Harry Truman

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1. Harry Truman was a realistic, pragmatic president who skillfully led the American people against the menace posed by the Soviet Union. Assess the validity of this statement by examining the Foreign Policy implemented during Truman’s presidency.

At the end of the Second World War two major issues were brought to attention. The first was dealing with the destruction of the global catastrophe. The second issue involved the shape of the new world and what political alliances were to be made. And although the U.S. and Russia were “allies” during the war the second issue was the foremost cause of the contention between the world’s two political/economic systems, Capitalism and Communism. The Cold War was basically an ideological catch-22 in which the U.S. was caught up in, mostly because of the actions taken by the Federal government and the chief executive, Harry S. Truman. Up until Truman’s speech to Congress in 1947, the most powerful influence on American foreign policy had been the Monroe Doctrine, a policy by President Monroe that proposed America ought to keep out of European affairs.   The Truman Doctrine completely overturned the Monroe Doctrine. The Soviet Union viewed the actions taken during Truman’s administration as further threats of American imperialism. Truman’s Foreign Policy reflected an entirely interventionist attitude with the implementation of the Truman Doctrine, the crisis in Berlin, and NATO. Therefore the statement is primarily invalid. In 1947 Communist insurgents threatened to take over both Greece and Turkey, but England could no longer support them. So in a speech before Congress in which he asked for $400 million in aid to the two countries, Truman asserted that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures. Truman’s statement became the basis for the larger policy, developed by George Kennan, called containment. This idea said...
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