Term Paper: American History War and Peace

Pages: 3 (876 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Topic: Drama - World  ·  Buy This Paper

American History

War and Peace as American Objectives in the mid-20th Century

Excesses both of hope and fear, especially the American inclination to see good in certain nations or movements and evil in others, can lead us into unhappy conflicts. Our crusading zeal may have contributed much to the world, but it is time we saw the menace to peace that it also contains." - Professor John K. Fairbank, 1971.

Professor Fairbank's comment concerning America's "crusading zeal" was a fair critical analysis of our nation's move toward conflict during the period of 1945-1965. Following World War II, the country was willing to believe in the inherent good or evil mentioned by Fairbank. Protecting the weak and defining our nation as a defender and powerful ally/enemy was foremost in the minds of America's leaders. Roosevelt's post-war policies and the following Truman Doctrine set the stage for further American efforts to take world enforced peace into its own hands. What followed were policies and foreign conflicts that included the well-publicized Korean and Vietnam wars, but also actions with Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Policies during and following World War II set the stage for conflict. Roosevelt's agreements with Churchill and Stalin following the war not only fell apart, but also led to the Cold War and extreme anti-communism in the United States (Kort, 31-32). Stalin fostered many communist nations, threatening the United States and England. British and American forces responded with the support of revolutionaries and governments that took power away from the communists. American foreign policy concerning communism became clear with the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and was emphasized by American leaders throughout the period (Kort 36-43). The Truman Doctrine expresses American concern that communism would quickly spread through any and all nations that were not protected from it, with Truman stating that, "America could not, and should not, let these free countries stand unaided" (Truman 178). In the period following the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, the United States was heavily aimed at "containment" of communist ideology (Kort 43).

The containment effort was heavily acted upon in Latin and South America. The Latin American republics (including Suriname, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil) had cooperated with the allied efforts during the war in return for economic and military aid. Brazil in particular was vulnerable to Nazi leanings and was considered to be key in many of America's World War II strategies (Freidel 219). The United States and Britain now took it upon themselves to "protect" these nations from communist leanings. At the same time, many of these nations were encouraged by the Soviet Union… [END OF PREVIEW]

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American History War and Peace.  (2007, March 10).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-history-war-peace/9711497

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"American History War and Peace."  10 March 2007.  Web.  18 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/american-history-war-peace/9711497>.

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"American History War and Peace."  Essaytown.com.  March 10, 2007.  Accessed July 18, 2019.