Dwight David Eisenhower was elected the 34th President of the United States in 1952, was inaugurated in January 1953 and served two terms which ended in 1961. He was the first, and so far, the only general ever elected president and the only president who had never held a political office prior to being elected. President Eisenhower brought the prestige of having commanded the victorious Allied forces during World War II to the office, a commendation that would serve his presidency well.
As president, Eisenhower worked feverishly to end the Cold War, establish world peace and defeat communism across the globe. President Eisenhower is the driving force is securing an armistice that ended the Korean War before it became World War III, and he used the threat of nuclear attacks to contain the spread of communism abroad. As one of the greatest military strategists of all time, President Dwight Eisenhower used his leadership and manipulation skills to thwart attempts by the U.S.S.R. to continue invading and conquering smaller countries. One of President Eisenhower's favorite accomplishments was his "Atoms of Peace" program wherein America loaned uranium to the "have not" nations in order to maintain world peace.
Politics of President Dwight Eisenhower
As a moderate, Eisenhower pursued the policies and ideology of what was termed "modern Republicanism" during his time. As he left office, President Eisenhower said, "America is today the strongest, most influential and most productive nation in the world. Indeed it was. During his terms as president, Eisenhower oversaw a prosperity the nation had not experienced before or since. Often called the "Eisenhower Prosperity Period," the 1950s saw a resurgence in industrial and technology growth.
Despite a Democratically controlled Congress during his administrations, Eisenhower was successful in establishing many domestic programs on both the economic and social fronts, sometimes with the full support of Congress, other times he had to wrestle with the members before they passed his proposals. One such example was with the federal budget; Eisenhower vetoed the budget presented to him 181 times before he finally signed one that matched where he thought the country should be headed. Even as a military hero, he was adamant that the defense budget be cut rather than raise taxes on the working Americans. It was this stance that promoted the prosperity during his terms.
Before leaving office in 1961, President Eisenhower advised future presidents to maintain a military strength that was adequate, but to refrain from an oversized military that had the potential to breed danger to the way of life in America. He felt that a military of greater strength than necessary would only make it easier to go to war with other nations rather than to promote world peace.
The Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas is home to many of Dwight Eisenhower's personal and military papers. In the library are archived 480 manuscripts collections, hours and hours of audio and oral histories, over 25,000 personal books and over a quarter-million photographs.