1. How far do you agree that the Truman Doctrine marked the start of the Cold War?
It had been a topic of debate on which event truly marked the start of the Cold War and the Truman Doctrine would have surely been raised as a possible answer many times, amongst others such as the Marshall Plan and Zhdanov ‘Two Camps’ speech. In order for one to choose, among the many events, which was the most significant one that marked the start of the Cold War, one must first set parameters of what would be considered the start of the Cold war. Hence, I would deem the start of the Cold War as the point in time when the United States (US) stepped out of its policy of isolation and took up the policy of containment, thus effectively marking the start of a bitter ‘bi-polar’ ideological struggle between the West, led by the US, and the East, led by the USSR, which never quite led to open or ‘hot’ hostilities between the principals. Using the parameters that I have set, the Truman Doctrine would be, in my opinion, the most significant event that marked the start of the Cold War. Though it can be argued that Kennan’s Long Telegram advocated American resistance to what the West perceived as Soviet expansionism and was, therefore, fundamental in the establishment of the Truman Doctrine and that Churchill’s ‘iron curtain’ speech made it clear that the Cold War was already in existence. It can also be argued that it was the Marshall Plan that had truly shown the motives of the US, which was to contain the spread of communism, and thus radically worsened the already sour ties between the US and the USSR. Also, perhaps some may say that Zhdanov ‘Two Camps’ speech was the main event that marked the start of the Cold War as it had caused much disruptions and hence, added to the atmosphere of tension. However it is due to the Truman Doctrine that created a snowball effect that caused the implementation of the Marshall Plan and Zhdanov ‘Two Camps’ speech was the Soviet’s response to the...
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