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The truman doctrine Research Paper

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Updated: Mar 3rd, 2019

Abstract

This research paper is based on a study of America history. Truman doctrine is an important part of America’s history since the reign of President Harry Truman during 1940s. Truman Doctrine is one of President Truman’s remarkable achievements that are remembered in history. This research paper, introduces the situation that led to proclamation of the doctrine on March 12, 1947 and its key intent.

By focusing on the situation in Greece and Turkey, this paper proves for the reader that not only did the doctrine aim at helping Greece and Turkey overpower political insurgence by communist, but was also a political strategy by the United States government. This research paper proves to the reader that Truman Doctrine played a part in starting of the cold war between United States and the Soviet Union, and later to other parts of the world.

This historical event is proven through this research paper to have caused world uprising against oppressive forces and also led to formation of nations that came to adore democracy and respect of human rights. This research paper also evaluates the initial intent of the Truman Doctrine by providing other issues that concern the doctrine, for example American indulgence in unauthorized wars and foreign issues as well as the opposition against the endorsement of Truman Doctrine.

Through resourceful information, the research paper is concluded by an assertion that indeed president Truman legacy and reputation revolves around this great phenomenon of Truman Doctrine that forever changed America’s history. The research paper also concludes by agreeing to the fact that, Truman Doctrine shaped the twentieth century global politics and economics.

Introduction

Just like the name Truman suggests, the Truman doctrine is connected to the former president Harry Truman of 1947. The Truman doctrine was one of the president’s policy or rather the United States policy towards the underlying situation in Greece and Turkey during that time.

At the moment, Greece and turkey were under Soviet Union’s pressure to conform to communism, a system that United States disregarded. It therefore emerged that Truman doctrine was a United States foreign policy during President Truman reign. The policy was to help out countries that were deemed vulnerable to the Soviet Union and Greece and Turkey were typical examples of such.

Truman doctrine was called for, considering that the World War II had just ended. Nations were plunged into civil wars, cold war was on its onset and empires were crushing to single states (Brower, 2006). Many political analysts, would consider, the Truman doctrine as part of political and economical revolution that hit the twentieth century.

This revolution was later credited for falling of empires such as the Great Soviet Union and the fall of dictatorship in many nations. This research paper is based on the issue of the Truman doctrine, why it was proclaimed, its impact to the American history and global history and its relevance. The research paper offers other information that is related to Truman Doctrine; the Marshall Plan, unification of Latin America against communism, Rio treaty and the issue of Germany division.

Research problem statement

Considering the historical developments in political and economics in the twentieth century, the fall of empires and establishment of nations and business blocks, this research paper, seeks to fid the significance of Truman’s doctrine to world’s history on politics and economics.

Purpose of the research

This research paper, researches on the creation and issues that led to proclamation of the Truman doctrine. The research also seeks the implication of the doctrine in both Greece and Turkey and how the doctrine was viewed from a world perspective. This research paper will also seek the relevance of Truman Doctrine in America’s political history and the doctrines benefit to America’s economy and the rest of the world.

Proclamation of the Truman Doctrine

President Truman original speech to the congress on March 12, 1947 to the congress may not have intended to shape the current political situation between America and the communist states for along time. President Truman’s worry was precisely about America’s national security, seconded by the situation in Greece and Turkey (Bostdorff, 2008). Greece, which was under potential infiltration by communism ideologies had previously relied on Britain for support especially on financial aspects.

The Greece government wanted more help from the American government, after the withdrawal of the Britain aid. This assistance ranged from; finance, technicians and management. it was thus, in President Truman’s view that America to help Greece. In his speech, President Truman announced a $ 300 million to Greece and intensified military aid to Turkey (Athanassopoulou, 1999).

Turkey received a $ 100 million aid and its military requirements ranged from the assistance of guns, war aircrafts and tankers. These necessities were also asserted by the British military enquiry of Turkey’s situation. From the above basis and evidence of both Greece and Turkey’s situation, America was ready to do anything for the two countries. The congress approved President Truman doctrine, all in the name of providing an exemplary leadership role in crisis ridden region.

However, political analysts grew a concern over the role of America in Greece and turkey, as its initial mandate was put into question. This marked a new era of enmity between the United States and the Soviet Union, rivalry between capitalist and the communist. The impact of the Truman doctrine was felt all over the world as countries took over President Truman’s doctrine.

