President Harry S Truman: Pros of His Presidency

About the pros or positives aspects and acheivements of Harry S Truman's presidency.

His 7 Years, 283 Days as President

PRO

Truman was right in his decision to use the atom bomb to end W.W.II. In August, 1945, the Japanese were still fighting with suicidal determination. Military experts agree that an invasion of the Japanese home islands would have cost far more lives--both American and Japanese--than the bombing of Hiroshima. Truman's 1st responsibility was to end the war as quickly as possible and to stop the daily battlefield slaughter. In accepting that responsibility, he actually saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

PRO

Truman deserves praise for his insistence-over the objections of allies and domestic political opponents--that the Nazi war criminals be tried at Nuremberg. He would not allow the German slaughter of 6 million Jews to be dismissed as "typical wartime atrocities." "Now nobody can say that it never happened, because the thing is on the record," the President said. Truman also proved himself a humanitarian in his concern for the survivors of the Nazi holocaust. Despite warnings from State Department "experts," he personally intervened to help establish the State of Israel, and he granted U.S. recognition only 11 minutes after Israel officially declared its independence.

PRO

The greatest accomplishment of Truman's Presidency was keeping the peace in Europe. He effectively countered Stalinist expansionism while steering clear of W.W.III. The Marshall Plan, called by Churchill "the most unsordid act in all history," provided generous aid to war-ravaged European nations for feeding hungry millions and rebuilding their shattered economies. "Point Four" committed the U.S. for the 1st time to sharing our wealth and technology with underdeveloped nations. With the Berlin airlift, Truman effectively sidestepped a Russian invitation to begin a shooting war, and in organizing NATO he provided for an effective and concerted defense in case of Russian attack. Perhaps most impressive of all, Truman skillfully engineered solid, bipartisan support for all of these major foreign-policy achievements, winning approval from an often reluctant Republican Congress.

PRO

Truman's sweeping "Fair Deal" program was one of the most visionary and progressive legislative packages ever presented by an American President. Not only did he call for a national health insurance program, increased aid to the elderly, more Federal housing, and aid to education, but he pushed for the 1st major civil rights bill since Reconstruction. Truman also fought against congressional attempts to give special tax breaks to the corporations and the rich. In domestic policy, the President was a tireless spokesman for ordinary Americans, and for once, black Americans were not excluded.

PRO

The world was lucky indeed that Harry Truman was America's President during the Korean conflict. Another President--Johnson or Nixon, for example--would have almost certainly followed the advice of General-in-Chief Douglas MacArthur and authorized the invasion of mainland China, thereby plunging the world into an unprecedented holocaust. When MacArthur continued to talk of military action against China, Truman had the courage to fire him--the most controversial decision of his Presidency. Americans of the 1970s should remember that Korea, unlike Vietnam, had not been the scene of a people's guerilla movement: The act that provoked American intervention was an outright invasion from North Korea. At stake in repelling this aggression were not only the interests of the U.S., but the integrity of the United Nations, which had voted to take immediate defensive action.

PRO

As much as any man, Truman fought to stop the anti-Communist hysteria that began poisoning American life during his Presidency. In sharp contrast to his successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Truman spoke out courageously against McCarthyism. "All this howl about organizations a fellow belongs to gives me a pain in the neck," he told the country, and then, later: "The House Un-American Activities Committee is the most un-American activity in the whole Government." Truman vetoed repressive "anti-Red" legislation and attempted to return the country to common sense, but he was outshouted by the McCarthys, the McCarrans, and the Nixons. Standing up for civil liberties and common decency in the face of mounting pressure, he left office in a howl of public protest.

You Are Here: Trivia-Library Home » 33rd U.S. President: Harry S. Truman » President Harry S Truman: Pros of His Presidency
« President Harry S Truman: Truman Beats Dewey and His Second TermPresident Harry S Truman: Cons of His Presidency »
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms at the following URL: /disclaimer.htm