Containment: Cold War and Marshall Plan Essay

Submitted By Meherun713
Words: 1048
Pages: 5

Cancer. It is known to be a fatal and corruptible disease, conclusively leading to death. The root of the problem is the spread of the disease. Once its found its way in, then only a cure would be able to stop the contagion from taking over and reaching out until the entire body is under its control. To many, thoughts and beliefs have the same quality. They, too can be a contagion, and spread, which in many realistic situations can be harmful as informative. This was the basis of an entire era in history, where to halt the spread of a certain taintable and impractical ideology, a new policy was adapted. After World War II had ended, there was a tangible silence in the world, for there was yet another battle to be fought, but this time, it was a war of beliefs. The United States of America had come out of the war as heroes and as a superpower. The USSR too had come out as the other superpower of the world, due to being allied against the Axis powers and being victorious. But that is where the similarities ended. Soviet Union had come into power after the overthrowing of the Russian Empire, known as the Russian or Bolshevik Revolution. The nation had a one party state which was the Communist Party. The beliefs of Communism were derived from Karl Marx’s Manifesto, where the party had supremacy over all social institutions, and there was to be social order, equality of all. It is forcible redistribution of wealth. Though this practice may seem good on paper, it seemed inevitably flawed, which would lead to corruption as the US had foreseen.
With the US’s strong ideologies of capitalism, free market and democracy, communism was a threat that would doom other nations, as it felt would certainly doom the Soviet Union. And with that conviction, the U.S. State Department George F. Kennan, had come up with the idea of containment, after having converged with the USSR at the US Embassy at Moscow and found out that the Soviets opposed capitalism, and basically want to expand their beliefs. Containment became the US foreign policy that Kennan had described to US Defense Secretary James Forrestal, which eventually went to the ears of President Harry Truman. It was simply to contain the contagion of communism and not let it spread to any other nation., which was a drastic change in US foreign policies from isolationism to involvement in any nation being taken over with communism, that did not already follow that practice. Both nations had hysteria over the other nations ideologies. The rationale behind containment from American explanations would be that it was to protect other nations from a downfall. President Truman believed the US needed more than a "get tough on the Russians" policy following the war. Another way it could be rationalized would be that seeing Russian expansionism in the past already, it could not be trusted that the USSR wouldn’t go the same way and spread communism, a threat to capitalism. Containment meant allowing communism exist where it already did and to “contained” there. With the Soviet Union's eyes straying to expand westward, US felt it needed to intervene. In the Truman Doctrine, the containment policy was the greatest pillar holding up its structure. This policy came from a speech President Truman delivered in 1947, stating that the US would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid, to fight off communism, from the Soviet sphere. This became a policy open to all other nations hereafter. The containment policy ran along the same line as the Truman Doctrine, and the doctrine itself was heavily based upon the containment policy, thus its application was prominent. Truman’s containment efforts were seen in series of other measures taken to keep Soviet influence out. Such as the Marshall Plan. The rest of Europe was in ruin after World War II, a huge heap of rubble , dust and silence. Infrastructure was destroyed, crop fields demolished,