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The Truman Doctrine was a policy that the United States would do whatever was necessary, both economically and militarily, to contain the spread of communism around the world.
See the fact file below for more information on the Truman Doctrine or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Truman Doctrine worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- In February 1947, the British Government announced that as of March 31, it would cut military and economic assistance it had been providing to Greece and Turkey since the end of World War II. The United States government, led by President Harry Truman, believed that both countries were threatened by communism and it jumped at the chance to take a firm stand against the Soviet Union.
- In Greece, socialist forces had been at war with the Greek royal government since the end of World War II. In Turkey, the Soviets were claiming some manner of control over the Dardanelles territory, from which Turkey was able to dominate the strategic waterway from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.
- In view of the fading relationship with the Soviet Union and the meddling of the Soviet in Greek and Turkish affairs, the withdrawal of British assistance to the two nations provided the necessary catalyst for the Truman administration to reorient American foreign policy.
- On March 12, 1947, President Truman presented a speech before a joint session of Congress, stating that the world needed to make a choice in the years to come: nations could adopt a regime “based upon the will of the majority” with their governments providing “guarantees of individual liberty”, or they could choose an oppressive system “based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority.
- Accordingly, Truman appealed that the U.S. Congress grant $400 million worth of assistance to both the Greek and Turkish Governments and the deployment of American military personnel and equipment to the region.
- President Truman’s request was based on the premise that a Communist victory in the Greek Civil War would undermine Turkey’s political stability, which would further threaten the political climate of the Middle East.
- This could not be allowed in light of the region’s strategic importance to the United States’ national security.
- He further stated that the U.S. Government was forced to help “free peoples” in their battles against “totalitarian regimes”, and “the attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures, because escalation of authoritarianism would “undermine the foundations of international peace and hence the security of the United States.”
- Truman saw It was necessary for the United States to support the two nations so that Greece could “become a self-supporting and self-respecting democracy”, and Turkey could maintain its national integrity.
- On May 15, 1947, the U.S. Congress passed a bill reflecting the main points of Truman’s address and was signed into law on May 22. “Aid” was made conditional on the Greek and Turkish governments, agreeing to turn over full control of its rendering to special U.S. missions, something that created an opportunity for U.S. interference in these nations’ internal affairs.
- The U.S.-Greek aid agreement was signed on June 20, followed by Turkey on July 12, 1947. From the amount granted by Congress, $300 million went to Greece and $100 million to Turkey.
- The Truman Doctrine was, in fact, a declaration of the Cold War. Originally intended only for the two nations, it expanded across the world as Truman outlined the broad parameters of U.S. Cold War foreign policy: the Soviet Union was the center of all communist activity and movements throughout the world; communism could attack through outside invasion or internal subversion; the United States needed to provide military and economic aid to protect nations from communist aggression.
Good or Bad?
- Although the Truman Doctrine successfully convinced many that the U.S. was stuck in a life-or-death struggle with the Soviet Union and it set the guidelines for over 4 decades of U.S.-Soviet relations, not everyone was on board President Truman’s arguments.
- Some realized that the mutiny in Greece was not supported by the Soviets, but by Yugoslav Prime Minister Josip Tito, who defected with the Soviet communists. It was also found that the Soviets were not dominating control over the Dardanelles, but were only protecting the strategic waterway from Russian enemies, as the Nazis had used it during World War II.
- It was also uncertain whether the U.S. assistance would result in Greece and/or Turkey’s democracy, but both nations were able to establish repressive right-wing governments in the years following the declaration of the Truman Doctrine.
- With the Truman Doctrine, the United States broke its traditional avoidance of extensive foreign commitments beyond the Western Hemisphere by actively offering assistance to preserve political integrity of democratic nations when such an offer was deemed to be in the best interest of the U.S.
Truman Doctrine Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Truman Doctrine across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Truman Doctrine worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Truman Doctrine which was a policy that the United States would do whatever was necessary, both economically and militarily, to contain the spread of communism around the world.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Fast Facts
- The President’s Profile
- Word Wars
- Seeing the Big Picture
- Key Figures
- Conflicting Sides
- Truman’s Speech
- Mapping Out Communism
- Leading Leftists
- Foreign Policy Today
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Link will appear as Truman Doctrine Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 18, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.