eisenhower’s policies led to a better economy due to his jobs strategy.
“All About IKE.” Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.
< http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/ >. National Archives and Record Administration. n.d, Web. 11 Nov. 2011.
Barber, James., and Amy Pastan, Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 2002. Print.
Bausum, Anna. Our Country’s Presidents. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2005. Print.
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Commander-In-Chief. Tom Selleck, narrator. 2005. A&E Biography television series. 2005. DVD.
Leip, Dave. “Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections”.
< http://uselectionatlas.org/> Leip, Dave, 2004. Web. 13 November 2011.
Korda, Michael. IKE: An American Hero. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007. Print.
Weintraub, Stanley. 15 Stars Eisenhower, MacArthur, Marshall: Three Generals who saved the American Century. New York: Free Press, 2007. Print.
Posted by Matt Michigander at 3:34 PM