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Compare and contrast Wilson and Truman - Essay Example

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He is remembered as a leader who was racist in his policies and thoughts. This is because his administration racially segregated both federal employees and members of the military,…
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Compare and contrast Wilson and Truman
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President Wilson and Truman Ways of Dealing with Military Leaders Thomas Woodrow Wilson served as America’s 28th president between 1913 and 1921 (Keylor 98). He is remembered as a leader who was racist in his policies and thoughts. This is because his administration racially segregated both federal employees and members of the military, especially the Navy. On the other hand, Harry S. Truman served as the 33rd president between 1945 and 1953. He succeeded Roosevelt, following his death in 1945. During his leadership, the United States managed to successfully end the First World War. This paper provides an insightful analysis of Wilson and Truman’s ways of dealing with military leaders during their presidential tenures.
Wilson approach to military leaders was more based on his neutrality policy. During the First World War, President Wilson opted to remain strictly neutral. According to him, the underlying cause of the First World War was the militant nationalism of the greatest European power and the ethnic hatred that had engulfed both Central and Eastern Europe. During the early years of the war, America was experiencing a recession. President Wilson was more of a mediator when dealing with military leaders. During the First World War for instance, he offered to be a mediator between the Central powers and the Allies. He refused to build up the military forces in the United States in anticipation of a war threat. For this reason, he faced widespread criticism from Republican, led by Theodore Roosevelt.
President Wilson directly made important military decisions on his own. For instance, when the German submarines began to kill sailors and civilian passengers, President Wilson personally demanded German stop. Despite this, he kept the United States out of this war. President Wilson was received more pressure from military leaders and American citizens to discard his neutrality policy after the sinking of the British passenger liner by the Germans. In the early 1917, he directed the military leader to adopt the unrestricted submarine warfare (Keylor 231). He eventually took America into the First World War after the revelation of the Zimmermann Telegram. President Wilson became more proactive with the military leaders. He gave direct commands to military leaders, including General John J. Pershing.
On the other hand, President Truman is remembered for implementing a number of policies aimed at desegregating the Armed forces. He dealt with the military leaders in a neutral manner. In 1948, he signed an executive order that called for the desegregation of the military. He had served as an artillery military officer in the First World War, where he had experiences African-American men serving in segregated units. He ordered the military leaders to ensure the elimination of discrimination against black troops.
Under President Truman’s directive, the secretary of war Robert Patterson issued an order to the U.S Army to review its racial policies. as a result, General George C. Marshall established a board that was aimed at issuing a directive on the use of African Americans in the Army. The period between 1945 and 1946 was marked by significant changes in the U.S Armed forces in terms of racial policies. In 1947, President Truman issued a president order that was aimed at securing the civil rights of both civilian government employees as well as the members of the armed forces. He directed military leader to ensure strict adherence to this order.
In conclusion, President Wilson and Truman differed in the manner in which they dealt with military leaders. President Wilson approach to military affairs was based on his neutrality position and the decision of not taking the U.S to the Second World War. Conversely, President Truman’s military approach was dictated by his effort to desegregate the U.S. Armed Forces.
Works Cited
Keylor, William R. The Twentieth Century World and Beyond: An International History since 1900. (5th ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print. Read More
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