In the s, anti-slavery forces in the United States developed a free soil strategy of containment, without using the word, to stop the expansion of slavery until it later collapsed. Historian James Oakes explains the strategy:
News magazine shows the beginnings of American containment policy. Communism was on the march. Soon communist forces dominated the governments of Romania and Bulgaria.
By the fall ofit was clear that the Soviet-backed Lublin regime had complete control of Poland, violating the Yalta promise of free and unfettered elections there.
It was only a matter of time before Hungary and Czechoslovakia fell into the Soviet orbit. Yugoslavia had an independent communist leader named Tito. When Harry Truman approved the Marshall Plan inhis official statement said, "Few presidents have had the opportunity to sign legislation of such importance.
How many dominoes would fall? United States diplomats saw a continent ravaged by war looking for strong leadership and aid of any sort, providing a climate ripe for revolution. Would the Soviets get all of Germany? Or Italy and France? President Truman was determined to reverse this trend.
Greece and Turkey were the first nations spiraling into crisis that had not been directly occupied by the Soviet Army. Both countries were on the verge of being taken over by Soviet-backed guerrilla movements.
Truman decided to draw a line in the sand. Within two years the communist threat had passed, and both nations were comfortably in the western sphere of influence. A mid-level diplomat in the State Department named George Kennan proposed the policy of containment.
Since the American people were weary from war and had no desire to send United States troops into Eastern Europe, rolling back the gains of the Red Army would have been impossible.
In July a majority of the American public had never even heard of the Marshall Plan. But to win passage in Congress, the Truman administration needed strong public support, so it launched a massive public relations campaign.
But in places where communism threatened to expand, American aid might prevent a takeover. By vigorously pursuing this policy, the United States might be able to contain communism within its current borders. The policy became known as the Truman Doctrine, as the President outlined these intentions with his request for monetary aid for Greece and Turkey.
The war had ruined crop fields and destroyed infrastructure, leaving most of Europe in dire need. To avoid antagonizing the Soviet Union, Marshall announced that the purpose of sending aid to Western Europe was completely humanitarian, and even offered aid to the communist states in the east.
Marshall proposed that a post-war European aid program be initiated. Less than a year later, the Marshall Plan was a reality.
The Marshall Plan created an economic miracle in Western Europe. By the target date of the program four years later, Western European industries were producing twice as much as they had been the year before war broke out.NOTE TO READERS “A Short History of the Department of State” has been retired and is no longer maintained.
For more information, please see the full notice. A mid-level diplomat in the State Department named George Kennan proposed the policy of containment. Since the American people were weary from war and had no desire to send United States troops into Eastern Europe, rolling back the gains of the Red Army would have been impossible.
The policy became known as the Truman Doctrine, as the. Kennan and Containment, George F. Kennan, a career Foreign Service Officer, formulated the policy of “containment,” the basic United States strategy .
The Truman Doctrine arose from a speech delivered by President Truman before a joint session of Congress on March 12, The immediate cause for the speech was a recent announcement by the British Government that, as of March 31, it would no longer provide military and economic assistance to the Greek Government in its civil war against the Greek Communist Party.
Johnson explained containment doctrine by quoting the Bible: "Hitherto shalt thou come, but not further."  Goldwater lost to Johnson in the election by a wide margin. Johnson adhered closely to containment during the Vietnam War. The Truman Doctrine was informally extended to become the basis of American Cold War policy throughout Europe and around the world.
It shifted American foreign policy toward the Soviet Union from détente (a relaxation of tension) to a policy of containment of Soviet expansion as advocated by diplomat George Kennan.