Truman Containment Policy & Civil Rights Movement

Truman containment policy came about because of Truman doctrine that he gave in response towards crisis. This was to contain communism that was rampant at the time especially propagated by the Soviet Union. The communist that has been taken over many of the Eastern Europe through salami tactics that were described by Truman as a breach of Stalin’s promises at the Yalta conferences.

Therefore, in 1947 in February, the British government led by the Greek government resists the communist rebels announcing that they can no longer continue to keep their soldiers there.  Therefore, Truman knew that if he got involved in Greece, most of the Americans would be against this move, as they would not let him involve the country with the affairs of the European. Therefore, Truman offered the famous Truman doctrine that came to be known as containment policy. He did this in pursuit of justifying his change in foreign policy to the congress.

In his statement, he reminds the congress that the country has suffered a lot of consequences in the fight that it engaged itself in the world war II though they had joined the united nations in the quest to acquire freedom for the people and their democracy. This involvement, he said that it cost the country a lot of money.

However, he said that the communism was on the rise and it was growing on daily basis. Therefore, he told the congress that the nations of the world are faced with a choice. He described the cold war as a fight between those people who were good against those who were bad. Therefore, the country should choose between capitalism and communism, dictatorship and democracy, and freedom and oppression. There in such a choice, he said that the country had to get involved in the matter.


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Application of the policy from 1945 through 1954

In fact, this speech was very important at the time of cold war. The reason being, it set many principles that the country, the united state of America, would base on its fight for cold war for the next thirty years. According to many historians, this speech bore the American policy of containment. The part of the statement that has in many times referred to is the most famous one that Truman suggested that “I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”.

The containment policy led to much aggression as a defense in Truman foreign policy that he put in 1947. It made the country to offer $ 338 million into Greece. This money was to be used for food aids, economic aid, and military aid.  This was to help the country to contain the rebels who were being funded by the Yugoslavia government. The US government also offered $80 million to turkey that was used in the military intervention in the quest of ending the communism.

In the report that had been written by the Truman adviser Clark Clifford in 1946 that led to the Truman doctrine speech the following year, he had advice the president to lead in the support of all the democratic countries that were oppressed by USSR through the communism. This was through offering them food aids, trade agreements, loans and military support as a last resort. One of the main quotes that lead to the full enactment of the containment law against communism stated that “the main deterrent to Soviet attack on areas of the world which are vital to our security will be the military power of this country”.

This lead to several things happening, first, the administration of Truman responded to Russia by adopting a tough stance. They said that the Russian ambassador is not welcomed in Washington and does not belong there anymore; America would oppose communists in Korea and china. The country said that it do not have territorial ambitions that what it is up to is peace and it is prepared to fight for it. Finally, the US said that it would go to war if it were provoked.

This lead to the formation of CIA in 1950 and Truman offered orders to manufacture hydrogen bomb and the country produced a document in 1950 named as NSC-68 that stated the policy of the country that it was out to change the world situation by means of war to ensure that it hasten the decay of soviet system.

The origins of the modern civil rights movement

The origins of civil right movements date back in 1953. The civil right movement was brought about by the segregation that black people experienced. These include personal, economic and political oppression. In 1955, Emmet Till was murdered when he went to visit relatives in Chicago after allegedly flirted with a 21-year-old white woman. This is where the young man disappeared and his body found on an old factory fan having shot on the head. The main suspect Bryant and Milan were acquitted murder charge by all the white jury. Later in the same year, Rosa Park who was once a secretary of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was arrested after allegedly failed to offer a seat to a white man. This sparked a lot of protest in the country through bus boycotts by the people of Montgomery. This boycott lasted for one year until buses were desegregated in December 1956. The chief person who led these boycott was the president of Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) Martin Luther King Junior.

The American black people used boycotts, protest, and courts to ensure that they revert the segregation of that was rampant in the country. For example, in 1957, the Supreme Court complied with brown V.  Board decision to avert the central high school segregation and ensure that black people were also integrated into the schools. in fact, the civil right movement was termed as the second reconstruction after the attainment of independence as it made the rights of the black people be recognized and ensured that the rights for all people were adhered to.

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