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Acheson and the Formulation of the Truman Doctrine

From: Journal of Modern Greek Studies
Volume 17, Number 2, October 1999
pp. 229-251 | 10.1353/mgs.1999.0025


The Truman Doctrine speech marked a major change in American foreign policy. Literally it was only a request to the Congress for funds in peacetime to defend two Near Eastern countries from pro-communist and Soviet pressure. The American administration justified this request by emphasizing the danger of totalitarianism as opposed to democracy rather than playing on fears of Soviet aggression or invoking the specter of communism. Dean Acheson was almost completely responsible for this approach, but his motives can only be suggested. Nevertheless the Congress and the American people recognized the real issues and supported the request.

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