The Origin's Of The USA's Globalism

  1. Overview of U.S relations with Europe in 1945
  2. The Truman Doctrine: Containment
  3. Marshal Plan, June 1947
  4. Germany and NATO
  5. USA's 'special relationship' with Britain
  6. The USA as an economic and military superpower
  • Created by: Tom
  • Created on: 17-04-14 16:05

Origins of U.S Globalism - key dates

  • February 1946 - Kennan's Long Telegram
  • September 1946 - Novikov's Telegram
  • February 1947 - Britain withdraw aid from anti-Comms. in Greece
  • March 1947 - Truman Doctrine speech
  • June 1947 - Marshall Plan announced
  • September 1947 - Cominform founded
  • June 1948 - Berlin blockade + allied airlift begin
  • April 1949 - NATO established
  • May 1949 - Berlin blockade ends
  • August 1949 - S.U detonates A-bomb
  • September 1949 - Federal Republic Of Germany(west) founded
  • October 1949 - German Democratic Republic(east) founded - People's Republic of China created
  • June 1950 - N.Korea attacks S.korea - Korean war begins
  • October 1950 - China enters war on N.Korea side
  • April 1951 - European Coal and Steel Community Treaty signed
  • March 1953 - Stalin dies
  • July 1953 Korea War ends
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U.S relations with Europe in 1945

  • Truman's initial focus was on European reconstruction
  • No suggestion that the U.S envisaged any long-term military or political entanglement in Europe
  • U.S was interested in expanding its economic interests, both in Europe and globally
  • At the end of ww2, U.S wanted a world order in which their economic strengths would be enhanced
  • Early U.S optimism soon modified. Europe's power ruined by 1945 and a power vacumm emerged in international relations. U.s was economically dominant and militarily the most powerful state on the globe.
  • As U.S clearly couldn't come to a political agreement with S.U, they had two options: retreat into isolationism or project its power on a global scale
  • Major contributor to final decision of U.S internation policy came from the Kennan Telegram
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Kennan's Long Telegram - February 1946

  • U.S policy already ebing moulded by Truman in 1946
  • Stalin planned to improve S.U security in the south, so demanded S.U military bases in Turkey. Giving him control of Turkish straits + meditterranean.
  • Truman ordered the U.S 6th fleet to eastern Meditteranean and said "unless Russia is faced with an iron fist and strong language another war is in the making"
  • 22nd February 1946 - kennan sent Long Telegram to State Department in Washington
  • Gaddis regards the Long Telegram as seminal in shaping U.S policy toward the S.U and ultimately in determining the USA's role as a global power
  • U.S policy toward the S.U should assume a global perspective rather than a European one, as a result of analysis Kennan presented of the motives of S.U foreign policy.


  • "to undermine general political and strategic potential of major western powers"
  • "Efforts will be made to weaken western power and influence of Western powers over colonial, background, or dependent peoples. Soviet dominated puppet political machines will be undergoing preparation to take over domestic power in colonial areas when independence is achieved"
  • "everything will be done to set major western powers against each other"
  • "Soviet regime is a police regime accustomed to think primarily in terms of power"
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Kennan's Long Telegram - February 1946

  • USA must be prepared to threaten the use of force and ensure unity among its allies
  • Urged U.S to adopt a proactive role, particularly in Europe
  • "[Europeans] are seeking guidance rather than responsibilities"
  • Kennan produced the 'X document' adding to his previous points "long term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russia's expansionist tendencies"
  • Kennan's analysis added to Truman's growing certainty that the S.U was an enemy of western democracy and a threat to U.S security
  • Isolationism wasn't the way to preserve America's vital national interests and security in a post-war world
  • Truman concluded the U.S needed a clearly defined foreign policy framework, and he provided it.
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The Truman Doctrine: Containment

  • Churchill's Iron Curtain speech reinforced Kennan's analysis
  • Stalin's response to Kennan's analysis came in September 1946 from S.U ambassador in Washington, Nikolai Novikov, concluded that "The foreign policy of the U.S, which reflects the imperialistic tendences of American monopolistic capital, is characterised in the post-war world by a striving for world supremacy" - emphasised link between economic reconstruction of Europe and U.S policy designed to "infiltrate their national economies". U.S aim was world dominance, and huge military spending proof of this.
  • each sie regarded the other as a threat, but also expansionist and a gloal strategic threat
  • By September 1946 East-West relations had developed momentum which was grounded in mistrust and fear
  • The catalyst for fundamental change of U.S foreign policy came from Greece
  • Stalin agreed Greece should stay in Western hemisphere. Civil war erupted between monarchists and Greek Comms. after liberation from Nazi's.
  • Britain funded non-Comms. until Feb 1947 when they announced they could no longer afford it - looked to U.S to bare the financial burden
  • Stalin had no intention of helping Greek Comms. as he could not ensure their loyalty to Moscow.
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The Truman Doctrine: Containment

