- June 30, 2020
Domestic and Foreign Policies
Domesticand Foreign Policies
DwightEisenhower was the 34th president of the United States (1953-19610.Before he became the commander in chief, he had a successful militarycareer, having served as a five-star general in the US Army duringthe Second World War. When he assumed office, the economy wassuffering from the effects of the war. Consequently, his domesticpolicies focused on the massive federal deficit (Shi & Mayer,2016). Due to technological developments and the confidenceassociated with the status gained by the Americans after the worldwar, this was relatively easy to achieve. The increase in purchasingpower, high number of veterans returning from the war and enthusiasmpropelled the United States into an economic superpower. PresidentEisenhower domestic policies focused on sparking economic activitiesthrough the development of infrastructures such as interstatehighways and supportive legislations. He made tremendouscontributions towards equality and civil rights in America. This ledto social and economic prosperity (Shi & Mayer, 2016).
Hisexperience in the war made Eisenhower the perfect candidate for thepresidency in the post-war America. However, he was faced with thethreat of the Soviet Union, which had also emerged as a superpowerafter WWII. The United States and its interests were threatened bythe development of nuclear weapons by the communist power and itsallies. Consequently, President Eisenhower foreign policy wasdominated by nuclear deterrence. This led to the American involvementin conflicts in Iran and Guatemala as well as the Indochina War (Shi& Tindall, 2016). Additionally, he was involved in the Suezcrisis and Hungarian revolution. The main feature of his cold warpolicies was the launch of NASA as a response to Sputnik by theRussians, which sparked the space race (Shi & Tindall, 2016).
RichardNixon served as the 37th president of the United States between 1969and 1974. He went into the books of history as the first commander inchief to resign from office. He was elected the president when theUnited States was faced with a broad range of domestic and foreignissues. When he took office, he announced drastic changed in thegovernment, which defined his domestic policies. The restructuringwas aimed at dealing with the federal government bureaucracies whichwere bloated and had adverse effects on the economy. This led to theidea of ‘New Federalism’ which aimed at decentralizing power andresources away from Washington. This resulted in the empowerment ofstates and local governments (Shi & Tindall, 2016). In Nixon’sopinion, this would create a system that is responsive to the needsof the people. Consequently, he defended the restoration of power tothe local authorities and opposed massive projects by the government. Although the Westgate scandal overshadowed his presidency, heestablished some of the key federal agencies such as the OccupationalSafety and Health Administration and Environmental Protection Agency.His administration played a major role in the social and culturalintegration that resulted from the civil rights movements (Shi &Tindall, 2016).
Inthe 1960s and 1970s, the cold war and fight against communism formedthe foundation of foreign policies in the United States.Consequently, Richard Nixon was elected based on his stronganti-communism sentiments throughout his life. Americans believedthat he would have the ultimate solution to the cold war menace.Nonetheless, the hallmark of his foreign policy was his visit to thePeople Republic of China. For many years, China and the United Statesdid not have diplomatic ties due to ideological differences. Thischanged the American foreign policies towards the Asian power. In theVietnam War, Nixon increased the role of American troops, although hewas able to withdraw through the Paris Peace Accord. Other notablepolicies during his presidency include the role of the United Statesin the Chilean coup and the anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with theSoviet Union (Shi & Tindall, 2016).
Shi,D. & Mayer, H. (2016). Forthe record: a documentary history of America.6thEdition. New York: W.W. Norton.
Shi,D. & Tindall, G. (2016). America:a narrative history.10thEdition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.