Truman Doctrine

Topics: Cold War, World War II, Harry S. Truman Pages: 6 (1872 words) Published: January 19, 2012
Truman Doctrine

Ryan Hauppa
A. Plan of Investigation

The following questions will be investigated: What were the events and decisions that led to the development of the Truman Doctrine? What was its effect on US Foreign Policy and its impact on Greece, Turkey and Europe? Research will be conducted concerning the Post World War II Treaties as Potsdam, Soviet Union aggression, and the Greek and Turkey Crisis. These events prompted the development of the Truman Doctrine - the US foreign policy to contain the spread of Communism. Truman’s 1947 Address that introduced the doctrine to the world, his own personal thoughts, and the support and criticism of the policy will be examined. The doctrine will be analyzed as to how it shaped future American policies and programs as the Marshall Plan and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War over forty years later. (Word Count -143) B. Summary of Evidence

World War II devastated Europe. Millions of people died. Many of those remaining were starving and in need of food and shelter since the farms and cities of many countries were destroyed. Billions of dollars were spent. Countries were nearly bankrupt. Europe was in economic, social, and political devastation. After the surrender of Germany in 1945, the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union met first at Yalta and later at Potsdam in Germany. They met to resolve war reparations and boundaries of Germany. As part of the agreements, Germany was divided into East and West. The Eastern portion was controlled by the Soviet Union and the West by the United States, United Kingdom, and France. Berlin, the capital, which is inside Eastern Germany, was also divided by the four countries. (Pemberton 50) In 1945 and 1946, Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, had been taking over new countries including Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Czechoslovakia by establishing governments favorable to him. (CNN Cold War Appendix Maps) The Soviet Union focused next on Greece and Turkey. In February of 1947, Great Britain informed the United States in a “State Department Telegram” that that they could no longer provide financial aid to the governments of Greece and Turkey since they did not have the money and resources. Both governments were being threatened by Communist insurgents. (Truman Library Telegram 1) Truman pledged 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” in a “Address of the President of the United States” in March of 1947. (Truman Address 1) The economic aid program was costly amounting to total of more than $400 million for the two countries to aid the pro-democracy governments and oppose the Communists. The policy was later called the Truman Doctrine. Congress was divided over the program. Democrats wanted to give diplomacy and the newly formed United Nations a chance while Republicans were isolationist and concerned that the program was too costly. Despite a divided Congress, the program was adopted since both eventually were more concerned over the spread of Communism in the region. The Cold War confrontation had begun. The United States and its principles of freedom, capitalism, and democracy were fighting philosophically and economically against Communism and the Soviet Union. (Donovan 286) Truman and George Marshall, his Secretary of State, then prepared for even greater aid for the rest of Europe. Their objective was to rebuild Western Europe and prevent a Communism take over of the remaining free nations. The policy was called the Marshall Plan, the European Economic Recovery Program. Over $13 billion in aid was provided in 1947. (Truman Memoirs 111) The Cold War was expanded. Stalin tried to disrupt the United States and its allies in 1948 and 1949 by shutting down access to Berlin. Truman responded by airlifting...
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