Impact of Truman Doctrine in both Greece and Turkey

Greece was under political turmoil. One side of the political facets was aided by the Soviet Union, while the other one was left unfunded and fighting lost battle. This situation led to a civil war in Greece, a situation that America believed was fuelled by Soviet Union involvement with its communism ideas.

However with the military and financial funding of Greece by the American government, communism expansion in Middle East faced a major blow (Duker & Spielvogel, 2008). The state in Greece had compromised corruption and it was due to spread to the rest of Middle East, Africa and some parts of Europe like in France and Italy.

Turkey was part of the escalating problem in Greece. Turkey was to bear all the effects of Greece political insurgence, since turkey is Greece neighbor. In fact, the effect on turkey would have been unavoidable in any case (Lorence, 1993). United States perspective on Greece and Turkey was, they were part of the free world and democracy would was essential for their reconstruction and development.

It is in this perspective that the United States wanted to save and free these countries (McCullough, 2003) from an undemocratic regime of communism. As Greece and Turkey tried to build strong opposition against the Soviet Union, the Truman doctrine started to bore many other inventions like the Marshall Plan and Latin America plan unification against communism (American Book Company et al, 2003).

The Marshall plan

The Truman doctrine success in Greece and Turkey in containing the spread of communism was far from over. President Truman was of the view that if the European economy was strengthened, there would be less probability of communism infiltrating into the European world. This plan was developed by then united secretary of state; George Marshall and endorsed in the year 1948.

Unification of Latin America against communism

After Truman Doctrine objective in Greece and turkey and Europe, it was now clear that the United States was in unending battle with the communist world. This oversaw Latin America rallying behind United States in what was viewed as all American campaign against communism attacks.

This was signed as a treaty during 1947, dubbed as Rio treaty. This later entrenched in organization of America states (OAS) to ensure that American countries remained free of communism influence by respecting basic human rights to freedom and by co-operating in socio-economical development.

Truman Doctrine and the cold war

Cold war was a war of political ideologies and economic supremacy between the United States and the Soviet Union. Cold war was felt all over Europe, Asia, and even in Latin-America. To assume that Truman doctrine did not fuel the cold war is an understatement.

Its significance, in the Korean War was not only part President Truman rhetoric on global democracy but also a strategy to ensure as many countries as possible insulted themselves against communism ideas (Lacey, 1991). A further analysis of the Truman doctrine can be traced from the origin of Soviet Union supremacy and its control over Europe.

By the end of the Second World War, Britain and France superiority in Europe was thrown in disarray, a situation soviet union deemed as vital for its control and security in central Europe (Thotex et al, 2005). It is from this point, that the Marshall pan, Berlin blockade. Korean War and finally the NATO pact came into existence (Duiker & Spielvogel, 2008).

Smith & Davis (2005) agrees that the widely proclaimed Truman doctrine magnified the popularity of the cold war in a global perspective. Truman used a forceful and authoritative language that exhibited rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. The speech was the attention of the whole world, and it’s from the speech that many nations wanted o become free of Soviet Union communism policies.

Proposition and Opposition to Truman doctrine

Involvement of United States in foreign matters has been a matter of concern for a very long time in America’s political history. Many of the American conservatives objected the endorsement of Truman doctrine as a foreign policy for the United States. America’s conservative aspect is largely constituted by the rural majorities who do not see a necessity for their government involvement in international intervention.

To the conservatives, the government would end up spending huge tax payer’s money and increased autonomy in executive powers. Some of the congressmen saw the Truman Doctrine as bad precedent for the United States presidency and for the government. A lot of concerns were raised about the scope and the regulations for issuing international aid and its effect to the United States domestic economy.

However, the proposers of the Truman Doctrine were of the view that, the doctrine was an ideal economic strategy that could elevate America’s economic superiority over the Soviet Union. To achieve this, the proposers assumed an international involvement foreign politics would bring the world to attention of America’s concern over their democracy (Malsberger, 2000). This later became evident in later years, as America got involved in trade agreements with many of the European countries as well as in Asia.

This was even edified in Latin America, as united proposed an agreement that would oversee trade between American countries controlled by a signed treaty; Rio treaty. If Truman Doctrine was an economical strategy, then it is possible that the doctrine was not solely a strategy of helping free people from communism.

