The Containment Policy
The Containment Policy was adapted as the American foreign policy and sought to discontinue he expansion and influence of Communism by creating strategic alliances or supporting states in areas of aggression. The first application of the Containment Policy was in the Truman Doctrine of 1 949, a request to Congress to provide assistance to Greece and Turkey and support any country resisting outside pressures. Shortly after in the Same year. The Containment Policy was also extended to all of Europe in the Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, which offered American financial aid to assist in the recovery of Europe.
Also in 1949, the United States joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a peacetime alliance to promote stability and well being in the North Atlantic area. The ultimate effect of these attempts at containment was the hindrance of any one country to be entirely Communist. The development of the Truman Doctrine initiated in February of 1947 when Great Britain, weakened by an unprocessed economy, notified the United States that it could no longer afford to supply military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey (Sexton 2).
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The conditions in Greece were deteriorating, as there was a severe economic crisis and a civil war taking place between the Greek monarchy and the Communists of the country (Sexton 3). The Germans had destroyed Greece? S economy during World War II, and the conditions under which the Greeks lived in were devastating; there were numerous cases of tuberculosis and starving orphaned children (Sexton 5).Turkey was also experiencing serious economic problems including high inflation as well as territorial threats from the Soviet Union who had demanded control over the Darkness Straits (Richards 72) and the relinquishment of territory in Eastern Asia Minor (Sexton 6-7). Addressing Congress on March 12, 1947, President Truman announced details of what eventually became known as the Truman Doctrine, which requested an appropriation of four hundred million dollars for Greece and Turkey and to ? Support free peoples who [were] resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures? Kirkland 42).
The Doctrine signaled the end Of America? S isolationist foreign policy to an internationalist policy of global leadership (? The Truman Doctrine? ). Essentially, the United States took over the worldwide burdens that England had sustained for two centuries. Although the Truman Doctrine contained global implications, it made the retreat impact on Greece and Turkey. Truman explained in his doctrine that he intended to send American military and economic advisors to any country whose political stability was threatened by communism (? Truman Doctrine? A).The United States provided mostly military and economic funding to Greece, specifically to aid the country through economic and agricultural reconstruction (? Truman Biography? B). America also signed agreements with the Greek government that ensured that the United States have full control over aid expenses and the restructuring the governments taxing and getting policies (? The Truman Doctrine? ). In Turkey, the allocated money was spent on army, air force, and navy costs, in addition to road construction (? Truman Doctrine? B).
The Truman Doctrine contributed greatly to the resistance of Communism in Greece and Turkey.At Harvard University in June Of 1947, Secretary Of State George C. Marshall delivered what is now referred to as The Marshall Plan. This foreign-aid program effectively extended containment to Western Europe (? Truman Doctrine? B). The aftermath of World War II in Europe threatened to damage European trade with America and to benefit the Communist parties active in several European countries, putting European stability at risk (? The Marshall Plan? ). Reacting to a critical situation in postwar Europe, Marshall proposed extensive American financial aid to restore Europe? Shattered economy (Jacobs 72). The Marshall plan proposed a solution directed against widespread hunger, unemployment, desperation, and chaos that faced Europeans after World War II (? Truman Doctrine? A), and therefore was also called the European Recovery program (? For European Recovery? ).
This plan intended to supply war areas with financial aid to relieve devastation and begin reshaping the economy as soon as possible (? For European Recovery? ). Financial aid of the European Recovery Program supplied crucial materials to get production going again.Marshall also suggested that the European nations set up their own program for reconstruction with American assistance (? For European Recovery? ). The total cost of the Marshall Plan for the years 1 948 to 1 951 was approximately thirteen and one half billion dollars (? Truman Doctrine? B). European reaction to the Marshall Plan was prompt and positive. The British and French foreign ministers met and issued an announcement inviting twenty-;o European nations to send representatives to Paris to draw up a cooperative recovery plan (? For European Recovery? . Sixteen Of the twenty- two countries accepted and met in Paris on June 28, 1 948, excluding the Soviet Union and its satellites who did not accept the proposal (Bemires 923).
The North American Treaty Organization is an association of sixteen nations united for mutual aid and common defense signed at Washington, D. C. On April 4, 1 949 and ratified by the Senate on July 21, 1949 (Bemires 927). The reaction of the North American Treaty Organization was stimulated by doubts about the ability of the United Nations to assure security in Europe (Kirkland 66).Its purpose is promote stability and well being in the North Atlantic area.? The treaty provided that the members, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States would consult together whenever the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any one of them was threatened (Bemires 928). The North Atlantic Treaty aimed to preserve an area f defense against Communism throughout Europe.
In February of 1952, both Greece and Turkey joined the organization (Bemires 928) but unfortunately, the North Atlantic Treaty left the Near East, the Far East, and the islands of the Pacific Ocean uncovered, a strategic barrier against Communism (Bemires 928). The Near Eastern disunion in the safeguard against the Soviet Union was contracted by joint-effort treaties of friendship and military alliances in the fifties; between Greece and Yugoslavia in 1 953, Turkey and Yugoslavia in 1954, and Turkey and Pakistan in 1954 (Bemires 928).America joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization marked a significant withdrawal from the customary American practice of opposing American involvement in entangling alliances (Kirkland 66). The North Atlantic Treaty was enforced by the establishment of a Military Assistance Program in 1949 with an initial appropriation of more than one billion dollars to develop the military systems of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries and several others (Kirkland 67). Unfortunately, this aid proved to be inadequate and inopportune to deter later Communist attack in Asia and the recurrence of instability of Europe in 1950.Soviet policies threatened international stability and peace in the years following World War II. The Soviet empire worked hard to expand its control and influence across all of Europe, and it was the incredible determination of the American foreign policy leadership that stood in the way.
It began with President Truman? S enunciation of the Truman Doctrine that provided economic and military assistance to Greece and Turkey at a most critical moment. Although the Truman Doctrine was successful during the Truman ears, the United States was not capable of accomplishing all that the doctrine implied.However with this aid, it was assured in 1 949 that both Greece and Turkey successfully resisted Communism (? The Truman Doctrine? ). The Marshall Plan was one aspect Of the foreign aid program Of the United States and greatly contributed to the economic recovery of Europe. It was extremely successful and serves the turning point in America? S position of a significant world leader. The Marshall Plan delivered many significant consequences. The United States benefited from the Marshall Plan by developing valuable trading partners and reliable allies among the Western European nations (Jacobs 72).
The Plan achieved its goals of relieving universal deprivation while hindering the impending danger of an universal economic depression (? For European Recovery? ) while successfully strengthening Italy and France to resist Communist revolutions at least temporarily (Bemires 924). In addition to enabling Western Europe to recover and maintain economic independence, the European Recovery Program also helped to restore and uphold political independence in the nations (? For European Recovery? ).The success of the Marshall Plan inspired other forms of international cooperation such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (? For European Recovery? ). By signing this treaty, the United States for the first time in American history joined a peacetime alliance that committed it to fight in Europe to maintain the stability of the nations. Obviously it was quite near impossible to rule out Communism completely in the post World War II era, however the applications of the Containment Policy precipitated benefits for all nations resisting external pressure.When one or more nations resisted Soviet pressure, the task of spreading Communism became more difficult to carry out. As countries collaborated in forming alliances and treaties in accordance with the Containment Policy, the risk of Communist takeovers became much more improbable.
After the Containment Policy was implemented in 1 949, Communism still existed in certain areas. However the ultimate effect of the applications of the Containment Policy in post World War II Europe was undeniably successful as they prevented any one country from being wholly Communist.