Eisenhower’s Policies Analysis

Jack Sha

Dwight D. Eisenhower was born in Texas in 1890, raised in Abilene, Kansas; Eisenhower was the third oldest of the seven sons of David Jacob Eisenhower and Ida Elizabeth Stover. He was really good at sports in school and was greatly interested in military history. Eisenhower graduated from Abilene High School in 1909, and after two years of working at different kinds of jobs, he got accepted at the West point and graduated in 1915. Afterwards Eisenhower went into military, and when he was stationed in Fort Sam Houston as a second lieutenant, he met Mamie Geneva Doud, whom he married in 1916. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a World War 2 war hero, and a five star General of the Army, also the 34th President of the United States, was not only a remarkable soldier, but also a great president; as shown by his foreign policy, domestic policy and his efforts to achieve world peace during his term.

Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced his national security policy “New Look” in 1953. “The main elements of the New Look were: maintaining the vitality of the U.S. economy while still building sufficient strength to prosecute the Cold War; relying on nuclear weapons to deter Communist aggression or, if necessary, to fight a war; using the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to carry out secret or covert actions against governments or leaders “directly or indirectly responsive to Soviet control”; and strengthening allies and winning the friendship of nonaligned governments.” Eisenhower cut the spending on the traditional forces like the land army and the navy, but increased the budget of nuclear projects and the Air Force. Spending on the national security was never below half of the total budget—“Eisenhower did balance three of the eight federal budgets while he was in the White House.”

One successful example of Eisenhower’s foreign policy was “during his first year in office; Eisenhower told the CIA to solve a problem in Iran that started during President Truman’s presidency. In 1951, the Iranian parliament nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which is a British corporation that dominates the United Kingdom’s petroleum industry. The British in return put a lot of economic pressure on Iran, which destroyed their finances, but Iran refused to give in. Eisenhower is also worried about that Mossadegh’s minded to cooperate with Iranian Communists; and he would eventually take away the power of a substantial anti-Communist, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavialso. In August 1953, the CIA helped to make a revolution against Mossadegh’s government successful, and also restored the power of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavialso. “In the aftermath of this covert action, new arrangements gave U.S. corporations an equal share with the British in the Iranian oil industry.” [3]

Eisenhower’s domestic policy was also a success, although there were perilous moments when the tension with the Soviet Union was really high, and they were at the brink of war during the 1950s. “People often remember the Eisenhower years as “happy days,” a time when Americans did not have to worry about depression or war, as they had in the 1930s and 1940s, or difficult and divisive issues, as they did in the 1960s.” Americans enjoyed the benefits that their soaring economy brought them, more than half of the Americans have a television, and many different kinds of enjoyment popped up. It was a time that Americans was free from the tension of war, people relax and have fun, the cinemas and bars are packed with people, and the latest fashion can be seen everywhere on the streets. In the eyes of the American people, Eisenhower was a great leader and they mostly approve his policies, because he often gets a majority in the votes, sometimes even over 70 percent.

“During the campaign of 1952, Eisenhower condemned the policies of President Truman’s Fair Deal, but he was not like some of his fellow Republican conservatives that hold extreme views to the “Fair Deal”. These Republicans not only wanted to get rid of the “Fair Deal”, but also the “New Deal”, so they can go back to government control of the economy. Eisenhower chose the middle path, which he called the “Modern Republicanism”. The “Modern Republicanism “preserved individual freedom and the market economy insured that government would provide necessary assistance to workers who had lost their jobs of to the ill or aged, who through no fault of their own, could not provide for themselves. He intended to lead the country “down the middle of the road between the unfettered power of concentrated wealth… and the unbridled power of statistic or partisan interests.””

Eisenhower thought that the government should provide the American people with more benefits; he signed legislations that “expanded Social Security, increased the minimum wage, and created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He also supported government construction of low-income housing but favored more limited spending than had Truman.”

Eisenhower made sure he had the approval and support of the congress for some of his most important projects that ameliorated America’s basis. The United States cooperated with Canada to build the St. Lawrence Seaway. Eisenhower established his biggest domestic program in 1956, the Interstate Highway, which is a 41,000-mile long road system. This highway program aroused the economy, and made traveling with a car safer and faster, and as Eisenhower said, this highway included so much concrete that it was enough to build “six sidewalks to the moon”.

Eisenhower made a lot of attempts towards achieving world peace, by using the great military strength of America; he tries to negotiate with other countries to decrease the stress of the Cold War. In 1953, America signed a truce that brought peace between North Korea and South Korea. When both the United States and Russia had successfully invented hydrogen bombs, tension rose again between the two countries. Eisenhower decided to have a meeting with the leaders of France, United Kingdom and Russia at Geneva in July 1955. Eisenhower came up with the suggestion that Russia and the United States trade blueprints of their military bases and allow each other to take photographs from the air of the other country. Even though Russians kept silence against this suggestion, but the Americans and the Russians were so friendly to each other during the meeting that tension relaxed.

Eisenhower didn’t only focus on the Cold War threats he met with foreign countries, but also to the threats in America. “He told his fellow citizens to be wary of the “military-industrial complex,” which he described as the powerful combination of “an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.” Defense was a means to an end, and the American people had to be careful that they did not allow special interests to absorb an ever-increasing share of national wealth or to “endanger our liberties or democratic processes.””

Thus, Dwight D. Eisenhower is a great president; as shown above that his foreign policy, domestic policy and his effort to world peace during his term was very successful. Dwight D. Eisenhower achieved a lot of important successes, he left office as a very popular President, and his reputation continued to grow as time passes, until now he is considered as the 8th best president in America’s history.

[1] http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/dwightdeisenhower

[2] http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1789.html

[3] http://millercenter.org/president/eisenhower/essays/biography/5

[4] http://millercenter.org/president/eisenhower/essays/biography/4

[5] http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/dwightdeisenhower

[6] http://millercenter.org/president/eisenhower/essays/biography/5