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The Exchange

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Truman Doctrine

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President Harry S. Truman addressing a joint session of Congress asking for $400 million in aid to Greece and Turkey. This speech became known as the "Truman Doctrine" speech.

Seventy years ago, President Harry Truman laid out his vision for U.S.  foreign policy in a speech that became known as "The Truman Doctrine."  It marked the start of the Cold War, with the U.S. assuming a role as a global leader. A straight-talker with little political experience, Truman is sometimes compared to President Trump. But Trump's doctrine of "America First" marks a departure from previous foreign policy.  We examine the events leading up to Truman's speech, it's influence on U.S. foreign policy, nationalism, and global involvement.


  • Kurk Dorsey - Professor of History at UNH
  • William Wohlforth - Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College

Click on this link to connect with the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum for recordings and transcripts of all Truman's speeches.

Listen below to a recording of President Truman's address to a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947, with photos and videos: