Background: After WW II, the US and USSR emerged as rival superpowers. Each nation was strong enough to greatly influence world events. 2
Potsdam Conference July 1945 Final wartime conference Big Three England = Attlee USA = Truman USSR = Stalin Stalin promised to allow free elections in Eastern Europe 3
Satellite Nations… Stalin never allowed truly free elections. Instead, communist governments were installed in many Eastern European nations. Main Purpose? Protect USSR from invasion from the West – Stalin’s “Buffer Zone” 4
Containment Policy George Kennan, career Foreign Service Officer Formulated the policy of “containment”: US would not get rid of communism, but would not allow it to spread. US would “contain” communism where is already existed. 5
Domino Theory Idea that if one country fell to soviet aggression and the communist wave, others would fall as well like dominoes. The United States had to stand against the Red Mennace 7
Why might the people choosecommunism? Greece suffered under NAZI rule during WWII High percentage (almost 30%) of Greeks after WWII were in extreme poverty Many looking for the “great leveling” Freedom vs. Equality 8
1946-1948: Greek Civil War breaks out between government and communists forces In late 1946, the Greek government appealed to Washington and pleaded for aid from the U.S after Britain backed out. It was agreed upon and the U.S provided aid to both Greece and Turkey. This was done for political and military reasons. It was considered vital in the balance of the Americans political power in the cold war. If Greece fell to the red army, Turkey would become an untenable outpost in the middle of the communist stronghold.
Truman’s Speech before Congress Ostensibly about the Greek Crisis Calls on Congress to commit millions of dollars to Greece and Turkey in foreign aid Said that without US help, the countries will slip into anarchy, opening up the door for communist rebels to take over in Athens and Ankara If we fail to take on “our responsibilities” – we “endanger the peace of the world…and the welfare of our own nation” 10
The TrumanDoctrine To promote democracy around the world and fight the spread of oppressive regimes in which a minority controls the majority. “One of the primary objectives of the foreign policy of the United States is the creation of conditions in which we and other nations will be able to work out a way of life free from coercion.”
The TrumanDoctrine To help Greece and Turkey resist the rebellion of an armed minority. “Should we fail to aid Greece and Turkey in this fateful hour, the effect will be far reaching to the West as well as to the East…the seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO was established by a treaty in 1949 This organization established a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. Original members were: United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Greece (1952), West Germany (1955) join also 14
The Warsaw Pact Communist Response to NATO. Signed on May 1, 1955 in Warsaw, Poland Military treaty, which bound its signatories to come to the aid of the others, should any one of them be the victim of foreign aggression. Original Members: Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Rumania, the USSR, and the Czechoslovak Republic. 15
Change in Leaders The early 1950s saw a change in leaders in both the US and USSR. USA = Dwight Eisenhower wins the election of 1952. USSR = Nikita Khruschev takes over when Stalin dies in 1953. 17
Hydrogen Bomb US exploded the 1st H- bomb on November 1, 1952 in South Pacific. That bomb completely destroyed one island and left a crater 175 feet deep. Russians exploded one in August 1953. 18
Questions… Why did Truman frame his request in the context of a wider international conflict? What American interests were involved in the political fate of Greece and Turkey? Does the Truman Doctrine still influence the foreign policy of the United States?