The Policies of Harry S. Truman

Many presidents have faced domestic and international problems, but it is a challenge not to know about them until you become the president of the United States, that is what happened to the 33rd President of the United States Harry S. Truman At the time of Roosevelt’s death, Truman was Vice-President for only 82 days and he faced more challenges in domestic and foreign affairs than any other U. S. president did at the time, yet he manages to steer this country in the right direction. Truman knew nothing about the Manhattan Project, and the atomic bomb.

When Truman took the reins unexpectedly, (April 12, 1945) he was forced to deal with keeping a nation together and winning the greatest war history had ever seen. The first issue of foreign policy that Truman confronted was the decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan. No decision of his presidency has drawn so much criticism as the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (9 August). The question is whether he could have done anything else—that is, whether he could have delayed use of the bombs by opting for a demonstration of their immense power or refused to employ what General Dwight D.

Eisenhower described many years after its employment as an inhuman weapon. The Charter of the United Nations was signed in June 26, 1945 in San Francisco by Truman and ratified by the Senate in October 24, 1945. Originally ratified by 51 countries, currently 192 countries have ratified the charter. The Charter of the United Nations is by far the largest peace keeping Organization treaty it ever existed to date. Truman as a vision of a wilsonian he is, he wouldn’t let Wilson’s idea revived into the Truman straightforward he is to let this idea die again.

The Proclamation 2695 (July 4, 1946) served as the culmination of American colonialism in the Philippines and proclaimed the absolute independence of the Filipino people as the United States withdraws and surrendered all rights of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control or sovereignty. It was supposed that the United States relinquished control over the islands in 1944 but with the war on the Pacific the United States Senate decided to delay by two years. Now from this point forward the Unites States recognized the new independent state of the Philippines and the Unites States relinquish any control over the new created state.

The nations of Europe were ravaged after WWII. Poor countries were susceptible to Communism. Truman’s announce Congress the change in policy by the means of the Truman Doctrine (12 March 1947), which promised United States support to countries threatened by Communism. It stated that totalitarian governments undermined the foundations of international peace, and thus were a threat to the United States. It was used in Greece and Turkey after the communists tried to take over, and a revolution erupted, the United States supplied the anti-Communist forces with money and arms.

This policy was the adoption of containment as official U. S. policy. The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (or commonly known as the Rio Treaty), was signed in Sept. 2, 1947 in Rio de Janeiro (hence the name Rio Treaty) and ratified by the United States Senate in 1947. Originally ratified by all 22 American republics which are Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Under the treaty, an armed attack or threat of aggression against a signatory nation, whether by a member nation or by some other power, will be considered an attack against all. This treaty puts a defensive alliance of the Western Hemisphere nations, and this agreement was a move toward a multilateral approach to the Monroe Doctrine and the most important inter-American agreement to this day. This treaty also puts the groundwork for the formation the Organization of American States (OAS) a few years later in Colombia. The Marshall Plan (June 5, 1947), Truman proposed the Marshall Plan to sponsor reconstruction in Europe.

The Marshall Plan passed in 1947, right after the Czechoslovakian Communist revolution. Congress appropriated $5. 8 billion for the first fifteenth months, and contemplated further spending. The Marshall Plan included most of the nations of Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. (Switzerland signed the convention creating an organization for the plan, but refused to accept funds. ) Congress included (National) China in Marshall Plan appropriations.

The National Security Act (July 26, 1947) mandated a major reorganization of the foreign policy and military establishments of the U. S. Government. The act created many of the institutions that Presidents found useful when formulating and implementing foreign policy, including the National Security Council (NSC). The Council itself included the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and other members (such as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency), who met at the White House to discuss both long-term problems and more immediate national security crises.

Truman never went and didn’t take importance in these meetings until the Korea War in 1950 when Truman took the seriousness of the conflict and began to form part of these meetings. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (October 30, 1947) set the basic rules under which open a nondiscriminatory free trade policy in which it can take place. This treaty meant to reduce trade barriers among the 23 countries signatory nations. The GATT sought to create an institutional framework within which international trade could be conducted as stable and predictable as possible.

