U. S. Infm. Agency
In the local courthouse, September 18, President
Truman registered to vote for the November 1948 presidential election. An election board clerk looked on. Mrs.
Truman and daughter Margaret waited their turn to sign
the registration book.
Truman, Berlin and the 1948 Election
BY FRED B. MISSE*
President Harry S. Truman did not win the 1948 election on
domestic issues alone yet practically all accounts suggest that foreign policy issues had little, if any, impact on the outcome. It is
possible to question that conclusion. The situation in Europe became especially important, because of the European Recovery
Program (better known as the Marshall Plan) and the Berlin blockade. Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union
built up to the danger point several times during the campaign.
President Truman's surprising victory can be explained, in part,
by the reaction of certain Americans to those tensions. German-
American voters played an especially important role.
The available information about this election clearly indicates
that writers focused most of their attention on three factors. The
split that developed within the Democratic party received the
*Fred B. Misse is professor of History at Pittsburg State University, Kansas.
He received the B.A. degree from the University of Kansas, Lawrence', and the
M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana.