Describe and Evaluate Ways the US Tried to Contain Communism

Essay by BloopidfudalityHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2006

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On the 12th of March 1947, US president Harry Truman announced to the world, through a foreign policy called the Truman Doctrine, entailing that the US adopt a policy of containment pertinent to the expansion of communism. This involved restricting any further growth of communism throughout the world, leading to the USSR being the USA's main priority. There were a number of various ways through which the US attempted to contain the communist 'threat', some of which worked well, and others of which the same cannot be said; main focus shall be on the effective methods.

One way in which the US tried to contain communism was by economic means. The most prominent example of an economic stance of containment was most definitely the Marshall Plan of 1947, in which the US gave 13 billion dollars of financial aid to the countries of Western Europe. This was a particularly effective strategy of constricting the rise of communism, as it provided economic strength and stability in and around Western Europe, an area considered to be of vital importance to capitalism and democracy, as well as under threat of a communist takeover.

An economically unstable country is prone to either left or right extremist groups rising up and taking control. History has shown this to us on numerous occasions, such as Nazi rise in Weimar Germany after the great depression, or more relevantly, the takeover of Hungary by communist dictator Matyas Rakosi in 1947. The latter example can be used as direct proof that the Marshall Plan effectively contained communism, as Hungary, being under the Soviet Union's sphere of influence, was prohibited the benefits of Marshall Aid. The requirements for Marshall Aid may be viewed as a specific sub-form of containment on its own, as without them the USSR would have...