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The Cold War and Truman

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The Cold War and Truman

The end of World War II presented an opportunity for Winston Churchill to regain some of the power and influence that the Imperialistic British Empire once possessed. Churchill took advantage of the trust and respect that the American public and President Truman shared about his character. He saw Truman’s lack of political experience as an opportunity to restore British imperial authority. Winston Churchill tainted Harry Truman’s beliefs and preservations about Russia, because his personal agenda and imperial policy where vital to the supremacy of the British Empire. Churchill manipulated Truman and the American public. He caused them to believe that Russia was a legitimate threat to the free world, thus he created the origins of the Cold War.

During the Yalta Conference, the United States and Britain were forced to finally confront the diplomatic impact of the Russian military success in Europe. Churchill and Roosevelt were most concerned about the future of Poland. Both Churchill and Roosevelt knew that Polish voters in the United States and Britain were concerned about the future of their mother country. Therefore, Poland was the main debating point during the conference. Stalin explained to Churchill and Truman that throughout history Poland had been used as a corridor through which other hostile countries invaded Russia or attacked her. Stalin held to the notion that only a strong, pro-Communist government in Poland would be able to guarantee the security of Russia.

After Roosevelt returned to the United States, many Americans accused him of not doing all he could to secure Poland with a free, non-communist government. Many Americans felt that Roosevelt did not dig in his diplomatic heels. With help from the press, this type of mindset was molded into anti-Russian propaganda. Anti-Russian propaganda was the beginning of the snowball effect, which sent the American public into a funk of distrust. Distrust quickly led to a breakdown in communication in the weeks that followed the Yalta conference. Many scholars believe that the Yalta conference was the soul origin of the Cold War. However, Yalta only acted as a catalyst for Churchill to manipulate the Americans’ view of the Soviet Union. The Yalta conference served as a tender-box. It fueled many myths and endless propaganda that helped ignite feelings of resentment from the American public. Levering The Cold War states that, “These various mind-sets are important not only because leaders and citizens in both countries found them useful as a framework for explaining or justifying the Cold War, but also because many scholars have used portions of them as underpinnings for their writings on Soviet-American relations”.

Shortly after Yalta, President Roosevelt died and Vice President Truman succeeded him. America was left in a vulnerable position after the death of Roosevelt, because Truman lacked the diplomatic charisma to deal with Stalin. Truman didn’t have the ability to dig in his heels against Churchill’s agenda. Since Truman had rarely directly dealt with Churchill, he was not as familiar with the complexity of Churchill’s character, or the ambivalent nature of his policies. Churchill had strong character traits and a bully-like manor, when it came to negotiating policy. Truman was an inexperienced statesman compared to Churchill. Therefore, Truman was not as enlightened in the fine points of sticks and carrots when it came to foreign policy negations.

On March 5,1946, Winston Churchill used his invitation to speak at Westminster College as a launch pad to taint the American public’s perception of the Soviet Union. Churchill used this occasion to deliver his famous Iron Curtain Speech, which forever altered American feeling about their former ally. In Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech, he introduced America to the notion of a “fraternal association” between the United States and the British. In Churchill’s speech he stated, “Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of English-speaking peoples.” After Churchill delivered his speech President Truman took the stage to deliver some words of his own. During that time Truman reiterated some key concepts of Churchill’s speech. However, Truman neglected to mention the importance of the fraternal bond that America and Britain supposedly shared.

Churchill’s speech was highly criticized by the press in the days that followed the speech. To many Churchill was considered to be highly influential when it came to Russian policy. Jeremy K. Ward Winston Churchill and the “Iron Curtain Speech” states, some conceived Churchill to be the most influential spokesman on Russian affairs”. After Churchill departed from Missouri he mad two more public speaking engagements. Fearing that he had come off to brash and harsh

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