Harry S. Truman's Presidency

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What assumption did President Truman make about what the American people wanted when he introduced his Fair Deal in late 1945 and early 1946?

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aelizevans eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In terms of the domestic agenda of the Fair Deal, many of the proposals were based on continued liberalism previously established with the New Deal. As a reminder: liberalism refers to concepts of civil liberty and equality through a combination of social justice and economic initiatives. Therefore, Truman's administration assumed that the public was in favour of extended liberalism. However, only a limited number of the large-scale Fair Deal initiatives had enough support from the GOP to become law. This is not necessarily due to a lack of support in the American population as a whole; at the time, a Conservative Coalition controlled Congress, and had there been more liberal influence, more of Truman's proposals would have become law. The disparity between Truman's political agenda and the congressional influence of the opposing party can be considered a logical disparity between what the American people wanted and what ultimately became law.

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When President Truman announced his “Fair Deal” proposals, he was assuming that the American people wanted an extension of the New Deal and more government involvement in the economy.

The Fair Deal can be seen as an extension of the New Deal.  It certainly called for more government programs to fix perceived problems.  These included such programs as a universal health insurance program, legislation for expanded public housing, and increases in aid to education. 

By calling for such programs, Truman clearly showed that he assumed Americans wanted more government intervention.  He assumed that Americans wanted the government to be more involved in solving the society’s problems.

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