After the end of the Second World War, many countries in the world had undergone a dramatic twist in their policies and structures due to the influence extended to them by their superpowers and former colonizers. The term containment was initially derived from the word contain and it was used to indicate a situation where the United States of America initiated policies and strategies to curb the spread of Communism by the Soviet Union members to other states. The strategies included the restriction of Soviet power spreading to other nations of the world, gaining control of the European countries and also limiting the significance of the Soviet Union. This essay aims at pinpointing the significance of the concept of containment after the Second World War.
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The Truman Doctrine was a policy advanced by the United States president Harry S. Truman in 1947 which advocated for Her to give financial and military support to Greece and Turkey to prevent them from joining the Soviet Union that was gaining high momentum (Rossides, p. 45). After the Second World War, many countries had been weakened by its effects including Britain which was a great sponsor of Greece and Turkey. The Truman Doctrine aimed at ensuring that the policies of the United States were adopted by these countries as a way of restricting the spread of Communism by the Soviet Union states (Rossides, p. 97). Soviet Union members were seen as a threat to global security and all countries that were non-aligned was easy prey to the Communists. To avoid their being absorbed by the Soviet Union that was highly advocating for Communism, the United States had to move in with speed and provide financial and security assistance to have a chance of winning them.
The Marshall Plan was an American policy of extending financial assistance to European countries for reconstruction after the Second World War stripped them to their knees. They became so poor that they could not support their budgets and needed immediate help from other states (Behrman, p. 34). The main objectives as to why the United States ventured into this plan was to reinstate developments that had been destroyed by the war, promote the delicate international trade, upgrade the existing industries to better standards and ensure that Europe regains its lost glory.
Both the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan were necessary to curb the influence of the Soviet Union on non-aligned states that gave them more international recognition and power. The existence of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union was building too much pressure on her and this would have led to a Third World War that would have destabilized the United States. Therefore, to contain these tensions, She needed to have a considerable number of nations behind Her (Behrman, p. 156) The power that the Soviet Union was getting through recruitment of new states was proving to be a threat to international peace and so the United States had to look for means to ensure the spread of Communism was controlled and stopped.
Through these containment policies of the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine, the United States of America managed to stop Communism from spreading to other nations. The perpetuation of the cold war by the United States was very successful as it weakened the Soviet Union further and caused its split. Eventually, this gave the United States a direct ascension to become the world’s strongest nation.
- Behrman, Greg. The Noblest Adventure: The Marshall Plan and how America Helped Rebuild Europe. New York: Free Press, 2008. Print.
- Rossides, Eugene T. The Truman Doctrine of Aid to Greece and Cyprus. New York: American Hellenic Institute Foundation, 2005. Print.