What Was Modern Republicanism?

modern-republicanism Credit: CGP Grey/CC-BY 2.0

Modern Republicanism was President Dwight Eisenhower's 1952 philosophy that sought to balance government intervention with individual freedom. His ideals were a response to more extreme Republicans who argued that Truman's Fair Deal and Roosevelt's New Deal programs should be removed, both of which had increased government spending and intervention.

Eisenhower's approach was moderate, as he tried to maintain some of Truman's and Roosevelt's ideals while allowing for freedom of the individual and of the market. Under his plan, the government expanded Social Security and dictated minimum wage. There would be low-income housing and a new Department of Health, Education and Welfare to ensure that the government played some role in citizens' well-being. The government also carried out the Interstate Highway program. However, Eisenhower supported a modest spending program to keep federal power in check, resulting in a decrease in government spending from 20.4 to 18.4 percent during his presidency.