Truman And The Cold War Essay Research — страница 2
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showed Truman had shed the United State s fickle isolationist policy, as Truman defended US interference by stating that, This was a time to align the United States clearly on the side, and the head, of the free world. It was clear now to the American citizens that Russia actually posed a threat and were no longer considered a valiant ally, they also backed Truman as they realized he meant business. Although most of the public supported Truman s new foreign policy, many people led by Henry Wallace, thought the President overreacted to Stalin s empty threats, and wondered whether it was in the best interest of the United States to spend the money and resources to protect free nations around the globe. Secretary of Commerce Wallace s outward resentment of Truman s dealings with the situations dealing with Russia caused a stir among the cabinet, Congress and American public. Truman forced Wallace to resign on September 20, 1946. The slate was cleaner for Truman to carry out his new foreign policy and build up the United States defense in what was known as the Arms Race. Truman was hesitant to shed the United States isolationist policy but felt it was necessary. In his memoirs Truman admitted, I know that George Washington s spirit would be invoked against me, and Henry Clay s, and all the other patron saints of the isolationists. But I was convinced that the policy I was about to proclaim was indeed as much required by the conditions of my day as was Washington s. (Hillman-p.130) Was this truly Truman s own conclusion, or was he programmed into thinking this by his defense specialist cabinet? The military began taking over the government, the former Army Chief of Staff was Secretary of State, 10 of the 20 executive officers of the State Department were brought in from military service, General Hilring was named Assistant Secretary, and the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council were formed. This militarization of the American government affected the way Truman carried out his foreign policy. Truman created the Truman Doctrine on March 12, 1947, it was an anti-communist plan that revolved around Truman s new containment policy. Truman went before Congress with his Truman Doctrine: I believe it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. Containment as explained by State Department planner and specialist George Kennan was Applying military and economic pressures to confine the Soviet Union within its borders and to prevent its further expansion. (Feinberg-p.84) The Truman Doctrine was Harry Truman s official statement to the public and to Russia that the United States would help out countries around the world to be free, and resist communism. The Truman Doctrine persuaded Congress to grant $400 million in military and economic aid for Greece anti-revolutionary movements, and Turkey in order to protect its borders from leaking communism. The main point of the Truman Doctrine was propaganda as it helped to sway American approval of a cold war with Russia. Truman s strategists realized that the United States would need help from its Western European allies if they went to war with Russia, but European recovery from World War II was going extremely slow. In 1947 Truman came up with the Marshall Plan, named after respected Secretary Of State George C. Marshall. The Marshall Plan consisted of giving financial aid to Western European countries in order to speed up their economic recovery. Truman chose to name it the Marshall Plan for propaganda circumstances, because George C. Marshall was a very established man, and was very respected across the country and in the Congress as well. (Feinberg-p.88) The European countries asked for $21.7 billion, but Congress was very reluctant to be so generous, and followers of Henry Wallace saw this as an Anti-Russian plan. When the Czechoslovakia coup occurred and communism took over, the opposition to the Marshall Plan decreased. In April 1948, Congress granted $5.1 billion the first year and an additional $12 billion for the next three years. The main recipients of the aid were France, Britain (not surprisingly), and West Germany. Truman made a mistake as he deliberately showed that he wanted to help and beef up United States allies Western countries only. Stalin responded with his COMECON, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, his own recovery plan for Eastern Europe. Not only did the Marshall Plan heighten tensions between the United States and Russia, it heightened tensions between Western and Eastern Europe as well. Truman and Stalin showed off their muscle as they competed for power in Germany.