Explain the importance of President Truman’s order to integrate the US military and the federal government.
What was Executive order 9981?
On July 26, 1948, President Truman issued an executive order stating “that there should be equality of treatment and opportunities for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.” This was a response due to the struggle African Americans faced when trying to serve their country, even though Truman was not an evident support of integration. They fought during the American Revolution along white people, but the struggle continued thereafter. The act is often stated as “the pinnacle of the Truman civil rights program and the climax of the struggle for racial equality in the armed forces.” African American unites often acted with more bravery and action than there white counterparts, so it would make sense that Truman would want to fully integrate them into America’s armed forces, as they could be a vital part of battles.
How did the EO impact the military and federal government?
At first, the military resisted the integration, but were forced to use this order in recruitment and training. This order created more power in the military as they had more men to fight in the wars, creating a stronger military and fighting front for the United States. Not only did this law desegregate the military, it also helped create a sense of politics as race became more of an important topics in presidential debates and elections. It also created a an “advisory committee [within the federal government] to examine the rules, practices, and procedures of the armed services and recommend ways to make desegregation a reality.”
The fact that will stick with me is that someone who was raised in a Confederate household and was on the fence about race relations can create a law to help integrate African Americans into the armed forces because he knows it is the right thing to do. Even if it was just to make the military more powerful, he still created an executive order that helped to advance African American rights in a great direction. This executive order impacts the world today because without it, African American rights in the military would have probably been set back many years. Who knows what their rights would look like, or even what politics would look like now if this order was not set in 1948.