History 103 Lecture – 20 January th 01/20/2014
The Truman doctrine (1947) and “containment”
International repercussions and implications
A global zerosum game
Client states and proxy wars
A moral crusade and its contradictions
Domestic repercussions: The Cold War at home
The communist victory is China not assured and the situation on the Korean peninsula very tense but
there was no war.
As a result, showdown with the Soviets about to occur in the Mediterranean and not in Asia.
Monopoly of atomic weapons with the USA but the science behind the atomic weapons was no secret
and only a matter of time till other countries got atomic weapons as well.
August 1949 – USSR first display of atomic power.
Truman realized even before that economic diplomacy was not going to be enough and that the USA
would have to have some wide ranging plan for what he believed to be Soviet designes all over the
In march of 1947, Truman went before the US conference to request 400 million dollars for Greece and
Turkey. He claimed that this assistance was necessary to block the advance of the Soviet union in the
Used this platform to talk about general principles for the conduct of USSoviet relations. These
established the framework for the next three decades until the end of the Vietnam war in 1975.
Truman portrayed the struggle between the USA and the USSR as a global struggle between the forces
of freedom and on the other hand totalitarianism.
Cornerstone of Truman doctrine was the notion of containing the spread of communism worldwide
through the provision of economic and military assistance to the countries that USA identified as facing
a real or a potential communist threa