How did the Truman Doctrine affect Greece?

In March 12, 1947 the Truman Doctrine was announced by  President Harry S Truman it was a set of beliefs which stated that it was America’s duty to contain communism, stop Soviet expansion by limiting it to that sphere of influence. He also didn’t want communism to spread to other eastern countries. It was an indirect warning to the USSR that America would intervene and help any country that could be taken over by the armed Red army.

President Truman wanted to tackle communism through the Marshall plan. In 1947 George Marshall gave Truman his report on, what he believed was the reason why countries were more likely to fall to communism. He believed that countries which were near destitution were more likely to join communism. They then formulated a plan to ask Congress for initially $17 billion to lend to countries that may fall. Congress refused saying that the sum was too big to pay and would cost the tax payers too much. However after the fall of Czechoslovakia in 1948, when a capitalist candidate Jan Masaryk was thrown out of a window and the communist won. This was evidence enough to cause Congress to change their minds about the Marshall plan.

The political purpose of Marshall aid was containment, it was a tool of the Truman Doctrine. Theoretically it was a perfect plan and the countries would take the aid and be saved from the Reds. In reality, it wasn’t as perfect because of how Stalin retaliated, also that it was really only for Western Europe. The Soviets formed Cominform (Communist Information Bureau) where Stalin told all the countries under communism that they were not allowed to take Marshall aid. Molotov saw Marshall aid as an attack on communism which could be sympathised with as America was meant to be the country of the free and have the 4 freedoms, however they were being hypocrites as they didn’t allow communism. However it could also be argued that so far communism never turned out well and was always a dictatorship so they would have felt threatened and felt it was their duty to stop it.

Greece was nearer to West which would have scared America as it showed soviet expansion. the sides that were involved were the soviets who helped the communists, Britain and America helped the Royalists.The Greeks were relying on aid from Yugoslavia which the British saw as a threat of soviet expansion form Stalin. Britain called for help from America because they needed financial aid to help them win the war. Truman responded with the Iron Curtain speech .


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