Truman And The Cold War Essay Research — страница 3
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In the spring of 1948, the Soviet Union slowed down Western European recovery by flooding the economy with counterfeit money. It was obvious that Stalin felt threatened by the Western-Eastern conflict that was rising. The Soviet Union and the United States argued as to how to control Germany after the war, so they divided it into two different parts: West Germany, controlled by the Western Europeans and East Germany, controlled by Communist Russia. Stalin wanted to slow the recovery even more, so the Soviets occupied Berlin and closed it off, making all Americans have to be checked at the border, also all cargo and trains had to be checked. Stalin did this in order to apply the Soviet currency in Berlin to counter the Western circulation of the Deutsche Mark. Stalin ordered a blockade of all highway, rail, and water traffic to Berlin. The citizens of Berlin began to starve due to the lack of resources brought in. Truman saw this as a golden opportunity to show Berlin that the United States was an ally and came up with the Berlin Airlift. The Airlift consisted of 2,243,315 tons of food and coal at a total cost of $224 million. Truman stated to the American public that, The Berlin blockade was a move to test our capacity and will to resist. This action and the previous attempts to take over Greece and Turkey were part of a Russian plan to probe soft spots in the Western Allies positions all around the perimeter. (Feinberg-p.92) Was all this generosity on the part of the United States necessary? Were human rights in that much danger? Truman really exaggerated the power of Russia, and invested a ton of American money into defense build up, and lifted the military budget from $15 billion to $50 billion. (Cochran-p.273) In the long run, the huge military buildup was unnecessary, but at the time it seemed like the logical common theory was to stop communism before it leaked all over the world. It is clear that Truman overestimated the influence of communism, as it seemed only a trial government for those countries in need of revolution and reform, just as the way communism was formed in Russia. It is also clear that Truman exaggerated Russia s power, and he increased the military so much that Russia was forced to do the same. Truman sent spies to the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union sent spies to the United States. Both countries overestimated each other, and they spent a ridiculous amount maintaining a huge army, so that if they did go to war, both countries would be decimated, which is why they didn t go to war. Truman and Stalin set the tone for the Cold War and their actions combined with their overestimation s started a power struggle and world conflict that lasted for about forty years. Truman felt enormous pressure when he inherited the Post World War II burden of being a world leader, especially since he was faced with the huge decision of shedding the Isolationist policy the United States had maintained since its birth. Endnotes 1. Barbara Feinberg, Harry S. Truman (New York: Impact Biography, 1994), 81-92. 2. Bert Cochran, Harry Truman and the Crisis Presidency (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1973), 271-273. 3. William Hillman, Harry S. Truman In His Own Words(New York: Bonanza Books, 1974), 130. Bibliography 1. Cochran, Bert. Harry Truman and the Crisis Presidency. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1973. 2. Feinberg, Barbara Silberdick. Harry S. Truman. New York: Impact Biography, 1994. 4. Fleming, Thomas. Harry S. Truman, President. New York: Walker and Company, 1993. 5. Hillman, William. Harry S. Truman In His Own Words. New York: Bonanza Books, 1984. 6. Jenkins, Roy. Truman. New York: Harper and Row, 1986. 7. Truman, Harry S. Memoirs: Years of Trial and Hope. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1956.