Harry S. Truman’s Biographical Sketch

Subject: History
Pages: 7
Words: 1762
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: College

When Truman was a child he dreamt about another career.  Truman together with the brother wanted to select the activity of the bank employee. From 1906 to 1907 together with the father and the brother he worked at the farm. After his father had died in 1914, Truman incurred the plant management and obviously became successful. Unlike other farmers of this region Truman has entered a crop rotation and has started to plant large horned livestock.

Then he entered the national army and was at war during the world war under command of general Pershing at the front in France. In April, 1919 he left the army in a grade of the captain, married Elizabeth Wallace Ferman, Together with his partner Truman opened the shop of a man’s dress. Economic recession of 1921 led to the closing of shop. After the crash of the commercial enterprise Truman took an advantage of an opportunity to be the selected official of management.

By virtue of many happy circumstances and conflicts in the Democratic Party he managed to be put forward as the senator on elections of 1934. At the age of 50 years Truman was the senator of the state of Missouri and moved to Washington. Truman’s supervised the American military activity, carried out the constructive criticism not causing sensations and has soon been accepted by various political groups and institutes.

Chairman openly expressed on foreign policy questions and supported the American participation in the international organizations after the termination of war. A principal cause of rise of Truman on a post of vice-president was that the democratic party management resolutely spoke against repeated election of vice-president Henry Wallace which considered as the adherent of the left wing and the dreamer who is not having any influence on the senate.

Anybody of the American presidents has not affected so resolutely development in the Europe during the post-war time, as Truman. In 1947 he proclaimed “Truman’s Doctrine”, which called the Congress to render Greece and Turkey the military and economic help to save them from ostensibly threatening communistic capture. As the Great Britain was any more in a condition to represent itself as a counterbalance concerning the Soviet Union in this region the USA became dominating force in the area of the Mediterranean and promised to give all economic potential for the restraint of communism.

The decision on creation of NATO (1947) was also necessary for the first term of Truman on the post of president. Similarly to Berlin “air bridge” the development of NATO has evidently shown that Truman has realized the psychological value of political decisions. The creation of NATO and Berlin “Air Bridge” should be understood as political signals to the Soviet Union. People of the Western Europe should believe that the United States are closely connected with the further development of democracy.

On this background the creation of NATO meant not so much formation of a military alliance though also it took place, but a political addition to the policy of economic restraint. A starting points were the requirements of the Great Britain and France about the American support. The contract of NATO did not contain automatic obligations of protection of the Europe, and put such actions in dependence on the consent of the Congress. (McCullough, 2002)

In the policy in relation to Palestine there were serious disagreements between the White house and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Truman positively concerned about the creation of the Israeli state in Palestine as sympathized with victims of mass destruction. He believed, that the state department stands up for the Arabian states and the American oil interests, and in support of the Jewish immigration in Palestine he saw an opportunity to win the Jewish voices for elections in September, 1948. Truman’s decision on recognition of the state Israel in May, 1948 still at all did not mean the American guarantee of a survival, but it marked the beginning of occurrence the USA in the development of Near-Eastern crisis (Burnes, 2003).

The last years the internal policy of administration of Truman has drawn the strengthened attention. Truman identified himself with “new rate”, but he had greater difficulties with Roosevelt’s liberal advisers which reproached him that he started the inheritance of the president. After the republicans already in intermediate elections of 1946 have won the majority in both chambers of the Congress, Truman’s chances in 1948 were extremely bad.

The Democratic Party was in crisis, and the president has received a competition from the own numbers as from conservative Southern people which did not trust their racial policy, and from the left forces around of former vice-president Wells. Though the researchers of public opinion and press “have already buried” Truman and have declared as a winner the republican opponent Thomas E. Dew.

To Truman’s greater guiding internal political reforms was the canceling of racial division in army. It would be wrong to consider as the beginning of movement for the civil rights the time of Truman as besides army the president cared of interests of the color population in society.  Being the senator he supported the equality of color citizens in a professional life. He voted for the canceling of the selective tax in separate staffs, supported the interdiction of lynching based on the law and cared of interests of the color voters in Missouri. As the president has suggested the Congress to create the constant commission for maintenance of equal odds of formation and reception of a trade for black.

