Truman Doctrine

The Truman Doctrine (March 1947)

The Truman doctrine sprang form events in Greece, where the communists were trying to overthrow the monarchy. British troops, who had helped liberate Greece from the Germans in 1944, had restored the monarchy, but were now feeling the strain of supporting it against the communists who were receiving help from Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. Bevin, the British Foreign Minister, appealed to the USA and Truman responded that the USA would “support free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.

The Truman Doctrine

Greece immediately received massive amounts of arms and other supplies and by 1949 the communists were defeated. Turkey, which also seemed under threat, received aid worth about 60 million dollars. The Truman doctrine made it clear that the USA had no intention of returning to her old policy of isolationism as she had after the First World War. She was committed to a policy of containing the spread of communism (containment), not just in Europe, but throughout the world, later including Korea and Vietnam.

The policy of containment was one that determined many actions in the Cold War. It sprang from Communist actions and was fuelled by the Red Scare. The doctrine itself reinforced the ideological differences between the superpowers, increasing tension and suspicion.

Cold War
Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam ConferencesStalin and Truman: ideological differencesSoviet Satellite States
Cominform and ComeconUS Involvement in Europe Post WW2Truman Doctrine
Marshall PlanBizoniaBerlin Airlift
NATO: Origins and HistoryThe arms race and Mutually assured destructionSoviet rule in Hungary
DestalinizationHungarian RevolutionBerlin: Refugee Crisis
Khruschev's challenge to the west over Berlin1960: Paris SummitKennedy and the Berlin Crisis
Berlin WallPresident Kennedy visit to BerlinCuban Missile Crisis: Why were missiles there?
Cuban Missile Crisis: Why did Kennedy respond as he did?Cuban Missile Crisis: Resolution and analysis
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