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Truman and the Soviet Union - 1945-1949

            Following a catastrophic second world war, only two nations stood above the ashes of the world; the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had control over much of eastern Europe and it was of great concern of the U.S that the Soviet's spread their influence to the weak western European countries. The Soviet Union was a single party state and held a communist economic system that the U.S wanted to hold a 'containment' foreign policy towards. Containment was first described in Defense Secretary George Kennan's Long Telegram. In it, he described Soviet power as scattered and dangerous, and claimed that it must be contained. Truman handled the nation's containment policy with great success that kept the democratic and free market integrity of western Europe. Through Truman's use of economic aid to suffering european countries, establishing military links with pro-democratic nations, and his firmness when responding to threatening soviet acts, Truman handled the soviet threat to the best of any presidential ability. .
             Following George Kennan's Long Telegram in 1946, Truman knew he had to act upon Kennan's analysis of the current state in Europe. A key part to the telegram was that communism may be attractive to war torn Europe as their markets had collapsed and people were living in unsustainable conditions. Greece and Turkey were two countries right under the nose of the S.U and in desperate need of economic relief as they became prime candidates to follow in soviet influence. Truman reduced this danger with the Truman Doctrine which granted $400 million in relief and war supplies to Greece and Turkey who were hoped to in return support the U.S and their economic and political systems. Truman then passed the Marshall Plan which granted 12.5 billion in relief to western Europe if the country promised to bear a democracy and a free market. This helped stabilize western Europe and in doing so- contain communism.

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