Presidential Debate: Truman vs. FDR

Topics: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower Pages: 6 (2294 words) Published: November 22, 2011
Presidential Debate Truman Vs FDR
In this paper you are about to read, I am going to convince you that Harry S. Truman would have been a much better choice for the 32nd President of the United States then Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). Who was Harry S. Truman? First of all, you’re probably wondering why I did not include his full middle name in the opening paragraph. Well, believe it or not the “S” initial did not actually stand for anything, which was a common practice among the Irish at the time. His parents chose "S" as his "middle name" in an attempt to please both of Harry's grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. Anyway, He was born on a simple farm but was an avid reader with a thirst for knowledge. He had a love of history and politics and even studied law for several years. Harry served in the war, where his leadership skills were already evident as a Field Artillery Commander. Eventually he came to represent the Democratic Party. Truman was elected a judge of the Jackson County Court (an administrative position) in 1922. He became a Senator in 1934. During World War II he headed the Senate War Investigating Committee, checking into waste and corruption and saving perhaps as much as 15 billion dollars. Truman had been Vice President for only 82 days when he had to step up as President due to Franklin Roosevelt’s death on April 12, 1945. Little did he know that after his time in office, he would be considered one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States of America. When Harry Truman became President, he took office under FDR's shadow, and the American citizens hoped he could be the next “legendary” leader. Unfortunately for Truman, he had had very little communication with Roosevelt about world affairs or domestic politics and was uninformed about major initiatives relating to the war and the top secret Manhattan Project, which was about to test the world's first atomic bomb. Faced with difficult decisions early on, Truman quoted, “I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me." The U.S. and other nations were fearful at the time that Nazi Germany was creating nuclear weapons for warfare. However, the United States decided to use its atomic weapon against Japan because it refused to agree to the terms of surrender offered in the Potsdam Declaration set up by the United States, United Kingdom and China. On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped its first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered five days later. Truman said that this move was necessary to insure victory over Japan, and he really had no other viable options. Truman himself is quoted as saying, “ I did what I needed to do to stop the war and I would do it again if necessary”. President Truman had hoped that the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan would force other countries to do away with their nuclear weapons programs. Unfortunately, this did not happen. However, Truman attempted to make nuclear peace worldwide, so no other country

would have to endure the deadly force of nuclear bombs. President Truman's decision to “drop the bomb” did save hundreds of thousands of lives that could have been lost in a potential invasion of mainland Japan-lives that were needed to continue in the war effort! With the end of the war came the ultimate challenge of getting the United States back on its feet in the aftermath. There was a major railway strike in 1946 that was unprecedented in the nation's history, that meant virtually all passenger and freight lines went to a standstill for over a month. That strike threatened the entire infrastructure of the nation. Goods were not reaching their destinations and passengers had a difficult time traveling from one town to another. When the railway workers turned down a proposed settlement, President Truman seized control of the railways and threatened to draft...
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