President Harry S. Truman The Presidency of Harry S. Truman.
Transcript of President Harry S. Truman The Presidency of Harry S. Truman.
Basic Information:Party: DemocratYears in Office: 1945-1953President Before: FDRPresident After: EisenhowerImportant Bio Information: WWI combat veteran Ties to Political Boss Tom
Pendergast in Kansas City U.S. Senator 1934-1944 WWII Truman Committee FDR’s running mate in 1944
(reliable Southern Democrat) Only 82-days as vice president
FDR in 1932 at 50 years old
FDR in 1945 at 63 years old
On of the few photos of FDR in his wheel chair
Origins of the Cold War Ideological incompatibility
(Communism vs. Capitalism) Treatment of leftists in the US US intervention during the Russian Civil
War Failure to recognize the USSR Soviet Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler Strained ties during WWII – esp over
opening a 2nd front US A-Bomb intimidation Soviet occupation of E. Europe Reconstruction of West Germany Soviet test A-Bomb in 1949
Truman & the Cold War*Important to remember that Truman faced intense political pressure after WWII from Republicans to get tough on Communism & reign in taxes.
The Cold War was to be foughton the cheap.
Truman & US Cold War PolicyGeorge F. Kennan:• U.S. Diplomat to the USSR (Soviet Expert)• In 1946 he sent the “Long Telegram” to
Washington, which was followed by an article in Foreign Policy magazine in 1947, in which he presented his theory
on why the US should contain communism.
Document Analysis: According to Kennan…1. What are Soviet goals?2. What strategy will the Soviets utilize
against the US?3. What recommendations does he make
for US foreign policy?
George F. Kennan
Truman & US Cold War PolicyGeorge F. Kennan: Russians have a traditional
insecurity about foreign threats Soviet foreign policy is driven by
Stalin, who uses a threat like capitalist encirclement to justify his brutal regime
Kennan recommended that the USSR "be contained by the adroit and vigilant application of counter-force at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points."
Truman & US Cold War Policy
The Truman Doctrine:• Influenced by Kennan and
Sec. of State George Marshall, Truman announces the Truman Doctrine, which declared the US policy to “help the free peoples of Europe to resist communist aggression” by providing them with military and economic aid.
Truman & US Cold War PolicyMarshall Plan:Truman-Marshall-Kennan initially sought to use US soft power to counter communism in post-war Western Europe. The best example of this was the 1948 Marshall Plan, which was a massive effort to prop-up international capitalism via a massive recovery of Western Europe.*This was also coupled with a concentrated effort to rebuild West Germany, which was created in 1949.
Truman & US Cold War PolicyThe Cold War Heats Up:• 1948 Western Allies plan to
create West Germany• 1948 The Soviets blockade Berlin
(Berlin Airlift)• 1949 The Soviets test an atomic
bomb• 1949 Communists in China
declare the People’s Republic of China (Red China)
• 1950 NSC-68 report issued• 1950 Korean War begins
NSC-68Document Analysis:1. According the National Security
Council, what is the threat from the USSR?
2. What foreign policy recommendations does NSC-68 make?
3. What domestic policy recommendations does it make?
Truman & US Cold War PolicyNSC-68 changes US policy:Truman-Acheson-Nitze radically change US policy toward the USSR. Favoring military over diplomatic action, NSC-68 recommended a policy of “calculated and gradual coercion” to address Soviet communism. • significant increase in peace-time military spending
($13 billion $46.5 billion)• expansion of conventional & nuclear forces• military aid to allies• expand world-wide covert operations*NSC-68 ultimate goal = US hegemonic ally dominant in the world**Charges of being soft on communism and the
beginning of the Korean War forced Truman to make NSC-68 official policy.
“Soft” vs. “Hard” PowerSoft Power – Kennan’s Containment (1946-50)
Struggle was between capitalism vs. communism Believed that Soviets would not use military power to achieve goals, but
would rather use political & ideological means Emphasized the importance of ensuring free nations as part of containment Accepted long-term power and presence of the USSR US should prioritize interests: Europe over Asia & 3rd World, political and
economic influence over military
Hard Power – NSC-68 (Paul Nitze) (1950 - ) USSR has military capability and are willing to use it to achieve goals Cold War will eventually become a Hot War US to remake international community in America’s image US must resist communism on all fronts To do this the US must rapidly build up economic, political, and
military power Cold War was a “life and death struggle”