Superpower relations 6

What was the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan?

To start make your own version of this table and complete the blank sections. Some of it has been done for you.

When you are filling in the third column you might want to use some of these key terms: tension, division, secrecy, fear, arms, mistrust

EventWhat it was/what happened?How it affected superpower relations
Yalta Conference – 1945A meeting of the Grand Alliance. They agreed on many things including dividing Germany into 4 zones after the war.
Potsdam Conference – 1945A large increase in tension. The Grand Alliance didn’t seem to be needed any more. There was also mistrust at what Stalin’s army were doing in Eastern Europe, whilst Truman had just successfully tested the atomic bomb
Dropping of the atomic bomb – 1945
Kennan’s Long Telegram – 1946Kennan suggested that Stalin was trying to take over. The telegram put forward the idea of containment.
Soviet expansionism – 1945-1948eg. which countries?A large increase in tension. The USSR saw what they were doing as defensive as it was about protecting the USSR. The USA was it as the USSR aggressively taking over.

OPTIONAL CHALLENGE: What was the situation in the Cold War by the end of 1946? How would you describe the relationship between the USA and the USSR?

The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan – these are crucial in the start of the Cold War

The Truman Doctrine

The Truman Doctrine was a change in American foreign policy. Previously they had followed isolationism (they isolated themselves from the world). Now they were moving to containment (stop the spread of communism)

It was put forward in a speech given by President Truman in 1947.

In the speech Truman promised money and support to the governments of Greece and Turkey. These countries were ‘threatened’ with communist takeover.

Consequences of the Truman Doctrine

The Americans would intervene around the world if countries might fall to communism. Containment was to be their new policy. They became much more involved in events in Europe.

Greece and Turkey defeated the communists and remained allies of America.

It increased the rivalry and tension between the USA and USSR. It also increased the division between communists and non-communists.

It led to the Marshall Plan.

YOUR TASK: Write your own definition of the Truman Doctrine. “The Truman Doctrine was…

For help you may wish to watch this video:

The Marshall Plan

Truman and America believed that communism was more likely to spread in areas of poverty. Many European countries had suffered hugely in WWII. America believed that if they could help these countries recover economically, communism was much less likely to spread

The Marshall Plan was when the USA gave economic aid to countries of Europe. It was a method of containment.

Money was sent from 1948 to 1953

Aid was offered to all of Europe, however Stalin prevented the satellite states eg. Poland, from receiving it

Consequences of the Marshall Plan

The USA provided $17 billion in aid to Western Europe. Western Europe did not ‘fall’ to communism

Europe became even more divided between East and West (not only by ideology but also by those who received Marshall aid and those who did not)

Stalin called Marshall Aid “dollar imperialism” (he felt that the USA were trying to use their money to take control, like an empire might)

The USSR set up their own communist organisations called Cominform and Comecon

A map showing the countries that got the Marshall Plan money shaded in grey. As you can see there is a clear divided between West and East. (Don’t worry that you can’t see the detail.)

YOUR TASK: write your own definition of the Marshall Plan/Marshall Aid AND say why it was important. “The Marshall Plan was…It was important as it led to…”

For help you may wish to watch this video:

Now watch the video below – if you struggled to do the definitions then this might help. if you already have your definitions then there might be some details you can add

Well done you have completed this lesson!

Want to know more?

Research (briefly) into Cominform and Comecon. These were set up by the USSR after the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan. You just need to find out what they were and why they were set up.

Watch the video below which goes into loads of detail on the Truman Doctrine & Marshall Plan – it’s the third in the CNN series