The Charter of the Organization of American States (April 30, 1948) was signed by 21 nations (this are the same nations that signed the Rio treaty except for the Bahamas delegation) of the western hemisphere at the conclusion of the ninth Pan-American Conference in Bogota, Colombia which reconstituted the Pan-American Union to the Organization of American States in which they reaffirmed its commitment as when they signed the Rio treaty “to achieve an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence. The Truman administration hoped that the Organization would eventually assume the mounting responsibilities for solving hemispheric problems, but the U. S. would always play the dominant role. The provisional government of the state of Israel proclaims the new state of Israel (May 14, 1948). On that same date the United States, president Truman acknowledges and recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the new Jewish state (de jure recognition was extended on January 31). The U. S. delegates to the U. N. and top ranking State Department officials were angered that

Truman released his recognition statement to the press without notifying them first. The Berlin Airlift (June 27, 1948-May 12, 1949) was the greatest humanitarian and aviation event in history. Since the Allies had never negotiated a deal to guarantee supply of the sectors deep within the Soviet-occupied zone. The commander of the American occupation zone in Germany, General Lucius D. Clay, proposed sending a large armored column driving peacefully, as a moral right, down the autobahn across the Soviet zone to West Berlin, with instructions to defend itself if it were stopped or attacked.

Truman, however, following the consensus in Washington, believed this would entail an unacceptable risk of war. He approved a plan to supply the blockaded city by air. On June 25, the Allies initiated the Berlin Airlift, a campaign that delivered food and other supplies, such as coal, using military airplanes on a massive scale. Nothing remotely like it had ever been attempted before, and no other nation had the capability, either logistically or materially, to have accomplished it. The airlift worked; ground access was again granted on May 11, 1949. The airlift continued for several months after that.

The Berlin Airlift was one of Truman’s great foreign policy successes as president; it significantly aided his election campaign in 1948. The Genocide Treaty it was signed December 12, 1948 it went in force in 1951 but the U. S. ratification came November 23, 1988. Although it took four decades to ratify the treaty, this international agreement made genocide an international crime during both war and peace. The North Atlantic Treaty (4 April 1949), which assured military assistance, resolved the economic and political near-chaos of Europe after World War II.

These measures would, he believed, preserve democracy in Western Europe and thereby help preserve the freedom of the United States. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) comprised the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Britain, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland; Greece and Turkey joined in 1952, West Germany in 1955, and Spain in 1982. The situation in the Pacific was not much better than that in Europe. In the Potsdam Conference in Germany and in the Cairo Conference, it was agreed that Korea would become a free and independent nation once the war is over.

However, after V-J Day, the Soviet government was quick to establish a Communist regime. The United States under the Truman administration helped Korea setup a democratic government on the Southern Part of the peninsula. North Koreans crossed the border in full force (June 25, 1950). The UN, presented with its first real conflict, acted quickly, partly because the Soviet representative had walked out a few days earlier in protest of Communist China’s lack of representation (it was represented by Nationalist China). War was declared on the aggressors by the United Nations.

Although all nations contributed, it was mostly the United States fighting the war. The war lasted for about three years until an armistice was signed splitting Korea again along the 38th parallel. Macarthur stated to President Truman that the Chinese wouldn’t enter the war and this conflict would be over by Christmas. That was the most erroneous statement that Gen. Macarthur said to president Truman because since Gen. Macarthur was anxious to wrap up the war he ordered American and other U. N. troops to press on to the Yalu River and since the communist Chinese didn’t want that buffer zone gone they enter in force.

In doing this, he ignored the warnings of the Communist Chinese as well as a directive by military planners in Washington to send only South Korean troops into the provinces bordering China. Macarthur never thought that the Communist Chinese were going to invade North Korea, but since it happen he wanted authorization for a full scale invasion of China and bring the Chinese Nationalist to fight in Korea and in weak positions of Communist mainland China, but since Truman didn’t wanted WWIII it refused Macarthur plan.

