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Compare and Contrast two U.S. Presidents - Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan - Essay Example

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This paper compares and contrasts two very different President : Harry Truman (1884-1972) who was President from 1945-1953, and Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) who was President from 1981-1989. The role of President of the United States is one of the most visible and demanding jobs in the world…
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Compare and Contrast two U.S. Presidents - Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan
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Download file to see previous pages Truman summed up this notion with the words: “I believe it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure.” (Truman, 1947, quoted in Bostdorff: 2008, p. 4) The speech was carefully crafted by Truman’s advisers, and it proved to mark a definitive change in the direction of U.S. foreign policy, leading swiftly into a period of high tension that we know as the Cold War internationally. Within the United States the anti-Communist rhetoric led to the persecution of people known to have, or suspected of having, Communist sympathies. The events leading up to the Korean war show a President increasingly reliant on military force, or the threat of military force, in foreign policy. There had been qualifying statements in the original speech, spelling out that military options were not the only, nor even the main form of support that America could offer to states under threat from “outside pressure” : “I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes.” (Truman, 1947, quoted in Bostdorff: 2008, p. 120) Despite this qualification, Truman found himself drawn into military options and launching into an in which America perceived itself as playing a policeman role in world politics. It may be that one reason for this turn of events is that Truman, never very eloquent or subtle in his dealing with critics and opponents, could not envisage any other path than a clear and simple resistance. Critics acknowledge the great service that Truman gave in his term of office, and his...
This essay discusses that each new President brings to the job a different mix of character traits, experience and skills which then help to determine the style of his administration and the type of leadership that the country experiences. Harry Truman, a Democrat, became President towards the end of the Second World War. He made one of the most fateful decisions in the history of mankind when he gave permission for the use of the atom bomb on Japanese cities, in an effort to bring the war to a speedy conclusion. Having served himself as a soldier in France in the First World War he had direct experience of the dreadful casualties of trench warfare with mechanized traditional weapons, and he was reluctantly persuaded that the atom bomb would be a means to an end, pushing the enemies to surrender. The tactic was effective, but the cost in human life shocked the world, and the shadow of nuclear weapons has influenced world history ever since. After the war Truman proved to be a diligent supporter of the victims of the war. He helped put together the Marshall plan which sent aid to millions of starving people and contributed to the rebuilding of war-torn Europe. Ronald Reagan was a completely different type of character than Truman. He was a Republican, and through his experience in the world of films had an easy rapport with the great and the good of America. He was at first regarded as something of a liability, because of his advancing age, and his lack of substance, but he became one of the most popular Presidents at home and abroad. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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