IMPACT OF WAR ON THE PRESIDENCY - Coggle Diagram
IMPACT OF WAR ON THE PRESIDENCY
FDR: made a destroyers-for-bases deal by executive order (violating constitution, breaking law)
FDR believed that US national security was threatened as a result of Britain's conflict with Hitler. FDR gathered extraordinary powers during this time. He made sure that the majority supported his actions too.
FDR's powers increased during WW2
As Commander-in-chief, he chose when and where to deploy American forces/resources and negotiated with the USA's most important allies (USSR AND UK)
Lend-lease act 1941: Passed by congress, authorized the president to lend war supplies to nations whose defence he deemed vital to American security. This hugely increased the power of the presidency.
As the USA's involvement in NATO or the UN increased, the power of the president to go to war or make treaties without congress grew.
Size and wealth of USA, and its increasing number of nuclear weapons made it the only superpower that could stand against the USSR. This meant the USA felt committed to doing so.
The size of the armed forces was greatly enlarged after 1950. As commander-in-chief, the president could move military forces around without the permission of congress (1947 National Security Act).
National security act 1947 created the CIA (central intelligence agency) and the National Security council.
CIA and National Security council both reported to the White House, not congress.
The existence of nuclear weapons meant that a nuclear war might begin without warning. Therefore, the President had to have the power to react at once instead of having to wait to ask congress' permission.
Greatly increased the powers of the president
Truman's administration was in disagreements with the Soviets over the post-war world.
Congress repeatedly granted Truman the money to finance the opposition to communism.
Truman: ordered the Berlin airlift in 1948.
Truman: went to war in Korea without congress's consent.
JFK: didn't tell congress about the bay of pigs in 1961
Contributed to the development of the 'National Security State'.
American society more militarised:
Armed forces + weaponry expanded to promote national security.
New federal govt organisations (e.g. CIA or NSC) set up in 1947.
NSC under control of president
The new agencies set up (CIA,NSC) significantly increased presidential power.
Provided President with lots of information about foreign threats that he could justify avoid sharing with congress, on the grounds that secrecy was important to national security.
Beginning of the Korean war turned Truman's focus to the rise of communism in Asia.
He began to mobilise the UN to defend South Korea
Truman made the initial decision to deploy US troops in Korea. Congressional leaders agreed that there was no need for a congressional declaration of war
In a way, this was congress abdicating its constitutional power to declare war. This opened the way to increased presidential power.
This war contributed to the shift in the way the media dealt with the presidency.
Truman didn't really inform the media, as he didn't want to worsen anti-communist feeling. This resulted in the media getting information from other sources, such as Republicans. This led the media to become more critical of Truman.
Although Truman began TV briefings about the war, he found it hard to regain media support for the 'limited war' (a war whose objective is less than the total defeat of the enemy).
This, and the fact that Truman didn't communicate well with the public, made it hard for him to gain public support.
Due to the high amount of power the Presidency had in foreign affairs, presidents were seen as driving policy in the war - more responsible for foreign policy than domestic policy.
E.g. Protests against the war in 1968 focused around the president - placing responsibility firmly on the president for the war.
US presidents became more and more involved in the Vietnam war. At the same time the number of Americans opposing the war was growing rapidly.
Final withdrawal from Vietnam did not reflect well on the govt, or presidency.
People saw footage of evacuations of US troops and South Vietnamese people.
The American people were humiliated to have fought a 'dirty' war, lost it, and left many South Vietnamese without and protection.