Macarthur frustrated started to say its plans publicly without Washington’s authorization and for insubordination; Truman fired Macarthur on the grounds that Macarthur wasn’t the Commander in Chief. Puerto Rican nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempted to assassinate Truman at Blair House (November 1, 1950). This put and important question mark the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico and since Truman understood that, he allowed a plebiscite in Puerto Rico to determine its future relationship with the United States.

As for the Torresola, he was shot a White House policeman, Leslie Coffelt, before expiring himself and Collazo as a co-conspirator in a felony that turned into homicide was guilty of murder and sentence to death in 1952, but Truman changed it to life in prison. This attack could well be implemented since the gunfight was over a dozen feet of his bed and since he was curious went to the window to see until a passerby shout to Truman to take cover. The Tripartite Security Treaty (Anzus Treaty) was signed September 1. 951 and came in force April 29, 1952. This Treaty, signed a few years after WWII, it was designed to send a signal to Communist China and the Soviet Union that Western-oriented countries were determined to stop new aggressive moves in the Pacific. The U. S. -Japanese Security Treaty (San Francisco Treaty) was signed September 8, 1951 by 49 nations and came in force April 28, 1952 in which the United States agreed to assume primary responsibility for the conventional defense of a disarmed Japan and an exclusive role in providing nuclear deterrence.

Japan would have renounce the ability to declare war and its military would be for peacekeeping forces and ensured the formal return of independence at the expense of large military presence in the country and also ensured that any attack against Japan, the United States makes responsible of any protection and retaliation in the name of the Japanese Diet. The Immigration and Nationality Act (McCarran-Walter Act) (June 27, 1952) upheld the national origins quota system established by the Immigration Act of 1924, reinforcing this controversial system of immigrant selection.

It also ended Asian exclusion from immigrating to the United States and introduced a system of preferences based on skill sets and family reunification. Plus this Act expanded the United States definition to Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands in addition to Puerto Rico and U. S. Virgin Islands which is used currently. At the basis of the Act was the continuation and codification of the National Origins Quota System. It revised the 1924 system to allow for national quotas at a rate of one-sixth of one percent of each nationality’s population in the United States in 1920.

As a result, 85 percent of the 154,277 visas available annually were allotted to individuals of northern and western European lineage. The Act continued the practice of not including countries in the Western Hemisphere in the quota system, though it did introduce new length of residency requirements to qualify for quota-free entry. There were other positive changes to the implementation of immigration policy in the 1952 Act. One was the creation of a system of preferences which served to help American consuls abroad prioritize visa applicants in countries with heavily oversubscribed quotas.

Under the preference system, individuals with special skills or families already resident in the United States received precedence, a policy still in use today. Moreover, the Act gave non-quota status to alien husbands of American citizens (wives had been entering outside of the quota system for several years by 1952) and created a labor certification system, designed to prevent new immigrants from becoming unwanted competition for American laborers. Truman vetoed the McCarran-Walter Act because he regarded the bill as “un-American” and discriminatory.

Truman’s veto was overridden by a vote of 278 to113 in the House, and 57 to 26 in the Senate. Parts of the McCarran-Walter Act remain in place today, but much of it was overturned by the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965. These reversals in foreign policy, from isolation to world power, established Truman’s reputation as one of the nation’s greatest presidents. Which helped placed an economic foundation to struggling nations of Western Europe and Northeast Asia. Truman’s domestic policies as president took far less of his time, and proved far less successful, than his foreign policies.

Here also he dealt with three major issues: The administration of the modern American presidency, a legislative program known as the Fair Deal, and Republican accusations of internal subversion and corruption. He managed well with two of these domestic matters. The Executive Order 9599 (August 18, 1945) Provides assistance to expand production and continued stabilization of the national economy during the transition from war to peace, and for the orderly modification of wartime controls over prices, wages, materials, and facilities.

