History 103 Lecture – 22 January nd 01/22/2014
The Truman Doctrine and “Containment” in Europe:
i. Marshall Plan
Hot War in Asia: Korea, 195053
Stalin proclaimed that War was inevitable as long as capitalism continued to exist.
Core of Truman doctrine to contain the spread of communism territorially by the dispersment by US
economic and military assistance.
Marshall Plan and the creation of a defensive alliance known as “NATO”
Popular support for communists in France and Italy had been growing rapidly since the end of the war
to the extent that the communist party had become as important player in global politics.
Communists held cabinet posts through 1947 and well beyond that, not uncommon to see the mayors of
towns and cities as communists.
Reasons for communism
Political establishment in the countries had been tainted due to their fascist ways.
Combination of economic dislocation on one hand and fear that that communists would take advantage
of it on the other hand,
The US had a strong interest in restoring Western Europe’s status as a major trading partner.
Geopolitical objectives coinciding with US economic interests as well.
IN March 1947, various considerations came together by George Marshall in a speech given at Harvard
university. Seasoned political observer and diplomat and experienced military figure.
In 1947, he had just returned from a failed diplomatic mission in China to get rid of communism?
In theory, the Marshall Plan was open to all of Europe including Eastern Europe and the Soviet union.
However, communist states were only eligible if they agreed to open up their economies to private
So the Marshall Plan approved 17 billion dollars of investment to Europe to Britain, France and Italy
mostly. The money was given on the condition that it be spent in the USA and also to a lesser extent, in
Canada. For manufactured good, equipment’s and agricultural products. Domestic/ political angle to this
plan as well as it represented a huge govt/ subsidy to the business sector.
The USSR made their copycat version of this known as the COMECON.
Division of labour had the effect of breeding investment. Romania the “vegetable garden” of Eastern
Some countries now had imp. Industrial niches etc.
Involved the creation of military alliances and US took the lead in the late 1940s of having a series of
regional defense alliances, the most imp. Of which was NATO set up in 1949. It had 12 original member
USA, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Norway, Denmark, Iceland
Later, Turkey was also added.