As many historians have concluded, Harry S. Truman, the thirty-third president of the United States, provided his most effective leadership skills in the area of foreign affairs. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, former Vice-President Truman was sworn into office having only met with the president twice since their election to office. He was essentially unaware of any of the foreign policies FDR had enacted. Harry S.
Truman had important decisions to make, and he did not have the luxury of time. Because Harry S. Truman had excellent decision making skills and terrific leadership talent he was able to shape America's role in the world through the enactment of the Marshall Plan, Truman Doctrine, and the National Security Act. At the conclusion of World War II, Truman was left with the challenge of solving increasing signs of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Soviet Union and the United States were unable to come to any conclusions on important issues after the war.
Because the Soviets were forcing communism upon other countries, Harry S. Truman told Congress that "it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures" (web). Truman then proceeded to ask Congress for $400 million dollars in economic aid to both Turkey and Greece who were pressured by the Soviet Union to accept communism. The Truman Doctrine was then issued to prevent the Soviets from instilling communist governments in countries that were vulnerable during postwar confusion.
The Truman Doctrine triggered the beginning of the containment policies throughout European Countries. It was employed by the acceptance of the Marshall Plan in 1947. The Marshall Plan was a relentless effort by the United States to reduce the "hunger, homelessness, sickness, unemployment, and political restlessness of the 270 million people in sixteen nations in West Europe" (web ). Over the four years the Marshall Plan was in place a total of 11 billion dollars was spent. The Plan was successful because it "aimed at aiding a well-educated, industrialized people temporarily down but not out" (web ). The money that was issued was not concentrated in one area.
Most of Europe and even the Soviet Union (America's nemesis at the time), was dependent on the United States to rebuild their economies. This showed that the Soviets were "buying" into American programs. America further developed as a world leader, and influenced politics worldwide. The National Security Act of 1947 was created to uphold America's strong presence throughout the world. The two components of this act were the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). These creations were necessary due to America's decision to drop two Atomic Bombs on Japan.
These actions were direct displays of America's technological capabilities. America has been the only country to ever drop an Atomic Bomb. With this action, America became a world superpower. Although America was very dominant in foreign affairs, it became necessary to develop measures of defense because many countries resented the United States for this display of power.
The Department of Defense was created to protect from outside threats which became much more prevalent due to the growth of America's involvement in foreign affairs. The CIA was also an organization created to "gather and evaluate foreign intelligence information vital to the security of the United States" (web). With the creation of the National Security Act, the United States was no longer an Isolationist country. It became more involved in international affairs and eventually a world superpower. Under the leadership of Harry S. Truman, many developments advanced the role of America in world politics.
The Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the dropping of the Atomic Bomb and the National Security Act reflected The United States growing involvement throughout the world. These four events serve as examples of how America's role has developed through Truman's presidency thanks to his excellent leadership ability. It is apparent that Harry S. Truman had a profound impact on America's role in foreign affairs..