The Executive Order 9635 (September 29, 1945) Organizes the Navy Department, defines what is the Naval Establishment as well it defines the duties of the Chief Naval Operations and declare that the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard are part of the Naval Establishment. The Executive Order 9646 (October 25, 1945) Rearranges the Coat of Arms, Seal and Flag of the President of The United States to accommodate the newest incorporated states into the Union. The War Brides Act (December 28, 1945) relaxes the immigration regulations to allow foreign born spouses and children of U.

S. military personnel to settle in the United States. The Employment Act (Murray Act) (February 20, 1946) stimulates the economy following WWII, creating agencies in Congress and in the executive branch to focus on the problems of the depression and inflation. The Executive Order 9728 (May 21, 1946) Truman seized most of the nation’s bituminous coal mines so that the secretary of the interior could negotiate a contract with mineworkers. As authority, EO 9728 had cited, among other things, the War Labor Disputes Act. The Hobbs Acts (Anti-Racketeering Act) (July 3, 1946).

This made it unlawful to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery or extortion and reined labor unions ability to enforce the interests of their constituents within the boundaries of the law. The Federal Tort Claims Act (August 2, 1946) enabled private citizens to sue the government when a federal employee harms a third party or private property by committing an international tort or by negligence. The Supreme Court later barred military personnel from suing the federal government for injuries suffered while performing their jobs.

The Taft-Hartley Act (June 23, 1947), was designed to amend much of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (the Wagner Act) and discontinued parts of the Federal Anti-Injunction Act of 1932. It limit the power of unions from contributing to political campaigns, It forbids jurisdictional strikes and secondary boycotts, It permits union shops only after a majority of the employees vote for them, It declares all closed shops illegal and the president is allow to appoint a board of inquiry to investigate unions when he believes a strike would endanger the health and safety, and obtain an 80-day injunction to stop the strike.

Even president Truman was against this and vetoes it but it was overridden. The Presidential Succession Act (July 18, 1947) corrected the weaknesses in the line of presidential succession as outlined in the original Constitution. The Water Pollution Control Act (June 30, 1948) extended the reach of the federal government by establishing cooperative arrangements with states for grants, research, and technical assistance. This Act addressed the nation’s water-quality problems by attempting to establish a cooperative relationship between the federal and state governments.

This legislative piece since it was far ahead of its time, he decided to turn this legislation into an Executive Order at the same time running the risk of being overturn by another Executive Order but it worked, it is Executive Order 9981 (July 26, 1948) that provided integration of the armed forces and establishes equal treatment and opportunity in the armed services. The Navajo-Hopi Rehabilitation Act (April19, 1950) attempted to improve conditions in one of the most impoverished areas of the United States; this Act funded the construction of roads, schools, and other developments on the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

The Internal Security Act (McCarran Act) (September 23, 1950) established the Subversive Activities Control Board, aimed at stopping communist subversion in the United States, calling for the registration of all known communist organizations and individuals in the United States. The Celler-Kefauver Act (December, 29 1950) prohibited certain types of mergers between firms in the same industry, the Celler-Kefauver Act led companies to form conglomerates made up of companies in unrelated industries.

The Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950 amended the Clayton Act by closing a loophole that allowed companies to avoid antitrust suits by acquiring assets (rather than stock) of another company. The Twenty-Second Amendment was ratified February 27, 1951 and it was certified in record breaking time of March 1, 1951. Shortly after Franklin Roosevelt’s unprecedented fourth term as president, the twenty-second Amendment was adopted to established presidential limits to two (2) terms.

The Executive Order 10340 (April 8 1952) Truman directed Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer to seize the mills to ensure their production to support the war efforts just hours before a scheduled strike. Since the Taft-Hartley Act passed in Congress the Supreme Court goes in emergency session in the case of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (Secretary of Commerce) in a 6 to 3 decision on Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer declared the seizure unconstitutional. The Court held that Truman could have used the Taft-Hartley Act to delay the strike, but Truman disliked the law too much to use it.

