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PDF The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, and the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism

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The Truman Doctrine became the foundation of American foreign policy, and led, in , to the formation of NATO , a military alliance that is still in effect. Historians often use Truman's speech to date the start of the Cold War. Truman told Congress that "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.

Truman made the plea in the midst of the Greek Civil War — He argued that if Greece and Turkey did not receive the aid, they would inevitably fall to communism with grave consequences throughout the region. Because Turkey and Greece were historic rivals, it was considered necessary to help both equally even though the crisis in Greece was far more intense. Critics of the policy have observed that the governments of Greece and Turkey were themselves far from democratic at this time, and neither were facing Soviet subversion in the spring of Historian Eric Foner writes that the Doctrine "set a precedent for American assistance to anticommunist regimes throughout the world, no matter how undemocratic, and for the creation of a set of global military alliances directed against the Soviet Union.

For years, the United Kingdom had supported Greece, but was now near bankruptcy and was forced to radically reduce its involvement. In February , Britain formally requested for the United States to take over its role in supporting the royalist Greek government. The effect was to end the Greek revolt, and in , both Greece and Turkey joined NATO, a military alliance, to guarantee their stability. The Truman Doctrine was informally extended to become the basis of American Cold War policy throughout Europe and around the world.

It was distinguished from rollback by implicitly tolerating the previous Soviet takeovers in Eastern Europe.

The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, And the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism

As the Turkish government would not submit to the Soviet Union's requests, tensions arose in the region, leading to a show of naval force on the side of the Soviets. Since British assistance to Turkey had ended in , the U. S sent the aircraft carrier Franklin D. The postwar period from started with a " multi-party period " and the Democratic Party government of Adnan Menderes. This began with a mass killing of largely unarmed EAM supporters known as the Dekemvriana on December 3.


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In line with the Churchill-Stalin " percentages agreement ", the Greek communists received no help from the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia provided them support and sanctuary against Stalin's wishes. The breakdown of Allied cooperation in Germany provided a backdrop of escalating tensions for the Truman Doctrine.

In February , Kennan, an American diplomat in Moscow, sent his famed " Long Telegram ", which predicted the Soviets would only respond to force and that the best way to handle them would be through a long-term strategy of containment, that is stopping their geographical expansion. After the British warned that they could no longer help Greece, and following Prime Minister Konstantinos Tsaldaris 's visit to Washington in December to ask for American assistance, [12] the U. State Department formulated a plan. Aid would be given to both Greece and Turkey, to help cool the long-standing rivalry between them.

American policy makers recognized the instability of the region, fearing that if Greece was lost to communism, Turkey would not last long. Similarly, if Turkey yielded to Soviet demands, the position of Greece would be endangered. Greece and Turkey were strategic allies important for geographical reasons as well, for the fall of Greece would put the Soviets on a particularly dangerous flank for the Turks, and strengthen the Soviet Union's ability to cut off allied supply lines in the event of war.

To pass any legislation Truman needed the support of the Republicans , who controlled both houses of Congress. The chief Republican spokesman Senator Arthur H.

Vandenberg strongly supported Truman and overcame the doubts of isolationists such as Senator Robert A. Acheson laid out the "domino theory" in the starkest terms, comparing a communist state to a rotten apple that could spread its infection to an entire barrel. Vandenberg was impressed, and advised Truman to appear before Congress and "scare the hell out of the American people.

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Please note that general seating for public events is on a first-come, first serve basis. Please contact events iwp. The Institute's dress code requires attire appropriate for a professional setting. This helps to ensure a positive learning environment and a climate conducive to respectful interaction. Marshall have been seen as the most influential architects of American Cold War foreign policy, The First Cold Warrior draws on archives and other primary sources to demonstrate that Harry Truman was the key decision maker in the critical period between and In a significant reassessment of the thirty-third president and his political beliefs, Elizabeth Edwards Spalding contends that it was Truman himself who defined and articulated the theoretical underpinnings of containment.

Truman Doctrine

With these values, he fashioned a new liberal internationalism, distinct from both Woodrow Wilson's progressive internationalism and Franklin D. Roosevelt's liberal pragmatism, which still shapes our politics. Truman deserves greater credit for understanding the challenges of his time and for being America's first cold warrior.

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This reconsideration of Truman's overlooked statesmanship provides a model for interpreting the international crises facing the United States in this new era of ideological conflict. Read more Read less. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.

Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine: Customers who bought this item also bought. By More Than Providence: From Publishers Weekly Spalding, director of the Washington Program at Claremont McKenna College, claims the 33rd president "conceived, enunciated, and directed the strategy of containment" that fueled postwar US-Soviet relations in this flawed, dry political history. Don't have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers.

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Write a customer review. Showing of 3 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Spalding's little study of Harry Truman's coming to grips with the developing Cold War must enthrall some historians and Truman fans. While other writers are enlarging Truman's role in formulating the geographic containment of the Soviet Union, Spalding elevates Truman to mythical statuses of thought and action on a par with Lincoln's.

At times she reduces Winston Churchill to but a glib flack for Trumanesque wisdom: Spalding opines, overshadowed by a , word tome written by an obscure White House aide in the name of close Truman confidant Clark Clifford. She admits that the Clifford report is "often overlooked or dismissed as overzealous anticommunism", yet credits it as "the theoretical basis of containment".

Spalding trods the halls of Marxism, asserting the Trumanesque belief that Yugoslavia's Marshal Tito would have attempted to unseat Stalin as leader of the Communist Bloc if only Yugoslavia's army had been a tad stronger. A pretty thought, but if she is correct, Truman's view of Balkan events exaggerated the point of resurging Yugoslav nationalistic Marxism.