What is the Policy of Containment?

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Significant Individuals Involved

Harry S Truman: Truman pledged to, "support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." This pledge became known as the Truman Doctrine. In one speech, he called Russia's relations with nonsoviet countries: a mighty clash between "totalitarian regimes" and "free peoples." In this speech, he marks the onset of the Cold War and the adoption of containment as official U.S. policy.The word containment is associated most strongly with his policies.
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George Marshall: Throughout his life, he was an American military leader, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State. While he was the Secretary of State, his name was given to the Marshall Plan, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. As stated above, this plan helped many Western European countries with economic recovery as well as the stopping of the spread of communism.

William Clayton: Truman appointed Clayton as the first Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, a which is what Clayton was from 1946-47. Clayton really supported American economic aid to rebuild Europe after World War II and had a huge role concerning the Marshall Plan.

George Kennan: was an American advisor, diplomat, political scientist, and historian. He was very well-known as "the father of containment" and as a big figure in the coming up of the Cold War. In the late 1940s, his writings are what inspired the Truman Doctrine and also inspired the U.S. foreign policy of containment of the Soviet Union. He had a lifelong role as a leading authority on the Cold War. One of his writings called "The Sources of Soviet Conduct, said that the Soviet regime is expansionist (wants to spread communism to other countries) and that this had to be "contained." This text was thought of as the "foundational text" of the Cold War. Kennan also played a leading role in the making of a lot of Cold War programs, such as the Marshall Plan.

French Premier Georges Clemenceau: Premier Georges Clemenceau spoke out against the spread of communism. He called for a ring of non-communist states, to isolate the Soviet
Union. He is credited with the first use of the phrase as a metaphor concerning the Policy of Containment. In March 1919, he urged the newly independent border states that had broken away from Bolshevist Russia to form a defensive union and thus quarantine the spread of communism to Western Europe; he called such an alliance a cordon sanitaire. Some say that this phrase may have sparked the Cold War, in the year 1919 and not in 1947 as most historians contend it did.
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President Woodrow Wilson: he was in favour to isolate the Soviet government, which seemed and promoting worldwide revolution. He popularly called for a "quarantine" of Russia as he opposed the spread of communism throughout the world, which was Russia's primary ambition.

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2. History Timeline

World War 2 ends.
Germany is split into 4 sections.
Stalin`s secret plan to spread communism is initiated
1945--1950 Communism starts to spread across Europe.
Iran is the first country to fall to communism.
America realizes that Stalin is trying to spread communism throughout Europe. America aids by giving money to European nations.
Stalin decides that he would like to take over West Berlin. He cuts off canals,roads,highways,and bridges so that no supplies can get to West Berlin.
1948 America and her allies aid West Berlin by flying supplies in to West Berliners.
Stalin`s plan fails and after 462 days he lifts the blockade
Stalin dies from a cerebral hemorrhage.nother leader succeeds him.
Russians deploy nuclear war heads on Cuba.
America responds to Russia saying to decommission the nuclear war heads. Eventually they did.
New Russian government comes to power and communism is broken down in European countries and Russia.

3. The policy of Containment influenced the Cold War in a negative way by increasing the tensions primarily between the US and Russia. Through President Truman's "Contaiment Speech," he influenced the American government to break free from Isolationism and stop the threat of spreading communism in Europe. America started assisting European countries via lending money which would contain communism and not draw the certain European countries into it (communism). When America did this, it raised tensions between America and Russia. This is because America does not agree with communism spreading and Russia agreed that the spread of communism would be benifical for the European countries.

4. People living through the Cold War were in constant fear. Even though there was no physical fighting between America and Russia there was always a fear of either Russia or America launching their nuclear war heads on each other. Since Russia and America both had long distance nuclear war heads, they could easily reach far corners of the earth. They both had their nuclear war heads trained on all the major cities. Nuclear War could destroy whole cities and this caused large fear since Russia had many nuclear war heads. The governments started to hand out instructions on how to create a nuclear shelter so that people could protect themselves and their families in the case of a nuclear bomb being dropped.


"What Is the Policy of Containment?" Tell Me Why? Web. 08 Jan. 2011.


"The Cold War: Important People." Propaganda.net - Ungdom, Skole, Uteliv, Foto Og Nyheter. Web. 08 Jan. 2011.


"Cold War Timeline." History Timelines. Web. 08 Jan. 2011.


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