Popular in The American Experience: The United States and the World
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katharine Anthony on Thursday May 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIS113U at Pace University taught by Barbara Blumberg in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see The American Experience: The United States and the World in History at Pace University.
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Date Created: 05/05/16
a. The Russians were criticized by the Americans about Eastern Europe. But Russia shot back they were being hypocritical because Russia couldn't assist with the countries that America had liberated. b. Once WWII ended the Americans cut off the Lend Lease plan with the Russians. This upset the Russians because they felt that they had really been hit hard by the war. Truman felt since they weren't doing what we wanted they don't deserve help. c. In Greece and Turkey there were problems happening as well. i. Greece had been occupied by Italy and then Germany, so it was one of the liberated countries. At the end of the war the Grecians oligarchy came back into power. This group hadn't really fought against the Italians and Germans so no one particularly liked them. The Greek communists had really been fighting the hardest against the Nazis. The Greek communists after the war planned to get rid of the oligarchy. The Russians thought this was a great idea and sent the Greek Communists supplies, advisors to help. ii. Naturally the British and the US was very unhappy with this. While it was true that the government wasn't the best it was pro-western and anti-communist. They looked towards the US as a model. The British and US began telling Russia to stop helping the Communist rebels. iii. Then there was the question of Turkey, because Russia and Turkey had always been tense with each other. Russia was always putting pressure on Turkey. Turkey had a pro-western government that didn't much like the Soviet Union. II. President Truman Decides on a Tough Policy Toward Russia a. Both Truman and James Byrnes decided they were not going to continue FDR's idea of trying to forestall the Cold War. b. Wanted to make it clear to them, that anything we see as detrimental to our interests, we'll push back. c. This was not agreed to by all the cabinet members, many who he had inherited from FDR's time. Many of them were very unhappy with the change of Foreign policy. i. Secretary of Commerce, who was appointed by FDR, Henry Wallace. He felt that he had to speak out against something he saw as a really wrong turn. He decided to go public with this. ii. Sept. 1946 he made a speech at Madison Square Garden in New York, criticizing the new tough line with the Soviet Union. He also offered alternatives 1. We need to keep out of Eastern Europe politics iii. After the speech was given, James Byrnes was really pissed off. He talked to Truman saying that he and the president made the plans and who the hell did Henry Wallace think he is. If he was going to stay on as Secretary of State, then Henry Wallace had to be silenced. Truman had to decide who he was going with, once Wallace made it clear that he would not shut up, Truman asked for Wallace's resignation and replaced him with another politician who thoroughly agreed with the get tough policy and Truman continued to get others who didn't agree with this policy out of office. d. The US if this was going to be the policy was going to have to be able to have the military to back this up, as well as a new political organization to fix this all up. e. Truman brought up the National Security Act, Congress passed it, Truman signed it into law. i. This brought about huge changes that still are in power to this day 1. All the arm forces had to be better coordinated when it came to public policy. The Defense department was created, Secretary of Defense was created to control this department. The defense department became a much bigger player in foreign policy. 2. Two other organizations were made to advise the president on how to conduct foreign policy. a. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, made up of the heads of the difference services. b. National Security Council 3. It also created another new player in foreign policy, since there was the feeling that we have to know what the Russians are doing because when we say things about all types of secret aid and everything. How do we know what the Russians are really up to? We need a government agency for this. a. The CIA was created. f. The amount of appropriations that the Truman administration asked for defense spending went up and up. A couple of years after WWII, we were spending more on military matters than we had ever spent during peace time. g. Truman got a lot of advice to back up what he was already inclined to do anyways. One of the most important pieces was given 1946. III. George F. Kennan and the "Containment" Policy a. Kennan was a Russian expert who had served in the US embassy in Moscow, he had studied the Russians and the Communists very closely. b. The Long Telegraph, he sent to the State department warning about the expansionist Soviet Union that would harm the US. c. In the article he wrote, he actually coined the