Truman 's Speech : The Truman Doctrine

1719 Words Dec 4th, 2015 7 Pages
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Document 1: The Truman Doctrine, 1947

Harry Truman’s speech to Congress on March 12, 1947 tailored itself to opposing the spread of communism. The “containment doctrine” announced its efforts to support Greece and Turkey to the tune of “$400,000,000” (Merrill, 222) in economic aid and military assistance, which the latter did not eventually transpire. The plea was made amid Greece’s civil war (1946-49), where as a result of World War II the “Germans had destroyed virtually all the railways, roads, port facilities, communications, and merchant marine…[left] Eighty-five per cent of the children [as] tubercular. Livestock…had almost disappeared…[where] inflation had wiped out practically all savings…[making] economic recovery impossible” (Truman). Truman felt Greece’s political chaos “threatened by the terrorist activities of several thousand armed men, led by Communists” (Truman) and the guerrilla forces controlled by the Greek Communist Party (KKE) warranted the monetary support of the U.S. Greece’s neighbor, Turkey, who received aid during the war from the U.S. and Britain, was confronted with a different situation, yet also required funds “for the purpose of effecting that modernization necessary for the maintenance of its national integrity...[that] is essential to the preservation of order in the Middle East” (Truman) and was becoming an increasingly important region for the U.S. Soviet pressure was placed onto Turkey to open up its shipping lanes in…
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