Harry S. Truman: Truman Doctrine

(1947)

Impact

The Truman Doctrine crystallized the emerging cold war between the United States and Soviet Union, proclaiming that the United States must play a leading role in shaping international politics. In response to British abandonment of its historical imperial role in the Balkans and Middle East, President Truman outlined an aggressive policy in which the United Sates would fulfill the British power vacuum. The Soviet Union, with its expansion into Eastern Europe, however, posed a challenge to American hegemony. To justify America's expanding world role, President Truman employed the Wilsonian language of America's mission to extend the benefits of democracy throughout the world. Democratic governments would ensure a more stable international community and would foster the national security of the United States. While extolling democratic rhetoric, President Truman was also interested in securing American access to international markets and natural resources.

In the short...

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Harry Truman (Library of Congress)

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