Focus Point 3 – How did the USA react to Soviet expansionism? The Truman Doctrine – March 1947 What did it say? – that the USA should support free peoples who were resisting attempts to overwhelm them by armed minorities or by outside forces.
Why did Truman make this policy?
In February 1947 Britain said it could no longer afford to support Greece and Turkey. Both appealed to the USA for money.
a) In Greece, although rejected in elections, Greek Communists were fighting a guerrilla war against the Royalist government. Britain was supporting the Royalists with money and 40,000 troops
b) Stalin demanded a naval base in the Turkish Straits, and the return of land seized by Turkey in 1918. Soviet troops threatened the border. Britain was supporting Turkey with money.
Truman decided the USA should help. He believed
a) if one country fell to Comunism, those nearby would be at risk. This became known as Domino Theory.
b) the USA should adopt a policy of containment. This meant supporting nations in danger of Communist take-over with economic and military aid.
What were the consequences?
Greece defeated the Communists and Turkey successfully resisted Soviet pressure.
The rivalry between the USA and the USSR increased.