  • 12th March 1947 Truman Doctrine Speech:
  • "The second way of life is based upon the will of the minority forcibly imposed on the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms"
  • "our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes"
  • Richard Crockatt(1995) - "Bipolarity was not merely a matter of the structure of international relations but a state of mind"
  • International relations would be based upon division, each side suspicious of the other. Truman Doctrine institutionalised this for at least next 25 years
  • Truman could have turned to UN to solve issues in EU, but Soviets had veto power
  • Motives attributed to Truman's decision to introduce his doctrine:
  • keep the S.U from aiding Greek Comm. movement
  • protect democracy and freedom with no aggressive intent. Response to S.U aggressive political, strategic and ideological expansionism
  • demonise S.U and Comm. in minds of U.S public
  • make the S.U feel threatened by U.S power
  • by making an enemy and presenting itself as against them, U.S would make other states militarily+economically dependent on U.S would create close trade relations with U.S
  • Truman Doctrine first step in creation of containment as basis of U.S post-war foreign policy
  • second step - Marshall Plan, reinforced Truman Doctrine
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The Marshall Plan, June 1947

  • May 1947 - Sec of state for economic affairs, William.L.Clayton reported "Europe is deteoreating" - "the immediate effects on our economy would be disastrous"
  • 5th june 1947 Marshall unveiled his plan, known as European Economic Recovery Plan(EERP) - "our policy is not directed against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos"
  • Over next 5 years plan provided $13.5b to 16 countries in Europe. Money+goods
  • condition of recieving aid was some of it had to be spent on U.S exports. Also required sharing economic info with U.S
  • stable European bloc would be formed which would reinforce containment
  • historians argue Marshall Plan contributed significantly to European Steel and Coal community
  • S.U saw Marshall Plan as clear U.S economic imperialism
  • Bideleux and Jeffries(1998) - "the recipients would thus be drawn into the economic orbit of the richer western capitalist countries"
  • July 1947 - S.U walked out of tripartite paris peace talks and cominform formed within 4 days
  • Eastern European states who showed interest in Marshall Aid were ordered to reverse decision
  • Marshall Plan simply accelerated the division of Europe
  • U.N General Assembly September 1947, S.U deputy foreign minister Andrei Vyshinsky accused the U.S of renouncing the principles of international collaberation - went on to say aim of U.S was to split Europe and revive German economy as a base for U.S expansionism in Europe and to threaten S.U security.
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Berlin Blockade June 1948 - May 1949

  • seen as direct causal factor of western allies introducing common currency across their joint zones. 23 June 1948 Deutschmark introduced in West Berlin.
  • 24th June 1948 all raod and rail links to western zones and West Berlin through Soviet zones were blocked by S.U
  • British Foreign Secretary Bevin was adamant that allies must not use military force to access West Berlin but must keep it supplied with essentials.
  • General Clay committed to allied action - "When Berlin falls, West Germany is next" - "the future of democracy requires us to stay"
  • May 1948 Stalin ended blockade. His ai of stopping creation of a seperate West German state had failed.
  • Policy of containment proved a success
  • by Oct 1949 West and East Germany were two seperate and independent states - although in reality neither were independent
  • Blockade reinforced U.S certainty of building relationship with Europe
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Germany and NATO

  • reintegration was supported by U.S who saw strengthened West germany as safeguard against Comm. expansionism
  • Adenauer's(first chancellor of FRG) first important step in this process was made in the Petersberg(west Germany)  agreeements of November 1949, which allowed FRG to join council of Europe as an associate member.
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NATO, April 1949

  • The Western European Union emerged from the Brussels Pact 17th Macrh 1948 - aimed to prevent any form of German resurgence that may threaten post-war western Europe
  • its creation signalled that Western European states were under threat from Communism advance and that U.S must take a more proactive role in development of a stronger regional defence system. Came in form of NATO
  • WEU was 'too European' - The U.S needed to create an Atlantic Alliance if it was to have influence in Europe and its defence against Comm. expansion
  • U.s thinking in early stages of creating Atlantic Alliance focus on belief that S.U threat to west was primarily political rather than military - vital U.S had influence which could reinforce confidence of Western Europeans
  • April 1949 NATO formed - U.S;Canada;Britain;France;Belgium;Netherlands;Luxembourg;Italy;Portugal;Denmark;Norway;iceland
  • NATO primarily a political defence system
  • months after NATO formation, S.U tested first A-bomb - U.S nuclear monopoly ended and NATO political role transformed to military
  • by 1950 Cold War extended to Asia
  • U.S wanted Germany in NATO, but French resisted