But because of resistance of the conservative democrats from the southern staffs, so-called “Dixiecrats”, the further carrying out of reforms became very complex. Essentially Truman trusted in the civil rights for all Americans. Though it eventually did not manage to receive the consent of the Congress to the system of reforms, that revisionist historians at all acuteness of criticism of the foreign policy absolutely positively estimate to its politician of the civil rights is remarkable (Burnes, 2003).

Truman’s relationship with the leaders of the large trade unions were exposed to strong the fluctuations. Right after the wars when in connection with transition from military to peace economy there was a conflict in occasion of increase of salaries and actions on stabilization, they were more likely hardened. The improvement has come during pre-election struggle for the post of president in 1948 when Truman could take advantage of the veto against the law the Taffeta-Hartley published by the conservative forces of the Congress with the purpose of decrease of influence of trade unions. The deterioration has come again when Truman during the Korean War has supported the control of salaries and the prices.

If the relationship between President Truman and trade unions often were inconsistent, his attitude to the heavy industry was the same. When in 1952 there was a conflict in the steel industry which reason, in opinion of the president, was a nonflexible position of industrialists, he has disposed to transfer steel foundries to the government up to the resolution of conflict. The Supreme Court has declared this emergency measure in the beginning of June, 1952 of the contradicting constitution, and all last up to the end of July while employers and trade unions do not send to the compromise.

The program of loyalty concerns to Truman’s the most disputable internal political decisions, attempt to provide national safety of the United States also by means of the control of the left political dissidents. It has resulted not only in restriction of a civil freedom and ideological persecution of the prospective communists in the government under the direction of senator Joseph McCarthy, but also to a poisoning of an internal political climate in the USA. In this context Truman is often accused that he unduly accented the Soviet threat for the United States to win the Congress for supporting the policy in Europe and Asia and by that has untied thee anticommunist persecution.

There were objections against such interpretation recently, that the American public, most later since 1946, was more and more adjusted in the anti-Soviet way, reacting thus on the Soviet policy in the East Europe, and that Truman only tried to supervise the Congress (McCullough, 2002).

The relationship between Harry Truman and the American Congress were difficult because of many factors: after his election as the president in1948 he has presented the program covering 25 items “the Fair rate”. It covered the control of the prices, credits, industrial products, export, salaries and rents. It promised also the obligatory insurance on the case of illness, the best maintenance of social safety and the federal help for an educational system promised the expansion civil-legal legislation, cheap habitation. In the view of the republican majority in the Congress this ambitious program could not be executed, but it specified a direction of expansion according to the European standards still not developed American social system.

The conflicts between Truman and the Congress became frequent during the second term of Truman in a post of president as republicans attributed to the president in the sharp form “loss of China” to the communists Мао. During two terms Truman resisted to 4 Congresses in which each time the majority was to the right of his internal policy. Truman did not hesitate to use widely the right for the veto to reflect republican initiatives and to adhere to the rate (McCullough, 2002).

To the largest successes of his presidency, undoubtedly, belongs the fact that he was able to oblige the 80-th Congress controllable by republicans (1946-48) to ” the extra party foreign policy “. In the view of increasing internal political criticism Truman in the spring of 1952 has declared the refusal of following promotion by the candidate. The congress by this time has already accepted 22 additions to the constitution which limited presidency by two terms. Truman was the president for 6 years.

He has selected the successor the governor of Illinois Edlay Stevenson who, however, obviously conceded to popular general Dew D. Eisenhower. In his memoirs Truman wrote what to be the president means to be “lonely, very lonely during the greater decisions”. From Independence where in 1957 Harry S. Truman’s library has been opened, the ex-president closely watched the political events and was glad, when in 1961 on behalf of John F. Kennedy in the White House the democrat has entered and when at Lyndon B. Johnson since 1964 many of his plans and reforms have been carried out again.

Works cited

Burnes Brian (2003) Harry S. Truman: His Life and Times, Kansas City Star Books.

McCullough David (1993) Truman, Simon & Schuster.

Truman Harry S. , Ferrell Robert H.  (2002) The Autobiography of Harry S. Truman,  University of Missouri Press.

Truman Harry S  (1999) Memoirs of Harry S. Truman: 1945 Year of Decisions, William S. Konecky Associates; Reissue edition.