When World War II ended the United States and Russia emerged as "Superpowers." Though they had fought as allies, each had their own agenda and post -war strategies. The United States found itself unable to enjoy the pleasures of peace after the wars completion. Having been unable to establish a true settlement in Europe, America watched, as Russia appeared to strengthen its hold of the region. The Soviets were taking a position in Europe that concerned the United States, led by President Harry S. Truman.
The Soviets were refusing to vacate Austria and were maintaining a post war occupation, on the premise that they had conquered Austria when it was a hostile nation. The Soviet Union was attempting to gain post war control over large, vital portions of Europe. President Truman became enraged at the Soviets actions and attempts to gain control of post war Europe. He felt that the Soviet expansion violated national self-determination, betrayed democratic principles and threatened freedom in Europe. This was very evident in the fact that Russia was attempting to draw Turkey into their sphere of influence.
Should they gain control of Turkey, the Soviets would obtain vital territory and maritime control of the Dardanelles Straits. The Dardanelles offer direct passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, which would afford the Soviets a vital naval advantage in Europe. To add to these tensions the Soviets rejected a United States proposal to control atomic energy. The Soviets were expanding their defiant position in post war Europe. They were also refusing to comply with a post war agreement to vacate Iran within six months of the end of World War II. This action was of great concern to the United States who brought this dispute to the attention of the United Nations.
A strong position of hostility was observed between the United States and Russia. The United States issued an ultimatum for Russia to withdraw from Iran or face military opposition. As tensions in Europe continued to rise support against communist expansion was weakening. The support of Great Britain had weakened as they were faced with post war economic hardship and recent severe weather.
Churchill advised Truman that Great Britain would no longer be able to fund anti-revolutionary support. Greece was currently in a battle against revolutionaries supported by communist Yugoslavia who were attempting to over throw the British supported King. With the British withdrawal of aid and support to Greece, Truman saw a long awaited opportunity present itself. He had wanted to establish an ideological anti-communist doctrine and with recent developments in Europe, he was motivated to proceed.
In addition Truman felt the Soviet aggression in Europe could have an effect on the United States economy if a growing communist Europe becomes a lost market. On March 12, 1947 President Harry S. Truman gave a speech to Congress regarding the falling of small countries, to the pressures of communism. The speech which has become known as the Truman Doctrine, asked for 400 million dollars for use in Greece and Turkey to combat this aggression. The money for Greece would be utilized for military and social purpose, with funding to Turkey marked strictly for military use. Truman had brought his concerns before all of America as his speech was nationally broadcast and now the American people had concerns against the spread of communism.
The American people demanded to be protected against communism, which made Congress unable to resist Truman's request for aid as it would hurt the administration and call question to the motives of Congress. The acceptance of the Truman Doctrine established an ideological platform, which resulted in nearly fifty years of tensions and near global destruction. This period is commonly referred to as the Cold War era, and was a direct result of the Truman Doctrine ideology.