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The Chance for Peace speech, also known as the Cross of Iron speech, was an address given by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
on April 16, 1953, shortly after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Speaking only three months into his presidency, Eisenhower likened arms spending to stealing from the people, and evoked William Jennings Bryan in describing "humanity hanging from a cross of iron." Although Eisenhower, a former military man, spoke against increased military spending, the Cold War
Cold War
deepened during his administration and political pressures for increased military spending mounted. By the time he left office in 1961, he felt it necessary to warn of the military-industrial complex.

Contents

1 Background 2 The speech 3 Legacy 4 References

4.1 Notes

5 External links

Background[edit] Eisenhower took office in January 1953, with the Korean War
Korean War
winding down. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had detonated an atomic bomb, and appeared to reach approximate military parity with the United States.[1] Political pressures for a more aggressive stance toward the Soviet Union mounted, and calls for increased military spending did as well. Stalin's demise on March 5, 1953, briefly left a power vacuum in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and offered a chance for rapprochement with the new regime, as well as an opportunity to decrease military spending.[2] The speech[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: The Chance for Peace

The speech was addressed to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, in Washington D.C., on April 16, 1953. Eisenhower took an opportunity to highlight the cost of continued tensions and rivalry with the Soviet Union.[3] While addressed to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the speech was broadcast nationwide, through use of television and radio, from the Statler Hotel.[4] He noted that not only were there military dangers (as had been demonstrated by the Korean War), but an arms race would place a huge domestic burden on both nations:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.[1][5]

Legacy[edit] Eisenhower's "humanity hanging from a cross of iron" evoked William Jennings Bryan's Cross of Gold speech. As a result, "The Chance for Peace speech", colloquially, became known as the "Cross of Iron speech" and was seen by many as contrasting the Soviet Union's view of the post- World War II
World War II
world with the United States' cooperation and national reunion view.[6] Despite Eisenhower's hopes as expressed in the speech, the Cold War deepened during his time in office.[7] His farewell address was "a bookend" to his Chance for Peace speech.[1][8] In that speech, he implored Americans to think to the future and "not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow",[9] but the large peacetime military budgets that became established during his administration have continued for half a century.[10] References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b c Susan Eisenhower, "50 Years Later, We're Still Ignoring Ike's Warning", The Washington Post, January 16, 2011, p. B3. ^ See Walter LaFeber, America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945-2002. McGraw-Hill, 2002, pp. 194-197. ISBN 0-07-284903-7. ^ "Eisenhower on the Opportunity Cost of Defense Spending", Harper's Magazine, November 12, 2007. ^ Peters, Gerhard. "Dwight D. Eisenhower: 50 - Address "The Chance for Peace". The American Presidency Project. Gerhard Peters - The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 8 Oct 2013.  ^ Social Justice Speeches, The Chance for Peace. ^ "Chance for Peace (April 16, 1953)". Miller Center. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. Retrieved 8 Oct 2013.  ^ See Cold War
Cold War
(1953–1962) and references cited therein. ^ Samantha Kenner, "Panel Examines Ike's Landmark Speeches 50 Years Later", KSAL News, April 13, 2011. ^ Bill Buzenberg, "A Half Century Later, Another Warning in Eisenhower Address Rings True", The Center for Public Integrity, January 17, 2011. ^ Joël Krieger and Margaret E. Crahan, The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, 2nd ed. 2001, p. 548.

External links[edit]

Text of the speech As delivered text of speech Links to recordings of the speech

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Dwight D. Eisenhower

34th President of the United States
President of the United States
(1953–1961) Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Supreme Allied Commander Europe
(1951–1952) Chief of Staff of the Army (1945–1948) Commander, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (1943–1945)

Military career

Military career 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy Louisiana Maneuvers Operation Torch European Theater of Operations Allied invasion of Sicily Normandy landings Operation Veritable Military Governor, U.S. Occupation Zone in Germany

Disarmed Enemy Forces European Advisory Commission

Supreme Commander of NATO, 1951-1952

Presidency

Presidency 1953 inauguration 1957 inauguration Korean War
Korean War
Armistice 1953 Iranian coup d'état "Chance for Peace" speech "Atoms for Peace" speech Civil Rights Act of 1957 Cold War

Domino theory Khrushchev, Eisenhower and De-Stalinization New Look policy 1955 Geneva Summit 1960 U-2 incident

NASA DARPA National Defense Education Act Interstate Highway System Suez Crisis Eisenhower Doctrine Little Rock Nine
Little Rock Nine
intervention Operation 40 Farewell address / "Military–industrial complex" Office of Food for Peace President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports People to People Student Ambassador Program State of the Union Address (1955 1956 1960) Cabinet Judicial appointments

Supreme Court

Books

Crusade in Europe
Crusade in Europe
(1948)

Elections

Draft Eisenhower movement Republican Party presidential primaries, 1948 1952 1956 Republican National Convention, 1952 1956 United States Presidential election, 1952 1956

Legacy

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Boyhood home

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Dwight D. Eisenhower
Memorial Eisenhower Executive Office Building Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
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commemorative

U.S. Postage stamps Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Army Medical Center Eisenhower Medical Center Eisenhower Trophy Eisenhower Golf Club Eisenhower Theater Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
(Brothers) Places named for Eisenhower Other tributes and memorials

Popular culture

Eisenhower jacket Eisenhower Tree Crusade in Europe
Crusade in Europe
(1949 television series) Ike (1979 miniseries) Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2004 film) Pressure (2014 play)

Family

Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower
Doud Eisenhower
(wife) Doud Eisenhower
Doud Eisenhower
(son) John Eisenhower
John Eisenhower
(son) David Eisenhower
David Eisenhower
(grandson) Anne Eisenhower (granddaughter) Susan Eisenhower
Susan Eisenhower
(granddaughter) Mary Jean Eisenhower
Mary Jean Eisenhower
(granddaughter) Jennie Eisenhower (great-granddaughter) Ida Stover Eisenhower (mother) Earl D. Eisenhower (brother) Edgar N. Eisenhower (brother) Milton S. Eisenhower
Milton S. Eisenhower
(brother)

Related

Eisenhower baseball controversy Camp David "And I don't care what it is" Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace
Award Eddie Slovik Kay Summersby

← Harry S. Truman John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

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