Henry S. Truman was born on May eighth, 1884 in the farm town of Lamar, Missouri. As a young man he aspired to go to West Point, but his poor eyesight Page 1 prevented him from that. Instead after college he helped on his family farm and eventually served in the Missouri National Guard. His governmental life began with being elected district judge. He then became a Senator and in 1945 became the Vice President to democratic President Franklin Roosevelt. Less than a year into Roosevelt’s fourth term he died suddenly and Truman assumed the position of President. Biography- Henry S. Truman) Thomas E. Dewey was born on March twenty-fourth, 1902, in Owosso, Michigan.
He graduated at Columbia University and became a successful lawyer and later the chief assistant to the U. S. Attorney for the Southern district of New York. After being New York District Attorney, Dewey was elected governor of New York(look up to be sure). Dewey ran twice as the Republican candidate for president, but came up short both times. (Biography- Thomas E. Dewey) James Strom Thurmond was born on December fifth, 1902 in Edgefield, South Carolina.
After graduating from Clemson he became a teacher and then a U. S. Senator. After returning from his time in the army, he became the democratize governor of South Carolina. He was a strong advocate against integration, but it was later found that he had a biracial daughter. During the 1948 election he ran at the States Rights Democratic Party candidate. (Biography- James Strom Thurmond) Henry A. Wallace was born on October seventh, 1888, in Adair, Iowa. He served as the Secretary of Agriculture during President Roosevelt’s first two terms.
By impressing the president, Wallace earned a spot as the Vice President during Roosevelt’s third term and later ran as the Progressive Party candidate in the election of Page 2 1948, but received no electoral votes. (Biography- Henry Wallace) The two largest issues were the Berlin Airlift and the Marshal Plan. The Berlin Airlift took place for a year after World War Two. While Germany was divided amongst the Allies, Russia got greedy and wanted all of Berlin, Germany’s capital city to themselves.
To do this they cut off all ground supply and food lines in hopes that it would force France, U. S. , and Britain out of Berlin. The Russians had cut off ground lines, but they had done nothing about the air. The rest of the Allies took this to their advantage and supplies their respective sections with food and supplies from the air. This effort lasted more than a year. (History- The Berlin Airlift) The Marshal Plan, or the European Recovery Plan, occurred after World War Two and was in effect for for years. The United States helped to channel over thirteen billion dollars into the European economy.
While the United States perceived this as a generous gesture to aid Europe’s economic recovery, the Soviet Union saw it as a mere interference and did not participate in the plan. Through being involved in the remaking and reshaping of the European economy, the United States benefitted from this through framing it in the image of the American economy. This and the Berlin Airlift were two of the Cold War policies put in place by the Roosevelt administration. (History-The Marshal Plan) One of the issues that arose post World War Two was inflation and consumer shortages.
Before the war had begun America was in the Great Depression. Right before the onset of World War Two inflation rose very sharply. Throughout the war America made and spent a large sum of money, which suppressed the inflation, but once the war ended the rise returned. Participating in World War Two had used a great Page 3 amount of labor and resources, these in included materials needed to make cars, tires, and appliances. This lack of material caused a shortage for consumers, who often had to get used and damaged goods due to their relative scarcity during this time. One Hundred Years of Price Change) The last issue to be discussed is a controversial one for the time period. The Postwar Era brought numerous questions and demands for the civil rights of African Americans. Many blacks living in the South still suffered severe segregation under the Jim Crowe Laws. During Truman’s first few years in office, leading up to the election of 1948, he strove to better the treatment of African Americans. A few do his strides in this movement were being the first president to send a special message to Congress on civil rights, and issued the Executive Order of 9981.
This banned segregation the segregation of armed forces. (Civil Rights Movement in the Postwar Era) Henry S. Truman was from Democratic Party and their candidate. The Democratic stance on the Berlin Airlift was pro Berlin Airlift. The President during that time was President Truman. He has been Vice President to Franklin Delano Roosevelt , who passed away from a massive stroke just eighty two days into his fourth term as president. Truman put these plans in place and executed them. The same goes for the Marshal Plan, which was a manifestation of containment.
These two plans arose from World War Two, which President Truman put to an end by dropping the first and second atomic bombs on Japan. On the issue of inflation, Truman did poorly in his first appearance in the White House. After price controls were dropped inflation rode sharply. His success was far greater in the area of the civil rights for African Americans. Two of his largest accomplishments concerning that issue were listed in the paragraph detailing Page 4 the the conditions of the time. He was adamant about integration, even with many opponents that disagreed and derailed some of his attempts.
The Conservative Southern Democrats influenced him because they controlled Congress. Thomas E. Dewey was the candidate for the Republican Party. Though he was a Republican, he was not an isolationist, as the party proclaimed to be. He was far less conservative than the Republican controlled Congress. Most of his speeches consisted of empty statements. He would not specify his stances, but that they would improve the livelihood of the United States of America. He tried to seem as unbiased as possible, but that proved disastrous.
Dewey, generally supportive of Truman’s foreign policies, supported the Berlin Airlift and Marshal Plan. His stance on the civil rights of African Americans was that the insistence of personal dignity, regardless of race, was a fundamental American principle, which was a very liberal stance for a member of the Republican Party. Trying to avoid any major issues or mistakes, Dewey avoided domestic and talked more about our need for national unity. (Don’t Compare Mitt Romney and Thomas Dewey) James Strom Thurmond was the candidate for States Rights Democratic Party candidate, or the Dixiecrats.
He was against both the Berlin Airlift and the Marshal Plan. As a Southerner governor, he believed in states’ rights. His party, at the time, was having internal troubles as their views on civil rights clashed. Though the focus of his campaign was segregation, he said that he did not believe in a totalitarian, centralized bureaucratic government and that he stands for economic justice as his stance on inflation. Despite being the father of a biracial daughter, Thurmond was a huge activist for segregation, especially in the South and South Carolina, where he was governor.
Page 5 The Dixiecrat party wanted to stop and reverse the progress Truman’s administration had made on the issue of civil rights. (LIFE Magazine- Strom Thurmond) As for Henry Wallace, most of his views went right along the mainstream views of the Democratic Party. He supported the Berlin Airlift and the Marshal Plan. Just as his fellow running mate, his campaign focused little on economic issues. As the Progressive Party candidate, which split as a result of the Democratic Convention of 1948 mentioned directly below, he was against racial segregation.
Perhaps his most controversial view was that he did not support the Cold War. He felt we should be more lenient with communistic Russia. Wallace disagreed strongly with Truman and his Cold War policies. He believed that we should abide by a peaceful foreign policy and “to get on the side of the people. ” He was also a key player in the New Deal, which helped America get on its feet and create more jobs during the Great Depression. (Henry Wallace Criticizes Truman’s Cold War Policies) Though years before the election was to take place, the arrest of Thomas Pendergast gave an aura to the political career of Henry Truman.
Pendergast had been a primary political connection for Truman since the beginning of his political career. Even when Truman ran for Eastern District Judge of Jackson County in 1922, he was backed by the support of Pendergast, who was a political boss who controlled Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri until his arrest. The connection between these two dates back to World War One, when Truman and Pendergast’s nephew served together in the military. This involvement in his election victory caused Truman to be dubbed “The Senator from Pendergast. He was eventually arrested for income tax invasion and was come to be known as allegedly causing voter fraud. Though the history between Page 6 these two men was not used as a focus of any major attack campaigns, the recklessness of Thomas Pendergast caused a cloud of corruption over the political career of Henry S. Truman. (How was Pendergast Associated with the Career of Truman) Though not affecting any candidates in the field, having an amendment be ratified during the election cycle is historical. The twenty second Amendment was ratified during this election.
This laid out the two elected term limit for presidents. (1948 Presidential Election) The passing of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947 helped showcase Truman’s political views. This Act was heavily Republican influenced, anti-union legislation that was passed despite President Truman’s veto. This deterred the progress the New Deal was making by making it harder for unions to meet. It also required that the leaders of the unions take a noncommunist oath, which eliminated many. Truman was a staunch supporter of labor.
He tried to keep the rights of workers, but his veto could not stop the Taft-Hartley Act. Though his efforts failed, unions noticed his support and returned the sentiment, which was very notable in the voter turnout in Truman’s favor as described later. (APUSH Taft-Hartley Act) The Democratic Convention of 1948 was an explosive event. In the end, the Democratic Party splintered over their differences on the issue of Civil Rights in the Democratic platform. The splinter group of Southern Democrats nominated Truman as their candidate. The other candidate for this position was Thurmond.
He was very adamant about segregation and because of his views he became the presidential candidate of another party. This party was the States Rights Democratic Party. The Page 7 Dixiecrat Party was focused on continuing the practice of segregation. The splinter was caused because these two men had polar opposite views on racial equality. After disagreeing, many southern delegated walked out. Those delegates who walked out hoped that Thurmond’s popularity with the split group of Democrats from the South would lessen Truman’s chances of victory. (Platform of the States Rights Democratic Party)