In Supreme Court appointments, Truman wasn’t cautious choosing the Supreme Court Justices because significantly all four were friends of the dear president and all four were more political background rather than judicial. Justice Harold Burton in 1945, Chief Justice Fred Vinson in 1946, and Justices Sherman Minton and Tom Clark in 1949 – generally shared his views regarding the judiciary. Burton and Minton had served with Truman in the Senate; Vinson and Clark had served in Truman’s Cabinet (the former as Treasury Secretary and the latter as Attorney General).

Vinson, Truman’s choice as Chief Justice, was a favorite poker-playing companion of the President, who hoped that his friend’s political skills would help restore harmony to what had become an increasingly contentious and divided Court. But the Vinson Court continued to be plagued by internal conflicts. Justice Hugo Black’s commitment to judicial activism in defense of civil liberties and the Bill of Rights clashed with Justice Felix Frankfurter’s belief in judicial restraint and deference to legislative authority.

Philosophical differences were aggravated by personal animosities on the Court, most notably between Black and Justice Robert H. Jackson. Much to a surprise the American people thought that president Truman was an outsider and it was, he knew nothing about the atomic bomb (was investigating large expenditures in Oak Valley, Tennessee but didn’t knew for what purpose it was) and he ordered the release of the weapons in Japan, send troops to the Korea conflict although it resulted in a stalemate.

Recognized two countries (Pakistan and Israel) and helped another country to became independent (Philippines), Signed the UN charter, authorized the Berlin Airlift, it’s a founding of the OAS, authorized a plebiscite to the people of Puerto Rico to determined the future of relations with the U. S. saved Greece and Turkey from Communist rule. Although he could do better in domestic policy, but from being only 82 days as Vice-president knowing nothing about policy and saving the world from catastrophe, that is an exceptional President if you ask me, he is truly the Prince of Foreign Policy.

Works Cited S. Avi-Yonah, Reuven. U. S Laws, Acts, and Treaties. Library Edition. Vol. 2. Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 2003. Print. United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Proclamation 2695-Independence of the Philippines. 4 July 1946. 10 April 2009. . United States. Department of State. Kennan and Containment, 1947. September 1997. 9 April 2009. . United States. Department of State. National Security Act of 1947. September 1997. 8 April 2009. < http://www. state. gov/r/pa/ho/time/cwr/17603. htm>.

United States. Department of State. Background Notes: United Nations. September 1997. 4 April 2009. < http://www. state. gov/www/background_notes/united_nations_0997_bgn. html>. United States. Department of State. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (The McCarran-Walter Act). September 1997. 9 April 2009. < http://www. state. gov/r/pa/ho/time/cwr/87719. htm>. United States. The White House, Executive Office of the President. National Security Council History. 2 April 2009. 9 April 2009. < http://www. whitehouse. ov/administration/eop/nsc/history/>. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Exec. Order No. 9599, 3 C. F. R. 3 (1945). 2 April 2009. 9 April 2009. < http://www. trumanlibrary. org/executiveorders/index. php? pid=368&st=&st1>. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Exec. Order No. 9635, 3 C. F. R. 3 (1945). 2 April 2009. 9 April 2009. < http://www. trumanlibrary. org/executiveorders/index. php? pid=350&st=9635&st1>. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Exec. Order No. 9646, 3 C. F. R. 3 (1945). 2 April 2009. 9 April 2009. The Harry S.

Truman Library and Museum. Exec. Order No. 9728, 3 C. F. R. 3 (1946). 2 April 2009. 9April 2009. < http://www. trumanlibrary. org/executiveorders/index. php? pid=459&st=9728&st1>. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Exec. Order No . 9981, 3 C. F. R. 3 (1948). 2 April 2009. 9 April 2009. The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Exec. Order No . 10340, 3 C. F. R. 3(1952). 2 April 2009. 9 April 2009. The University of Texas Digital Library Services Division. The Presidential Timeline of the Twentieth Century. 1 April 2009. 7 April 2009.

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