Chapter-40 - A.P. U.S. History Notes Chapter 40: "The...

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A.P. U.S. History Notes Chapter 40: “The Eisenhower Era” ~ 1952 – 1960 ~ I. The Advent of Eisenhower 1. In 1952, the Democrats chose Adlai E. Stevenson , the witty governor of Illinois, while Republicans rejected isolationist Robert A. Taft and instead chose World War II hero Dwight D. Eisenhower to run for president and anticommunist Richard M. Nixon to be his running mate. 2. Grandfatherly Eisenhower was a war hero and liked by everyone, so he left the rough part of campaigning to Nixon, who attacked Stevenson as soft against Communists, corrupt, and weak in the Korean situation. i. Nixon then almost got caught with a secretly financed “slush fund,” but to save his political career, he delivered his famous, touching “ Checkers Speech ,” in which he talked about his family and specifically mentioned his cocker spaniel. 3. The “Checkers speech” showed the awesome power of television, since Nixon had pleaded on national TV, and even later, “Ike,” as Eisenhower was called, agreed to go into studio and answer some brief “questions,” which were later spliced in and edited to make it look like Eisenhower had answered questions from a live audience, when he didn’t. i. This showed the power that TV would have in the upcoming decades, allowing lone wolves to appeal directly to the American people instead of being influenced by party machines or leaders. 4. Ike won easily (442 to 89), and true to his campaign promise, he flew to Korea to help move along peace negotiations…and failed…but seven months later, after Ike threatened to use nuclear weapons, an armistice was finally signed (but was later violated often). 5. 54,000 Americans had died, and tens of billions of dollars had been wasted in the effort, but American’s took a little comfort in knowing that Communism had been “contained.” II. “Ike” Takes Command 1. Eisenhower had been an excellent commander and leader who was able to make cooperation possible between anyone, so he seemed to be a perfect leader for Americans weary of two decades of depression, war, and nuclear standoff. i. He served that aspect of his job well, but he could have used his popularity to champion civil rights more than he actually did. 2. The success of brutal anticommunist “crusader” Joseph R. McCarthy was quite alarming, for after he had charged onto the national scene by charging that Secretary of State Dean Acheson was knowingly employing 205 Communist Party members (a claim he never proved, not even for one person), he ruthlessly sought to prosecute and persecute suspected Communists, often targeting innocent people and destroying families and lives. i. Eisenhower privately loathed McCarthy, but the president did little to stop the anti-red, since it appeared that most Americans supported his actions, but his zeal led him to purge important Asian experts in the State Department , men who could have advised a better course of action in Vietnam. a.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course USHIST 102 taught by Professor Smythe during the Spring '08 term at TCU.

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Chapter-40 - A.P. U.S. History Notes Chapter 40: "The...

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