The Truman Doctrine: The History Of The United States Foreign Policy

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The Truman Doctrine On March 12, 1947, President Harry S. Truman changed the course of United States foreign policy when he addressed a joint session of Congress to ask for aid for Greece and Turkey. Truman and his advisors made this decision to protect democracy around the world and stop the spread of Soviet influence and communism. This became known as the Truman Doctrine and was the start of the Cold War. Prior to this speech that changed foreign policy, Americans were averse to giving foreign aid. George Washington and the founders believed that “interweaving our destiny with others would entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rival-ship, interest, humor, or caprice (Cobb).” Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Wilson expanded America’s role internationally but Truman was the first to “construct, win public support, and successfully implement a modern foreign policy (Merrill).” Truman gained public approval to change policy and contended that it was crucial that America “support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures (Cobbs).” Americans supported Truman and accepted the need to defend freedom in the world. The military aid proposed by Truman on a global scale was unprecedented (Cobbs). After World War II, the world transformed and it is under the leadership of Truman that the foreign policy of the United States caused it to become first and foremost a political power in the world.

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