phrase, "Containment" policy. i. The Soviet Union sees itself in a historic struggle with Capitalism, and it is out bit by bit to destroy capitalism and spread socialism around the world. This is certainly not in the interest of the United states. He advised that the US must meet this threat by firm counter pressure. In each place the soviet union tries to push internal communist revolt the US must push back and keep the Soviet union from expanding. He advised that we form strong military alliances with the threated governments and extend economic and military assistance to threated governments. Would this lead to world war three? Kennan didn't think so. What he saw as different from the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany is that the men who ran the Kremlin were not crazy and not determined to rule the world full speed ahead and did not an all-out war. Besides the they so thoroughly believed that in the long run that communism was going to win that when it came to any individual confrontation that they would back down and then try to probe and establish communism somewhere else. We had to not start a war with the Russians and would just contain Soviet expansion anywhere on the globe that the Soviet's try it. d. Truman was impressed with this advice and inclined to follow it. Was he getting enough similar advice and were people following it as well. It happened that other countries also were believing this by 1946. IV. Churchill's "Iron Curtain" Speech a. While he still had tremendous prestige, but he had lost his prime minister administration in 1946 because they lost elections. He was retiring. He had a lot of time on his hands but he also had a lot to speak on his mind. Truman claims that he set this up, we're not sure if this true because there is no other evidence. b. Truman knew that there was a small college in Missouri, Westminster College was looking for a really big name speaker for their graduation, he suggested Churchill. The College did extend an invitation and Churchill accepted. c. Truman accuses the Russians of putting communists in power in Eastern Europe, that they are isolating Eastern Europe from the rest of Europe like they are dropping and 'Iron Curtain'. Churchill believes that the US and GB should not allow the Russians to have atomic knowledge. He thinks that US and GB also must stop Soviet ambitions, he wanted a close continuing military alliance between GB, US, and other countries that Great Britain had control of. Together under this close military alliance they have to show strength and military firmness, and every time the Soviet union tries to expand its influence they have to push back. d. Russia sent an answer to that speech. He had it published in Pravda, the main controlled newspaper. i. Churchill's proposal of this strong military alliance of the English speaking peoples was a racist doctrine, that it reminded him in its warmongering of Hitler, that Churchill ought to understand it wanted friendly governments on its border and why did Churchill act like this was some great sin on Russia's part, besides if communism is indeed spreading, it's because it is the better way of the future and more people are realizing that, especially those who were in Eastern Europe who were the ones who saw the communists being the best fighters against the Nazis. V. The Truman Doctrine a. Early in 1947 the British government told Washington (Truman administration) that there was a problem. The GB economy had not picked up after the war and they had been giving as much material support to the Greek government and the Turkish government to help them resist as they could but they were out of money. They suggested the US take this over. Truman decided that it made good sense and so he and General George Marshall came up with a plan. This became known as the Truman Doctrine. b. States that the US should help countries that support governments that are fighting against armed minorities and those being forced into things. He then asks 400 million in funds for Turkey and Greece, and for civilians and military to go to Greece and Turkey to assist them, putting the containment policy into action. c. Congress responds with being surprisingly willing to help. They appropriated 400 million dollars for weapons, military advisors, and other kinds of assistance to the Greek and Turkish governments. d. Turkey stood up to the Russians, and Greece fought away the Communists away. e. Why was Communism still growing in influence where there were no Russian influence. France, Belgium, Italy the people of those countries voted into office more and more communists. In Italy and France they has the second biggest parties. i. Because the economic situation was dismal VI. The Marshall Plan To finance Europe. The United states must undertake massive foreign aid program to help the European economies get back on their feet and by doing this we'll get rid of communism. 1947 17 billion dollars was appropriated for the Western European economies. He got some resistance because we'd bankrupt ourselves. When the last of the eastern european countries, czechosolvakia fell and was forced to be communists, congress agreed, they came up with more than 13 million.
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