Harry S. Trumans Fight Against Communism

Harry S. Truman’s Fight Against Communism

Harry s. Truman was born May 8th 1884 in Lamar, Missouri (Parker, 2006). Poor eyesight deterred him from joining university but instead joined the army in 1905 to 1911 then rejoined as captain during the world war one. As captain, he forecasts strong leadership skills. His political career commenced in 1922 when he was appointed to be a county court judge of Jackson County, Missouri(Parker, 2006). With help from democrat Thomas J. Pendergast, he served eight years as a court presiding judge. In 1934, he protested and won the senate position (Parker, 2006).

Due to his exemplary work of saving budget money and lives during world war two, he was reelected for a second term in 1940 and again in 1944. In 1944 he was selected the vice president to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Franklin D. Roosevelt died eighty two days after election and Harry s. Truman succeeded him. On April 12, 1945, Truman became America’s 33rd president, an expert politician and legislator (Parker, 2006).

Besides little experience, he began founding USA.In the 1948 election, he won a second term and focused on fighting for civil rights and joining other countries to stop communism. During his two terms reign, he helped negotiate Germans unconditional surrender in world war two and worked to counter communism. He is known for founding the department of defense, U.S air force, C.I.A and National Security Council (Parker, 2006).

Since the Truman’s first term as president, Communism was the greatest setback amid others like fight for civil rights. Communism is defined a government system characterized by collective ownership of property that eliminates the existence of classes and private property ownership (Truman, 1952). Communism eliminates poverty through sharing of resources. Communist states redistribute wealth to achieve equality and aims to place the persons at the same financial and social level. Harry S Truman was anti-communist because communism allowed states to own all property denying individuals the right to own business (Truman, 1952).

During the first 30 years after 1917, global communism attempts by movements like the Hungarian revolution, German Communist party, and the Chinese Communist party had failed. In the US, communism almost never existed. However, attempts by some perpetrators cannot be ignored. Nevertheless, communism was rapidly spreading to other parts of the world. In Eastern Europe for example, the Red Army was created to impose communism (Truman, 1952). In other parts like China and Korea, and communism was boosted by the collapse of Japan. Vietnamese communism was fueled by the fall of France .As communism grew, its strength amplified rendering the situation impossible to handle. Harry s. Truman was left with the choice of controlling rather than curbing communism (Truman, 1952).

On May 12, 1947, Harry s. Truman sparked the cold war by proclaiming to stop expansion of communism using the Truman doctrine (Watson, Gleek & Grill, 2003). The culmination of World War II manifested the launch of the Cold War. Cold war conflicts started in 1945 after the United States no longer needed the aid of the Soviet Union to fight Germany. The Soviet Union began to support the spread of communism in Greek (Watson, Gleek & Grill, 2003).President Harry s. Truman was concerned that the Soviets would influence Greek policy if communists prevailed in the Greek civil war.

In 1946, Truman recognizes the Soviet threat to rule the world through communism and decides established the Truman Doctrine. The Truman Doctrine was a result of Truman’s Congress speech on March 12, 1947(Watson, Gleek & Grill, 2003).Following the speech, the British Government announced retrieval of its military and economic aid to the Greek government in its fight against the Greek Communist Party. In his speech, Truman probed Congress to back the Greek Government against the Communists (Watson, Gleek & Grill, 2003). He also asked Congress to provide assistance to Turkey which had fallen victim of the British government withdrawing. The Truman doctrine aimed to fight communism by excommunicating civil servants disloyal to the government (Watson, Gleek, Grill, 2003).

In April 1948, Congress passed the Economic Cooperation Act, better known as the Marshall Plan to offer fiscal aid to war-torn areas for the reconstruction of cities and infrastructures. This policy was based on the thought that war torn nations were vulnerable to communism as an after war solution (Truman, 1952). Truman also supplied airlifts after the soviet closed all West Berlin access points.

On April 4th 1949, formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established to limit Soviet expansion. General Dwight Eisenhower was named supreme commander of the new organization (Jones). NATO founding members were France, United States, Britain and Canada. The organization’s principles allowed the military attack on any nation that threatened to attack any of its members (Jones). Around this time, china collaborated with the Soviets under leader Josef Stalin, to build first nuclear bomb United States responded in 1953 by building a hydrogen bomb (Spalding, 2006)

On June 1950, Communist North Korean forces attacked noncommunist South Korea ( Parker, 2006). Truman sent United States forces under General Douglas MacArthur to stop the attack. China troops joined North Koreans in the fight and MacArthur suggested an attack of Chinese land. The president declined out of fear that this would perpetuate or worsen the war. The mission succeeded but as time passed, united nation lost ground. The general suggested the use of nuclear forces forcing Harry to confiscate him. Korean War continued after Truman left white house and caused death of about 33,000 Americans (Parker, 2006). To help the French battle the Vietnamese communist forces, the president sent non-combat troops to Vietnam (Spalding, 2006).

In 1951, President Truman asked Congress to inaugurate a firsthand foreign aid program to statesexposed by communism particularly Latin America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and North Africa (Spalding, 2006). Despite his effort to eliminate communism, Truman was faced with opposition from communist unions particularly the Soviet Union. His diplomatic efforts to eliminate communism resulted reaction by various nations. For example, in June 1950, Communist North Korean forces attacked noncommunist South Korea.

Another reaction was the closing of access points to the west of Berlin by the Soviet Union. This action was taken to reduce United States control of West Berlin, which was enclosedwithin SovietgroundsofEast Germany (Spalding, 2006). Truman supplied them through a series of airlifts. Republican senator Joseph McCarthy accused Truman’s admin of concealing communists. Anti-communist nations also joined to form NATO.

Summarily, Truman’s war against communism was proving impossible due to the rapid expansion of the practice and existence of perpetuating forces like the Soviet Union. The Truman doctrine was important in excommunicating disloyal employees. The doctrines policy also referred as the Marshall Plan prevented the spread of communism through the provision of foreign renovation aid to war torn nations. Formation of the NATO was another brilliant plan to increase the strength to fight the Soviet Union efforts of spreading communism. However, the organization advocated for the use of force in case of attack which is an extreme action that could fuel war. One example is the use of two atomic bombs to stop the war in Japan. Despite the doctrine extreme action, the Truman doctrine succeeded in containing communism.


Harry S. Truman, S.H (1962) Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. Washington: Government Printing Office.

Jones, S (n.d.) The Truman Doctrine Containing Communism During the Cold War.Retrieved January, 19th 2013 from http://usforeignpolicy.about.com/od/alliesenemies/a/The-Truman-Doctrine.htmSpalding, A (2006) The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, and the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism.Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky

Parker K.L (2006)How to Draw the Life and Times of Harry S. Truman Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the United States of America. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.

Watson, P.R, Gleek .C, Grillo .M (2003) Presidential Doctrines: National Security from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush. New York: Nova Publishers