Explain the development and meaning of the Truman doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO.

Essay by NoTTiNzZzHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2006

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By the end of 1945, the Grand Alliance of World War II was in shambles, and with it any realistic hope of a postwar world constructed according to the Atlantic Charter ideals Roosevelt and others had supported. A new American policy was emerging. Rather than creating a unified and "open" world, American worked on "containing" the threat of Soviet expansion. The Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO were effective measures taken to contain Soviet expansion and communism.

On March 12, 1947, President Truman appeared before Congress and gave the speech which became known as the Truman Doctrine. He believed that it was "the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." He requested $400 million which Congress approved right away to assist Greece and Turkey. The Truman Doctrine accommodated the status quo. Many believed that it was unlikely to overturn the communist governments Stalin had installed.

The Truman Doctrine also provided the plan to fight communism in the future. The plan was to contain communism since it was innately an expansionist force. The expansion of communism was a threat to democracy everywhere because of the "domino theory," which stated that the fall of one nation to communism would ultimately cause the fall of surrounding nations to communism.

Another part of the containment policy was a proposal to aid in the economic reconstruction of Western Europe. It became known as the Marshall Plan. There were many motives behind this plan: humanitarian concern for the European people; a fear that Europe would remain an economic drain on the United States if it couldn't rebuild quickly enough to feed itself; a strong desire for European products. Most importantly of all motives was the concern that...