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.
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.