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«Truman's Fair Deal» - Great Essay Sample

«Truman's Fair Deal»

The Fair Deal is a name that was assigned to the domestic program initiated by Harry Truman. The deal was a follow up to Roosevelt's New Deal. In the views of Truman, it was the duty of the federal government to guarantee social and economic opportunities (Gary 20). Although Truman came against stiff opposition from the conservatives, he remained steadfast and made bold steps towards achieving his plans. Based on this establishment, success would imply the attainment of the aims that Truman envisaged. On the other hand, failure would be realized when the expectations are unmet.

After the war period, Truman made transition from war to peace, his first priority. After the war, servicemen who were coming home had to contend with high competition for jobs and housing. However, the G.I Bill helped this situation by harnessing their settling back into society (Gary 29). By helping the servicemen to settle back to the society, the Truman deal had achieved some success. Labor unrest was also a major concern. During the time of war, production was adversely affected. As a result, most people were rendered jobless. Workers also felt that it was time they were awarded pay rises. Thus, it was not surprising that in 1946 up to 4.5 million workers went on strike. Truman pursued the policy of increasing the benefits that were extended to workers and as time moved, the goals were realized as wages rose considerably.   

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As the Americans challenged the automobile, electrical and steel industries, Truman intervened, an aspect that alienated him from working class Americans (Vaughan 291-305). In dealing with immediate issues, Truman also came up with a wider framework for action. The Fair Deal comprised twenty-one points. The twenty-one points offered protection on employment, minimum wage, compensation and housing. During the same time, Truman came up with other proposals on atomic energy and health insurance. However, the approach often raised ambiguities. It appears that the Truman administration was interested in achieving so many goals at the same time. Things were made worse since, the Truman administration had assumed leadership after a major war. Consequently, handling the economic, social and political issues that the country was facing presented a serious concern.

This was clear based on what emerged in 1946 as Republicans overcame the Democrats in the Congressional polls (Vaughan 291-305). The Congress cut spending, an aspect that undermined Truman's government. Despite facing defeat, Truman sought re-election and won against all odds. By winning the election, it is safe to suggest that Truman was successful at the grassroots levels. This view is held in regards to the notion that extending a government's mandate is equal to a vote of confidence, which implies that the leadership is doing fairly well. When Truman left office, the Fair Deal had attained mixed results. For instance in 1948, racial discrimination was banned in hiring of federal government workers. By ending discrimination in the federal government, Truman had achieved great success since the issue of discrimination had always raised concerns in the country. Equally important, ending segregation in the military accounted for an important victory for the Truman reforms (Vaughan 291-305). However, the minimum wage had risen and social security programs were expanding, an aspect that reflected a failure of his plans. When the minimum wages rise, the implication is that the economy spends much money on salaries and less amounts remain for long-term development. Based on the paper, it is concluded that the Fair Deal was successful to some extent while it failed to another extent.


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