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NATO, April 1949

  • U.S, Britain, France, met in New York Sept. 1950 - French put forward 'Pleven Plan' - would allow West Germany limited number of troops, but only as part of West European Army, with new European Defence Committe(EDC)
  • Dec 1950, U.S, Britain, France approved
  • May 1952 - General Treaty signed in Born followed by another to set up EDC in Paris
  • General Treaty recognised full sovereignity of the FRG
  • All restrictions on German economy and on German scientific research were lifted and germany allowed to set up Bundes Wehr(federal defence) to give guarantee of security
  • EDC arrangements collapse when French refused to ratify the treaty, August 1954
  • Adrenaeur voluntarily agreed to renounce nukes and keep West German Army limited in size/under strict control
  • British plan to admit Germany+Italy to Brussels Pact and rename EDC to West European Union was adopted.
  • Opened way for West German rearmament
  • 4 power summit to discuss German reunification delayed due to Stalin death
  • French gave in to U.S pressure to accept West Germany membership of NATO
  • May 1955 West Germany granted NATO membership
  • S.U response - recognised sovereignity of GDR and created Warsaw Pact with GDR as a member
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The Korean War 1950-53

  • 1949 - China turns red
  • December 1949 Mao flies to Moscow to meet Stalin
  • Stalin couldn't be bothered with him, and Molotov greeted him instead.
  • Mao left with what he wanted, including loans, transfers of technology and military aid.
  • Stalin saw partnership as unequal - China was to be underdog. He simply wanted influence in Asia. U.S noticed this.
  • Soviet support for China heightened certainty of a long term Cold War relationship between China and U.S
  • June 1950 - N.Korea invades S.Korea
  • assumed Stalin prompted Kim il-sung to invade, but research shows this isn't true.
  • Stalin needed to be seen as proactive in promoting Comm. in Far East, or be seen negatively by Chinese
  • UN security council called upon member states to render every assistance to the UN in ensuring that N.Korea aggression stopped
  • Showed U.S that Far East and Pacific now vulnerable to Comm. expansionism
  • 27th June 1950 Truman speech - "The United States will continue to uphold the rule of law
  • U.S quickly presenting itself as a global policeman with Comm. as the villain
  • Far East & Pacific = lucrative economic possibilities for U.S
  • Truman's decision institutionalised containment and made it keystone of U.S foreign policy
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The Korean War 1950-53

  • October 1950 - U.S pushed North and reached Yalu river
  • Nov 1950 - Chinese entered war as ally of N.Korea - aimed to protect China from U.S invasion
  • April 1951 - U.S pushed back to 38th parallel by Chinese
  • MacArthur wanted full on invasion of China - Truman wanted to avoid all out war with China, ordered recall to U.S
  • Invasion of China would have shifted balance of American foreign policy away from containment
  • Negotiations to end conflict started early, but Stalin's death accelerated events
  • Stalin followed by Malenkov - not as arrogant/stuck up/narcissistic
  • Truman admin ended - Eisenhower took over
  • 1953 cease fire agreed and 38th parallel restored as border between North/South
  • K.war seemed confirmed fear of rise of monolithic Comm. 
  • victory for containment - reinforced commitment
  • U.S military power expanded in Europe and paved way for West German rearmament
  • China increasingly saw self as arbiter of Comm. rather than S.U - K.war undermined Sino-Soviet relationship
  • Cold war became globalised and containment militarised
  • Nuclear tech rapidly advancing and both sides of divide became involved in arms race
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The USA's 'special relationship' with Britain

  • power vacuum existed in Europe and could not be quickly filled given the economic weakness of European states
  • U.S didn't want Europe to develop as a force independent of U.S influence.
  • The U.S's route into Europe came through relationship with Britain
  • Britain driving force in preserving relationship - needed to preserve international status after pulling out of Greece etc
  • relationship became one of mutual support
  • U.S needed Britain for inflouences in Europe, Britain needed U.S to reinforce its international status
  • S.U made allies through creation of satelite states. U.S gad to form relationships with western powers and Britian was the gateway
  • Consensus politics were in place in Britain and this meant that Britain was a state that the U.S needed and could do business with.
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The U.S as an economic and military power

  • primary indicator of superpower status = economic + military strength
  • U.S ability to function as global power only possible due to economic wealth
  • WW2 ruined European economies and catapulted U.S economy to unchallenged level - owned 2/3 world's stocks. 50% world manufacturing capability
  • end of war, federal revenue @ $51 billion annually
  • primary objective of U.S after war was to ensure no return to economic depression of 1930's
  • economic prosperity of war could be preserved by ensuring that U.S expanded global economic influence
  • U.S needed to establish speheres of economic influence
  • Marshall Aid firs step in achieinvg this goal
  • By making Western states dependent on U.S they were locked into an economic relationship
  • U.S fundamental military power = its nuclear capability
  • 1949 NSC 68 defense policy proposed spending programme of $45 billion annually on defence
  • There was to be no return to isolationism or any form of diplomatic consensus such as appeasement. The U.S was to adopt a militaristic stance and use its military power to contain Comm.
  • U.S militarism became foundation of Cold War confrontation
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