Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Robert F. Maddox

Second Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


After World War II, the United States faced a new enemy: the Soviet Union. However, U. S. armed forces were rapidly demobilized after the war, which hindered the U. S. military’s capability to thwart the Soviet threat. Even though, Communism never had been an extreme threat to U. S. national security. World War II had leveled and destroyed much of the European and Asian economic infrastructure, which contributed to the appeal of this ideology. Therefore, many observers felt that international communism was now a threat to U. S. national security. Significantly, only the United States possessed the power to confront the challenge of communism. However, officials inside and outside the administration of Harry S. Truman were divided on how to respond to the menace of communism. One school of thought believed the Soviet Union was an economic and political threat. Therefore, it promoted the rehabilitation of economic infrastructures and political institutions as a deterrent to communism. Economic aid and trade, such thinkers believed, could diminish the political temptations of communism. This school of thought insisted that the communist threat was not a far-reaching international problem, but an internal economic and political problem for individual countries devastated by war. Another school of thought believed the Soviet Union’s military structure threatened U. S. national security. It advocated building up not only the economic and political structures of countries threatened by communism, but also these countries’ military and defensive capabilities. It insisted that communism was part of a far-reaching global scheme led by the Soviet Union determined to dominate the world. It believed both economic aid as well as military aid would eliminate communism in other countries.


United States – Economic policy – 1945-1960.

United States – Foreign economic relations – China.

United States – Foreign relations – China.