General Ioannis Metaxas took power with a fascist-style dictatorship. Once Metaxas died in 1941, Greece was left powerless and the Communist Party took control and created the National Liberation Front, also known as EAM. Another group was formed that was against the EAM called the National Republican Greek League (EDES).
The EDES received help from the British since Britain was worried about a communist takeover. Winston Churchill met with Joseph Stalin in 1944. Churchill agreed to give Stalin power in Romania, and Poland if Stalin gave Churchill power in Greece. The Germans, still there from World War II, began to withdraw from Greece because of this and Stalin gave no help to the communists, even though they were the powerful group in Greece. On December 2, 1944, fighting started between the British and the EAM. 1946 communists in Greece attempted a takeover. They were in the minority in the country but received moral support from the USSR in their efforts to overthrow the monarchy and actual material support from Yugoslavia.
Greece was in a highly sensitive position militarily and Truman, while not wanting to involve America in any military action, wanted to give the Greek government as much support as he could during the Greek Civil War.
“I BELIEVE IT MUST BE THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES TO SUPPORT FREE PEOPLE WHO ARE RESISTING ATTEMPTED SUBJUGATION BY ARMED MINORITIES OR BY OUTSIDE PRESSURE” HARRY S TRUMAN
The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy to stop Soviet imperialism during the Cold War. It was announced to Congress by President Harry S. Truman when he pledged to contain Soviet threats to Greece and Turkey.
Truman stated that America had a duty, an obligation of freeing those who were oppressed, meaning countries who were in the sphere of influence of the Soviets. The West believed that, despite the Soviet staying out of the affair, it was still their influence and expansion of communism that was triggering this rebellion in Greece. In February 1947, because of their economic instability, Britain could no longer maintain their troops in Greece, warning the US. The American government issued the Truman Doctrine. Truman argued that the US should follow a policy of ”containment’ to stop Russian expansion’. Despite claiming it was a response to the civil war in Greece, it was believed to be ‘designed for wider application’.
The Marshall aid was an American initiative to aid western Europe, in which the United States gave $13 billion (approximately $130 billion in current dollar value as of August 2015) in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War, this initiative resulted in the Soviet’s setting up Comecon in Eastern Bloc countries. The initiative also caused, from 1948 through to 1952 great growth in European economies and consequently this economic prosperity led by coal and steel industries led to today’s European Union.
“The aid was given in the form of food, grants to buy equipment, improvements to transport systems, and everything “from medicine to mules”. Most (70 per cent) of the money was used to buy commodities from US suppliers: $3.5 billion was spent on raw materials; $3.2 billion on food, feed and fertilizer; $1.9 billion on machinery and vehicles; and $1.6 billion on fuel.” Stalin forbade the Cominform (set up in 1947 by Stalin to draw together various European communist parties) countries to apply for Marshall Aid.
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
Paris Conference: At the Paris Peace Conference, which lasted from July to October 1946, politicians from the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom, France, and other Allied powers agreed upon the provisions of the Paris Peace Treaties, signed in February 1947 with Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland. These agreements included monetary reparations, territorial adjustments, and political commitments intended to promote democracy and peace.