Featured in Issues & Controversies in American History:
THE STEEL SEIZURE CASE: Should President Truman Have Seized Control of the Steel Mills?
On April 8, 1952, President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order directing the federal government to seize control of most of the nation’s steel mills. President Truman feared that a threatened steelworkers’ strike would shut down the steel industry and compromise the United States’ military effort in the Korean War. Opponents of Truman’s order argued that only Congress had the power to take private property for public use and that the president’s action violated the U.S. Constitution. Was President Truman’s move valid? The dispute would ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Let your students get the facts and decide for themselves: Did President Truman have the power to seize the nation’s steel mills?
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