Harry Truman's impact on Civil Rights (Overview)

All you need to know about Truman relating to Civil Rights.

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  • Created on: 06-01-13 00:25
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Truman Presidential reign 1945-1953
How he got into power and his early life...
He was born in a racist town in the ex confederate state of Missouri.
His family were deeply racist, especially sister who showed this during his reign and his uncle,
who used to shoot at them as he liked to watch them `jump'.
His ancestors owned slaves
He wasn't elected; he came in as he was Vice president of Roosevelt who died.
Roosevelt chose him over an open racist for the vice president position (this is important later
What he did when he was in power (the good)...
Despite his racist background his presidential campaign was surprisingly helpful for blacks.
The main reason this is, is due to the fact black soldiers were attacked after returning from
WW2, this shocked Truman and called for `Respect for law regardless of race'
This lead to... To secure these rights (1947) ­ The civil rights committee, investigated violence
on black people (watch Mississippi's burning, it's very good and helpful). They also produced a
bill which included abolishment of poll tax & anti lynching amongst many others that helped
Prior to this, Truman also established the FEPC which helped blacks with fair employment
attempting to end discrimination in employment.
Truman's relations with Adam Clayton also hold significance, this is due to the media picking up
on their, I wouldn't say friendly but definitely not hostile relationship.
Truman also made very important speeches, to the NAACP promoting civil rights and was also
the first to campaign in Harlem. (also desegregated his ralleys)
Truman was also focused on USA's international relations/image; he wasn't prepared to fight
a cold war against soviet enslavement when his own country didn't promote freedom.
He and his admit also supported the case of SHELLY V. KRAEMER (which allowed black's to
purchase homes in white areas.
Established CGCC
The bad...
His approach to Civil rights was really against any form of the democrats before and prior to him blacks
strongly favored Republicans (due to the emancipator) (Lincoln) and this lead to serious repercussions...
The Democrat Party endured a huge divide; especially the southern Democrats were heavily
against Truman's approach to civil rights and his support of desegregation. This lead to the
creation of the Dixiecrats ran by Strom Thurmond and believed desegregation was
Un-American, hindering any bills which Truman wished to pass.
He ran under a congress with a majority who were against CR bills being pushed forward.

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His bills lacked funding, especially the FEPC.
It is argued that it wasn't all him as he was under pressure from Randolph, CORE and the NAACP.
He was the first president to direct attention to the CR movements and essentially got the ball moving;
despite his early racist life he began to display sympathy towards blacks displaying that public opinion
changing was possible.…read more


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