Harry truman’s presidency and the cold war



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Partition of Germany
        1. Soviets dominated their Eastern German zone after WWII.
            a. Sought to strip E. German resources and ship them to Russia as compensation for war losses.
            b. Did not want revitalized Germany that could once again pose a threat
        2. U.S. and W. Europeans felt German economy vital to recovery of Europe -- West Germany eventually became an independent country when US, France and Br. gave back each of their occupation zones.
        3. 1949, a democratic West Germany created; East Germany created under Soviet domination.

IV. Reconstruction of Japan


    A. Despite Soviet protest, US led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur implemented democracy in Japan (Allied Control Council).
    B. Japanese war criminals tried during 1946-48; 7 hanged (including Tojo), 18 sent to prison
    C. A constitution adopted in 1946 renouncing militarism & introducing Western-style democracy.
    D. Within decades, Japan would become an economic powerhouse.

V. Policy of "Containment"


    A. 1947, US Ambassador to Russia, George Kennan, warned Truman that Russia sought to expand its empire.
        1. Soviet leaders had an ideology that "the outside world was hostile and that it was their duty eventually to overthrow the political forces beyond their borders."
        2. Soviet policy in E. Europe, Germany, and Middle East of great concern.
        3. Kennan’s ideas became the basis for Truman’s "containment" policy.
    B. Truman Doctrine -- Defined US foreign policy for next 20 years.
        "It must be the policy of the US to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
        1. Truman doctrine initiated a policy of "containment": prevent the spread of communism
        2.   March 12, 1947, Truman asked Congress for $400 million to support democracy in Turkey and Greece since the British were no longer able. -- Result was positive for democracy in both countries
        3. Truman quickly recognized Israel in 1948 as the new country would be a bastion of democracy in the Middle East.
    C. Marshall Plan (1947)

        1. France, Italy and Germany were still suffering from economic chaos after WWII.


        2. US feared Communist parties could exploit these hardships and take control.
        3. Sec. of State George C. Marshall invited Europeans to create a joint plan for economic recovery. US would provide financial assistance.
            a. Soviets walked out of the conference in Paris in July, 1947. -- Criticized it as US plan to take over Europe
            b. Congress at first balked at huge monetary proposal but changed course
                after the Soviet-sponsored coup d’ etat in Czechoslovakia in Feb. 1948 which extended the influence of communism in Eastern Europe.
        4. Plan allocated $12.5 billion over four years in 16 cooperating countries.
        5. Within a few years, most recipients of the plan's aid were exceeding prewar output; seen as "economic miracle." -- Communism lost ground in Italy and France
        6. Czechoslovakia initially interested in aid but pressure from Moscow forced a veto. E. European nations prohibited from accepting aid from US & W. Europe.
    D. Organization of American States (OAS) created to prevent communism in Latin America
    E. U.S. government reorganization and rearmament
        1. National Security Act of 1947 created the Department of Defense
            a. Headed by new cabinet post -- Sec. of Defense; housed in new Pentagon
            b. National Security Council (NSC) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) created by Truman in 1948 and 1949.
            c. NSC Number 68 (1950)
                i. Issued in response to the fall of China and onset of hostilities in Korea.
                ii. U.S. would implement a rigorous worldwide defense of Communism with "an immediate and large-scale build up of our military."
       2. 1948, first peacetime military draft enacted
       3. "Voice of America" authorized by Congress beamed US broadcasts behind iron curtain



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