Harry S. Truman: Truman Doctrine

(1947)

On March 12, 1947, Democratic President Harry S. Truman addressed a joint session of the Republican-controlled Congress, requesting that $400 million in military and financial aid be appropriated to the struggling governments of Greece and Turkey. The president, seeking bipartisan support for a more interventionist foreign policy aimed at limiting the global influence of the Soviet Union, articulated what would become known as the Truman Doctrine, in which the United States pledged assistance to any democratic government threatened internally or externally by the forces of totalitarianism.

Although Truman did not mention the Soviet Union by name, the totalitarian designation he presented in the Truman Doctrine was certainly a commentary on the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Soviet Union after World War II. The immediate crisis leading to the formulation of the Truman Doctrine was the announcement by the British government in February 1947 that it...

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Harry Truman (Library of Congress)

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