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Explain the importance of the President, in relation to other factors in the development of changes in foreign policy in the years 1940 to 1960

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Introduction

Explain the importance of the President, in relation to other factors in the development of changes in foreign policy in the years 1940 to 1960 There are many factors leading to the development and change of foreign policy between the years 1940 and 1960. The personalities and actions of the Presidents at the time obviously had a major impact on these policies, but other factors also had an effect on changes to the foreign policy during the years 1940 to 1960. These other factors include the economic state of Europe, pressure from Congress and Stalin and the Cold War. Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower were the three Presidents in power between the years 1940-1960. Roosevelt's personality and views certainly affected the way foreign policy changed during these years. Roosevelt was a President with strong beliefs and he was not afraid to carry them out with or without the support of Congress. He was a man who was extremely self-confident, and his views had a major impact on the changes in foreign policy. We see this in his actions towards Britain and aid, more specifically the 'Lend-Lease' program. The US had been following a policy of neutrality but it was obvious Roosevelt's sympathies lay with Britain and France. ...read more.

Middle

However, the war with Japan seemed far from over. Truman decided to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulting in the Japanese Government surrendering and World War 2 to be ended, however moral or immoral the bombings were. These first actions of Truman showed his unsparing attitude from the start of his Presidency. Initially, we can see that the President's character was extraordinarily important in regards to changes in the foreign policy and the ending of the war. However, changes in the foreign policy which followed may not be linked to the President even though they happened under his name and can possibly be tagged to the increasing growth of Communism. The Truman Doctrine was delivered in a speech to Congress on 12th March 1947 and showed the US policy of containment and was delivered as a 'vow to defend the free democracies of Europe'. This was pretty much due to communist expansion as Greece was in the middle of a civil war with the opposite parties being royalist and communists. And Turkey shared a border with Russia. Although, Congress was initially against the idea of support with a strong belief of isolationism still in some parts, after the doctrine, they soon supported Truman and gave him the finances he needed. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final President to take Presidency in this period between 1940 and1960 was Eisenhower. Eisenhower's Presidency was seen to be a relative period of stability and no major changes to foreign policy happened apart from the 'New Look' on the inherited policy of Containment from Truman. It was principally the same policy and its objective was 'to prevent the further expansion of soviet communism outside of the areas where it was already established'. As a President, Eisenhower was not important in the development of changes in foreign policy in the years 1940 to 1960. His only significant change was his threat to use nuclear weapons. He threatened China with nuclear action in an attempt to ending the Korean War. In relation to the factor of Stalin's death and new negotiations from Khrushchev, Eisenhower did not play an important role in development of changes to US foreign policy as he did not help these US-Soviet relations get back on track. In conclusion, the importance of the President's in relation to other factors such as the state of Europe, the Communist threat and Stalin in the development of changes in foreign policy in the years 1940-1960 is insignificant and not important. These other factors contribute to the Presidents decision on changes to foreign policy and therefore they are more important. ...read more.

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