Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Harry Truman (1949)
On April 9th, 1945, Harry Truman took over for Franklin D. Roosevelt as the President of the United States during the closing months of World War II. The victory and end of the war led to the creation of the United Nations by the Allies to try and promote peace. Unfortunately, the alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union had begun to disintegrate years before the war ended, and by 1949 Europe was divided into two separate spheres of influence. Concerned about the possible threat of the Soviet Union spreading Communism, President Truman constructed foreign policies and to contain the Union’s political power and counter its military strength. On August 24th 1949, Truman proclaimed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to be an official alliance between 12 nations. Additionally, when North Korea attacked South Korea in June of 1950, Truman took military action and stepped in to once again fight against the spread of communism. In the autumn of 1950, however, after the U.N. managed to push the North Koreans back into the Chinese border, the Chinese entered the war, and the conflict developed into a gruesome, bloody stalemate that didn’t see its end until after Truman’s term ended in 1953. Although he chose not to run for a third term, Truman accomplished much in terms of setting the foundation for development of foreign affairs, especially those between the United States and Soviet Union.