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Harry S. Truman

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Harry S. Truman was the thirty- third president of the United States. He took over from Roosevelt at the time of the World War II and is praised to have been able to stop the World War II by defeating the Japanese. Truman is most remembered for his involvement in creating the containment, which was an American foreign policy to stop the spread of communism by the Russians to other countries. After the World War II was over the United Nations was enforced to make sure that no country would enforce its will onto another by force, this was the main motivation of Truman urging congress to get involved, because the soviets wanted to enforce its will onto others.

The events that led to the Truman's containment, commonly known as the Truman doctrine was the move by the soviets' to enforce communism into Greece and Turkey. (Freeman, p 413) It was believed that the main goal for the soviets' leader was to spread communism to the rest of the world, even if it meant enforcing them to accept it. Initially, the previous foreign policy of America was that it was not to get involved with helping any European countries in times of war or to get involved with European affairs. This was propagated by President Monroe commonly referred to as the Monroe doctrine.

Truman, on seeing this line of event and Russians intent on Greece and Turkey, he stood before the congress and gave his speech. This speech is known as Truman doctrine, which overturned the Monroe doctrine. In this speech, Truman argued that it was their duty as America to protect the majority from the minorities' oppression by giving economic and food aid to this people so that it would help them fight back. He urged the congress to give $400 billion to go into helping Greece and Turkey from the communist attack.

When the bill was finally passed, it transformed into total containment of communism, that is, the Americans portrayed that they were not going to stand by and watch communism being spread to other countries. The aid that went to Greece and Turkey most of it was used for military aid than what it was intended for initially although some of it went into food and economy. This war is commonly known as the Cold war, (Spalding, p 72-73) the Americans were actually supporting countries to fight back communism. Although the involvement of the military from the United States in these countries was not so obvious, Truman actually had more military involvement, in contrast to what he had presented before the congress.

The Truman containment policy also greatly influenced the involvement of America in war in North Korea, China and in Vietnam. This showed that America could not tolerate the spread of communism and it turned almost all Americans citizens against communism. In fact, by 1952, the government was already talking about stopping communism at all cost. (Divine, 1972)They even put up the CIA, which in 1950 was asked to create a hydrogen bomb that would be used in war because the containment of communism would not stop at anything even if it meant going into war so as to protect the freedom of the citizens in those countries that the soviets' were aiming to spread their communism. The containment also led to the creation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

The modern civil movement is a movement by Americans most being black Americans protesting against discrimination of the black Americans by the whites. This movement was mostly in the southern states, where they were mainly fighting for voting rights to be given to them. After the first reconstruction, the whites in the south began to dominate and the blacks who mostly belonged to the Republican Party started to be oppressed as whites took over the ruling of the party. Also the Democratic Party had also begun to put laws that discriminated against the blacks. This discrimination increased with years and it even transformed into violence.

The civil rights movement was the first successful movement that was able to achieve good results for the black Americans, initially they were not allowed to vote, nor own houses or even use some form of transport. (Dierenfield, p 43)This movement mainly used mass demonstration because they were able to get quicker results. Their earlier methods of fighting for their rights were not working; this method included educating and also lobbying. These methods had been used earlier and had not worked. Therefore, they decided to start using strict measures.

The mass action included; boycotts, sit-ins, freedom marches and also freedom rides. The movement relied on the courts because they knew the courts had to pass laws that turned their actions unlawful and in doing this, they would give in to their demands so that the blacks would stop what they were doing. The most common of this movement was the Montgomery bus boycott that is associated with the great Martin Luther King Jr. this boycott also encouraged other boycotts from other bus companies. This civil right movement granted the black Americans, rights to vote, transport rights, they also got equal opportunity rights for the employment and they could also own and rent houses without being discriminated against.

This civil movement is referred as the second reconstruction because, it occurred after the Second World War. Just as the first reconstruction that followed after the American civil war. It was also during this second reconstruction that blacks could now be found in government as officials. It also characterized the movement of many blacks from the Republican Party that they had once belonged to, and head for the Democratic Party. (Black Americans in congress, 20)This modern civil right movement liberated the blacks in America and ended the segregation based on race or color. Today, the famous speech that Martin Luther delivered of his dream may be seen to have been completely achieved because America, for the first time, is being headed by a black president and people are no longer discriminated because of their color.

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