In one of the most pivotal moments in history, Vice President Harry S. Truman was sworn in as president following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. President Truman faced a daunting legacy, following in the footsteps of one of America’s most beloved leaders. He worked to preserve the democratic ideals of the United States and prevent the spread of communist influences. Students will study the events and policies during Truman's presidency that contributed to the complex relationship with the Soviet Union.
"It is of the utmost importance that we supervise the use of any funds made available to Greece; in such a manner that each dollar spent will count toward making Greece self-supporting, and will help to build an economy in which a healthy democracy can flourish."
"To ensure the peaceful development of nations, free from coercion, the United States has taken a leading part in establishing the United Nations...We shall not realize our objectives, however, unless we are willing to help free peoples to maintain their free institutions and their national integrity against aggressive movements that seek to impose upon them totalitarian regimes."
"The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died. We must keep that hope alive."
In this excerpt, President Truman is pleading for funds to help Greece recover from the war, as well as protect themselves against any foreign aggression, namely the Soviet Union. With American aid, they would be able to sustain themselves, and their freely chosen government.
In this excerpt, Truman is acknowledging the United State's growing position as a world leader and member of the United Nations. As part of their joint efforts, the U.S. is looking to help any and every country maintain peace and prosperity against the threat of totalitarian regimes.
THE UNITED NATIONS
In this excerpt, President Truman is noting that without American aid and containment of totalitarian regimes, free societies will perish and the people's will to succeed will perish as well. With American aid to nations threatened by these regimes, Truman advises we can save the people of these nations.