The policies of the Eisenhower administration regarding intergovernmental relations have generally been characterized as state-oriented, relatively unconcerned about the problems of cities, and inclined toward inaction as compared to those of the Democratic administrations that preceded and followed it. Indeed, it has been suggested that these policies were the result of the President's personal preferences. Thus, William E. Nelson writes:
The election of Dwight D. Eisenhower to the presidency for two terms resulted in a curtailment in the growth of federal-city relations exhibited over the previous two decades. Describing himself as a "dynamic conservative," Eisenhower believed strongly that the states and the cities had the responsibility of solving their own problems without involvement or interference by the federal government. 1
In a similar vein, Roscoe Martin has stated:
. . . a strong chief executive almost uniformly brings on increased national activity, a weak or complacent one renewed emphasis on the states. Thus a Roosevelt was followed by a Taft, a Wilson by a Harding-Coolidge, a Roosevelt-Truman by an Eisenhower, and Eisenhower by a Kennedy-Johnson. The swing from centralization to decentralization and back is by no means constant, but the over-all trend is clearly discernible. 2
For the most part, scholars have failed to describe at length the policies of the Eisenhower administration regarding intergovernmental relations or to consider
The author wishes to thank Elaine Barnett, Melanie Blumberg, and Anne Schwarz for their assistance in gathering bibliographical materials and statistical data.