Truman Doctrine

   On 12 March 1947, President Harry S. Truman asked Congress for $400 million in economic and military aid to Greece and Turkey. His message was a response to Great Britain’s warning that it could no longer underwrite the Greek monarchy, which was embroiled in a civil war against communist rebels supported by Yugoslavia’s communist leader, Josip Broz Tito. Oversimplifying and also overstating the situation, Truman declared that the Soviet Union intended to use the civil war to dominate Greece and then Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Every nation, he insisted, had to choose between “alternative ways of life”—democratic rule or communist terror. Named the Truman Doctrine, this speech was hailed by the press and public. Former isolationists like Republican senator Arthur H. Vandenberg were persuaded by Truman’s argument, and Congress passed the proposed legislation in May 1947.
   The Truman Doctrine marked the acceptance of a worldwide policy of resistance to real or perceived Soviet expansion along the lines of George F. Kennan’s principle of containment and indicated the start of the Cold War. The aid to Greece and Turkey was followed with the Marshall Plan and the later establishment of North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

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