World War II and its Impacts on domestic, foreign and military policy of the United States

WorldWar II and its Impacts on domestic, foreign and military policy ofthe United States

Theend of the Second World War marked the beginning of new era in theUnited States foreign policy. On the surface, it appeared that theAmerican future was more promising, but the effects of the war hadrevealed a complex, more delicate world. The United States founditself in a situation where it was paramount to make momentouschanges in the way it approached foreign issues in the post-warperiod.


Beforethe outbreak of world war, United States had pursued an isolationistpolicy that demanded that America avoid the entanglements in theaffairs of the European nations. It is this policy and a conservativeCongress that prevented America from joining the war o the side ofthe allies. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was left with a limitedoption and could only aid the war efforts of the Allies through thelend-lease Act. In actual fact, American joined the Second World Warwhen Japanese attacked its naval base in Pearl Harbor (Staten, 2012).

Domesticand Foreign Policies in Post War America

Immediatelyafter the war, United States adopted a foreign policy that was calledthe containment policy. After the second war two, two powers emergedas the most powerful in the globe USSR and USA (Staten, 2012). Eventhough USA aided USSR in its war efforts, the ideological differencesbetween the two powers meant that each nation pursued a differentagenda and route after the war. USA believed in democracy andcapitalism while USSR believed in communism. The containment policywas formulated to thwart the spread of communism. It was designed bythe US foreign secretary George Kennan, and it remained thefoundation of President Harry Truman foreign policy.

Thecontainment policy shaped President Truman`s agenda in the globalrealm. In his 1947 speech, Truman stated that US would providemilitary and material support to Turkey and Greece, which werestruggling to prevent communists’ takeover (Staten, 2012). In whatcame to known as the Truman Doctrine, United States pledge to offersupport to countries that were resisting communism. In this way, theUS hoped to halt the spread of communism. In the domestic arena, anyindividual perceived to hold communist ideals were imprisoned andartists blacklisted (Lynch, 2013)

Actuallycontainment was the prominent foreign policy that underpinned allcold war strategy. The leaders who came after President Truman, likeEisenhower and John Kennedy continued the containment policy, at timewith success and at other times with dire results (Staten, 2012).Many historians have linked the containment policy as the main aspectthat led to the Vietnam War.

TheMarshall Plan was another initiative that sprouted under thecontainment policy. This program was meant to provide aid to theEuropean nation that had been ravaged by the devastating Second WorldWar (Lynch, 2013). It was named after the US secretary of statesGeorge Marshall, and it main goal was to help rebuild the devastatedeconomies of Europeans countries to prevent them from falling prey tothe communist expansionists. Through the plan USA provides aidpackage to numerous nations between 1948 and 1951 results (Staten,2012).

Thedomino theory formed another important foreign policy strategy in thepost-war America. All administration in American after the post-warperiod up to the collapse of the Berlin wall that marked the end ofcommunist held the same view results (Staten, 2012. The domino theorywas the idea that if one state in a geographical region fell tocommunism, the neighboring states would also follow suit. This theoryis connected to the Vietnam War since it warranted such activities.The idea was that if Vietnam fell to communism, another state in theSoutheast Asia would also fall prey results (Staten, 2012).

Finally,the abandonment of the isolationist policy ushered the way for theformation of the military body, NATO. This organization is made ofWestern countries such as Britain, US, France, Canada and others. Itsmain goal is to create a defensive alliance against the threat posedby communism. An attack against one member of the organization wouldbe perceived as an attack on the whole group (Lynch, 2013).


Lynch,T. J. (2013).The Oxford Encyclopedia of American military and diplomatic history.NewYork: Oxford University Press.

Staten,C. (2012). USForeign Policy Since World War II.NC,American Diplomacy Pub. Retrieved from: