The distress the three plans caused were small compared to Truman's next undertaking. He wanted to change the current state of the treatment African Americans in public places and all areas of the military. The power to create and enforce civil rights would not become implied or expressed for several more decades, and at the time were considered inherent, categorized under the heading of chief executive, and most crucially, chief legislator. For Truman, his power as chief citizen, which is defined as "the representative of all the people" (Shapiro, 1992) and public interest, was one of the core reasons for his civil rights aims.
Truman acted in promotion of ending segregation of all public places, lynching, and unfair rules and laws that disadvantaged African Americans. In response to this a congressman from Mississippi said "[Truman has] run a political dagger into our backs and now he is trying to drink our blood. " (Hakim, 2003) Truman did not back down, but he was unable to make much leeway. The Korean War of 1950 was Truman's next endeavor. Truman sent out armed forces that, even with fourteen other governments contributing troops, accounted for ninety percent of the military people.
His involvement and confidence in his decisions pushed him to fire the General Douglas Mac Arthur for publicly disagreeing with his efforts. President Truman is an excellent example of a powerful figure and political head to exercise his inherent, chief executive, chief diplomat, commander in chief, and chief legislative powers with his involvement of a World War and the Korean War. His efforts toward civil rights came from his powers as chief executive, chief legislator and chief citizen, for he saw African Americans as citizens, even though they weren't treated as such at the time.
Later those powers would become executive and implied starting with Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, eleven years after the Truman presidency ended. The decisions he made changed the course of history, and the way America's government is conducted today. Some may disagree with the 33rd president's drastic choices, while others may believe he did the right thing in his situation as a president during war time, but the word that sums up President Truman no matter which side, is tremendous.
Truman had always considered that Wallace was much of a recluse and didn't ever get to know the other senators when he got the designation of the vice presidential. This loner quality virtually erased him from public view and the candidacy. Another party, The States' Rights Democratic party, or Dixicrats, as it was known was considered to be a 'splinter party. ' Their contestants were Fielding Wright of Mississippi and Governors J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. This party believed in the federalism of 1787 and remained far behind the present times in their thinking.
They staunchly opposed civil rights for American blacks. Mayor Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis sponsored a civil rights plank at the Philadelphia delegate's convention. The plank passed and all the Mississippi allocations and half of the Alabama delegation walked out of the convention hall. The remaining southerners voted for Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. for president, against Truman. Russell received 263 delegate votes and Truman 947. 5. The Democratic party had Wallace on the left and Thurmond on the right with Truman in the middle. One of his most triumphant speeches was in Dexter, Iowa.
In the summer of 1948, Truman lambasted the Republicans, for getting money from the farmers by their denial to permit the Commodity Credit Corporation to manufacture more grain storage containers. This farm speech was an indication of how Truman's oratory abilities were improving. (Neal, 2003) His behavior had become straighter; he was concerned, interested and absorbed information easily. Truman began to rely less on the written text of his speeches and began to ad lib. His campaign took a turn for the worst and the money was running out.
Eight times the train Truman crusaded from could not get out of station without anxious telephoning to make safe amounts as '1,500, $2,000, $5,000. On the eve of the election, many believed Dewey was a sure win. The Crossley poll had 49. 9 percent for Dewey and 44. 8 for Truman. Truman's victory was not clear until during the night after the election. According to Russell, 'at 9:30 a. m. the next morning, the Ohio vote came in and a sudden chatter of teletypes and radio announcers across the nation grabbed their microphones to proclaim, in near hysteria: 'Ohio has gone Democratic!
This puts Truman over the top. . . . Ladies and gentlemen, President Truman has won the election! ’ (Karabell. 2001) He had struggled for his political life and succeeded, although fewer than half the qualified voters troubled to vote either for him or his opponent, Governor Dewey. Truman believed labor had put him over the top. Others believed the farmers had helped him win as well as the small town Ohio vote. Ohio did prove crucial to his election and on October 11, Truman whistled-stopped such places as Lima, Ottawa, Deshler, Fosteria, Willard and Rittman. The election offered some lessons for the future.
On such lesson was that 1948 was the last time labor voted as a bloc in a presidential election. Second, farmers have become far less important in American politics than they once were as farms have dwindled in present times. Third, campaigning from the train was replaced with the airplane. Fourth, the coaxial cable's appearance caused massive change in the country. In 1948 when Truman campaigned there were fewer than twenty television stations but by the 1952 campaign, it was thoroughly televised. And last, the presidential campaign of 1948 offered a single lesson that no candidate in subsequent years should have forgotten.
That a candidate must himself be sincere; he must not merely possess some vision for what the country needs but believe in it and consider himself a- to use a seventeenth-century phrase well understood in Puritan theology- chosen instrument for that grand purpose. In that single respect Truman made a superb candidate. With the Depression this changed and more Americans rather than needing protection from the Federal Government began looking for the Federal Government to protect them from huge, sometime monopolistic corporations and economic trends.
Although these efforts had been begun by Republican Theodore Roosevelt, it was the Democrats first under Woodrow Wilson, but more importantly under Franklin Roosevelt that finally embraced urban liberalism in an effort to fight the Great Depression of the 1930s. Roosevelt was able to create an unbeatable combination of the traditional Democratic South with Mid-Western farmers and urban labor. He also began the shift of Black voters to the Democratic coalition. Harry Truman’s embrace of Civil Rights (1948) meant a weakening of the Democratic hold on the South hitch began to show in the Eisenhower elections (1952 and 56).
With the success of Reagan (1980 and 84) and Congressional Republicans (1994), there is now a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party among the anti-Vietnam War New Politics and the Clinton New Democrats. Truman proposed a solution that seemed kind of bizarre - he threatened to draft the striking railway workers into the army. The strike was over. Truman also made important contributions to civil rights. He failed to however, obtain a law that would allow jobs for African Americans and a law that would end poll taxes, lynching, and discrimination on public transportation.
Despite his efforts, most of the Southerners disliked him. There was something else going on abroad. Since his early days in the White House, Truman was in the favor of the British Balfour Declaration of 1917 that had guaranteed the Jews to make it possible for a homeland in Palestine. He sympathized with the Jewish survivors of Nazi Germany, and in November 1947 he supported the UN plan to divide Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. Truman recognized the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. Truman's first term as president was a very tough one.
He dealt with World War II that never seemed to end and he dealt with issues at home. Despite all the troubles, he decided to run for a full term. This would not get any easier however. Right away, Truman was faced with a split in the Democratic party.
Gardner Michael, Harry Truman and Civil Rights: Moral Courage and Political Risks, Southern Illinois University Press; 1st Edition (February 9, 2002) Hakim, Joy. "All the People, 1945-2001. " A History of US, New York: Oxford University Press, 2003