Other concerns over Truman Doctrine

Perhaps, the initial intent of the Truman Doctrine may not have been followed to the letter, not the implication of the doctrine was largely magnified in global politics and economic policies.

This magnification may be less or more relevant in current political and economic policies that great economies like United States, Russia, European Union and china hold today. As Truman Doctrine became a national foreign policy whose main objective was to outright communism, Soviet Union weakened, civil war erupted in some countries and new nations were established.

A good example, to view this new world phenomenon started to being felt among many soviet union state members, Russia became the first country among the soviet union to withdraw from the pact as then president Joseph Stalin became wary of the European pace of industrialization and military power. Over the subsequent years, the Soviet Union crushed down, and by late 1990s, there were no soviet union.

Another political change was felt in Germany; Truman Doctrine was part of Germany division that oversaw a creation of east and West Germany, only for the two parts to unite later after Soviet Union lost its control of the East Germany. Other countries like South and North Korea to date still harbor their rivalry over territorial and political ideologies. North Korea still holds onto communism power while South Korea is more of a capitalist society.

However, a fear has grown over the years as to whether; united states have overstepped its mandate to fight for the helpless or for its own gain. It may have been true that Truman Doctrine was a bad precedent for the American foreign policy, since then America has been part of the most controversial conflicts in Asia, especially in countries rich in oil. An example of such is America’s involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

Has America been using war as an excuse to gain from oil rich countries? Or has America yet achieved its Truman Doctrines objective of March 12, 1947? The former is a controversial issue that only anti-Americans are comfortable in answering, while the latter is of valid significance.

The establishment of the European Union may have been one of Truman ideas during the early 1940s. The independence of Europe has seen Soviet Union and Russia dominance over international politics and economy dwindling over the years (Brower, 2006). The possibility of the impact of Truman Doctrine having an impact in today’s American position in war on terror cannot be overruled either.

This is then a clarification that America is not driven by the fear of the communist world but its own security. International relations, in the twentieth were in simple terms not appealing, countries grew an aspect of self realization, economic liberalization and even independence. However, twentieth century oversaw economic downturns that left any economies desperate for help (Athanassapoulou, 1999).

Conclusion

The Truman Doctrine is perhaps one of the American most remarkable events of all times. Whether the historical event set a bad precedent for American presidency and America’s foreign policy, it changed America’s superiority position among the world’s super powers. The authoritative nature of President Truman set a standard of American presidents in the following years. It is therefore, credible that American superiority over Soviet Union and communism took effect from the endorsement of Truman Doctrine.

Of whether, the doctrine was an economic strategy for America, well, it may have been fruitful considering that many nations asked for American aid during the economic downturns in 1970 ad 1980s. President Harry Truman is remarkably a key political figure in America and whose ideologies still remain relevant in shaping of America’s international relations policy.

This research paper in a more detailed form offers incredible information on Truman Doctrine from an informed perspective. Not only is this research paper credible in offering information on President Truman’s governing policy, but also provides a wider perspective of Truman Doctrine and its implication on the world’s politics and economic policies in history, particularly during the twentieth century (Malberger, 2000).

References

American Book Company, Pintozzi, D., & Potter, J., (2003). Passing the Ohio graduation test in social studies. New York: American Book Company, Inc

Athanassapoulou, E., (1999). Turkey: Anglo American security interests, 1945-1952: the first enlargement of NATO. New York: Routledge

Bostdorff, D., M. (2008). Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine: the cold war call to arms. Texas: Texas A&M University press.

Brower, D., R. (2006). The world in the twentieth century: from empires to nations. New Jersey: Person/Prentice Hall.

Duiker, W., & Spielvogel, J., (2008). World History, Volume 1-2. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

Lacey, M., J. (1991). The Truman Presidency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lorence, J., L, (1993). Enduring voices: From 1865. Massachusetts: D. C. Health

Malberger, J., W. (2000). From obstruction to modernization. The transformation of senate conservatism, 1938-1952. Pennsylvania: Susquehanna University Press.

McCullough, D. (2003). Truman. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Smith, J. & Davis, S. (2005). The A to Z of the cold war. Maryland; Scarecrow press.

Thotex E., Emsworth L & Wick K. (2005). US history. Ohio: IOSS, LLC

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The truman doctrine." March 3, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-truman-doctrine/.

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