Harry S. Truman And Red Scare

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Harry S. Truman, the thirty-third President of the United States, was known for making a multitude of controversial decisions during his presidency and there are a multitude of ways he exhibited political courage during his life. For instance, Harry S. Truman’s involvement with the Red Scare relates to his courageousness because he bravely vetoed unethical symbols of anti-Communism such as the Internal Security Act of 1950 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Truman is also known for integrating the armed forces and this action he took is considered an act of political courage because there were people during this time who supported discrimination of people based upon their age, religion, or race. Lastly, Truman faced a challenge to get the Senate to accept United States membership of the United Nations, and he wanted to change foreign policy. Truman’s legacy remains an inspiration for America today since he recognized the extensive and sometimes complicated history of American immigration reform. Harry S. Truman should be recognized for his courageousness because he vetoed unethical symbols of anti-Communism even though he received backlash from other anti-Communists in his party, integrated the armed forces even though there were people at the time who allowed the discrimination of people based upon race and other physical features, and he made a radical change in foreign policy that resulted in the relationship between the United States and China to become conflicted.

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Harry S. Truman deserves a Profile in Courage because of his involvement with the Red Scare. This was an act of political courage because he vetoed the International Security Act of 1950 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 to establish a political middle ground between the Nationalists and Communists. In doing this, he took a risk by going against his fellow anti-Communists such as Senator Joseph McCarthy and vetoed two reckless symbols of anti-Communism. According to Richard S. Kirkendall, Truman’s treatment of civil liberties, particularly in the areas of national security and immigration policy, must be comprehended within the context of the second Red Scare. The American terror of Communism, both domestically and abroad, emerged as a reaction to the revolution in Russia in 1917 and was escalated by the world war. Although Harry S. Truman had acts of courage during the time of the Red Scare, he also integrated the armed forces.

Truman’s decision to integrate the armed forces was courageous for a multitude of reasons. On July 26, 1948, Truman issued an executive order that stated, “There should be equal treatment and opportunity regardless of race, color, religion or national origin for all people in the armed forces.” Executive Order 9981 marked an end of racial inequality in the armed forces. According to Patrick Feng, Harry S. Truman had differing opinions on race relations and integration. There is no evidence in Truman’s history to indicate his support for social reform in the United States. Truman’s efforts to integrate the armed forces were courageous because people during the time supported slavery and the discrimination of people based upon their age, religion, or race. Although Harry S. Truman made a courageous decision to integrate the armed forces despite his differing opinions, he also made a bold change in foreign policy that displays his courageousness.

When Truman tried to get the Senate to recognize United States membership of the United Nations, Truman faced a dilemma, and he decided to reform foreign policy in the United States. To Illustrate, Truman made a decision to change foreign policy with Chiang Kai-Shek to Chinese Communists. Truman’s choice to change foreign policy with the leader Chiang Kai-Shek to Chinese Communists was a bold move because Franklin D. Roosevelt had already maintained a good relationship with Chiang, a nationalist leader. Hence, Truman displayed courage by making a drastic change in foreign policy from a policy with a nationalist leader, to a group of Chinese Communists.

Courage is an advantageous trait to possess, and Harry S. Truman displayed courage in a multitude of ways throughout his lifetime. Truman displayed courage when he was involved with the Red Scare. He fearlessly turned down two immoral symbols of anti-Communism such as the Internal Security Act of 1950 and the Nationality Act of 1952. In doing so, by going against his fellow anti-Communists like Senator Joseph McCarthy, he took a chance and vetoed two corrupt anti-Communist symbols. When Truman went against his fellow anti-Communists, he displayed an act of political courage. Truman also made an effort to integrate the armed forces and this is considered an act of courage because there were people during this time who supported the discrimination of people based upon their age, race, or religion. Lastly, Truman’s efforts to change foreign policy was an act of political courage because he took a risk despite the backlash he received from anti-Communists. Although Truman displayed courage throughout his lifetime, he also had a lasting legacy. Harry S. Truman remains an inspiration for individuals in the United States because he recognized the extensive and sometimes complex history of the United States immigration reform. Harry S. Truman should be recognized for his courageousness because he vetoed unethical symbols of anti-Communism even though he received backlash from other anti-Communists in his party, integrated the armed forces even though there were people at the time who allowed the discrimination of people based upon race and other physical features, and he made a radical change in foreign policy that resulted in the relationship between the United States and China to become conflicted.

Bibliography

  1. Donovan, Robert J. Conflict & Crisis. W.W. Norton & Company, 1996. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Conflict_and_Crisis/d0uu-j32elUC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=When+was+the+C.
  2. Donovan, Robert J. Tumultuous Years: The Presidency of Harry S Truman. W.W. Norton & Company, 1982.
  3. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Tumultuous_Years/S1MiZwdZPPMC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=tumultuous+years&pg=PA9&printsec=frontcover
  4. ‘Executive Order 9981: Integration of the Armed Forces.’ The Campaign for the National Museum of the United States Army. https://armyhistory.org/executive-order-9981-integration-of-the-armed-forces/.
  5. Mitchell, Franklin D. Harry s. Truman and the News Media. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1998. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Harry_S_Truman_and_the_News_Media/QeChU2AZDnkC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=.
  6. Kirkendall, Richard Stewart. Civil Liberties and the Legacy of Harry S. Truman. Truman State University Press, 2013.
  7. https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Civil_Liberties_Legacy_of_Harry_S_Tr/ndWVAwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=civil+liberties+and+the+legacy+of&pg=PP1&printsec=frontcover                  
07 July 2022

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