The Triumphs of Harry Truman in the Presidential Election of 1948
This chapter examines the place of foreign policy issues in national debates on the eve of the 1948 election. It profiles the four candidates (Harry Truman, Thomas Dewey, Henry Wallace, and Strom Thurmond), considers the role of foreign affairs during the campaign and their significance in determining the election result, and analyses the impact of Truman’s victory on US foreign policy. It argues that international affairs and their domestic consequences (anxieties about Communist influence especially) were very important in 1948. During the campaign, Truman effectively exploited his leadership in foreign policy. His resolute position on the Berlin blockade was part of a bipartisan foreign policy. So Dewey could hardly criticize the policy and gained little from its popularity. The main impact of the election was the consolidation of Truman’s policy of containment.
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