Dissertation d'Histoire générale en langue anglaise: Why did Roosevelt's and Truman's foreign policies, especially with regards to the USSR and Germany, differ from one another? (11 pages)
Wilson Miscamble's historical analysis From Roosevelt to Truman, written in 2006, and Peter Clavocoressi's World Politics 1945-2000, reviewed in 2005, are complementary works: Clavocoressi's evoking the historical backgrounds on a factual basis and Miscamble's the specific economic, political and sociological aspects of US foreign and internal policies leading to dramatic changes in the US-Soviet relations. The different purpose of these two works directly influenced their overall usefulness, as the weaknesses of one, were invariably compensated by the different nature of the other.
Miscamble is an author especially known for his outstanding works on twentieth century American politics which, combined with perceptive contextual assessments of particular individuals affecting world politics, achieves an exemplary in-depth analysis as to the impact individual personalities have on political and socioeconomic events. The reversal of US foreign politics in the post-war era could not have been thoroughly understandable without a solid background of Roosevelt's and Truman's differing personalities, which Miscamble explored at length.
However, every author is invariably affected by bias. Miscamble, for example, born in 1953 (during the Cold War) possesses a distinctly western background (teaching at the university of Notre Dame) and will have been more favourable towards Truman (as the popular opinion of the time favoured Truman's containment policies). Therefore, having spent most of his academic years in the West, continuously in fear of communist expansionism, it might have influenced him to support Truman's policies more than Roosevelt's. However, from a periodic point of view, Miscamble is less likely to favour either Roosevelt or Truman, as the book was written in 2006, when the West's fear of communism had subsided. By not having experienced WWII and possessing a strong spiritual nature (he is a theologian as well as a historian), we can assume that he tried his utmost to stay politically and historically correct. His strong European education is an element of potential bias, but as his research is extremely extensive (the bibliography consists of 36 pages) it is probably minimal.
[...] It would be inappropriate to judge either Roosevelt or Truman, as both reacted to given political situations to the best of their abilities and with the best interests of mankind at heart. They were different men, of different generations and backgrounds, and had therefore different ways of handling situations. But, thankfully, the US had a humanitarian president at a time when crimes against humanity had to be fought on a global level and a realistic one when it was time to face the reality that old allies had become the new threat to world peace. [...]
[...] US: Greenwood Biographies Fest, Joachim. Hitler- Eine Biographie. München: Ullstein Judt, Tony. Postwar- A History of Europe Since 1945. New York: Penguin Group Mann, Golo. Deutsche Geschichte des 19 und 20 Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt am Main: Büchergilde Gutenberg Miscamble, Wilson. From Roosevelt to Truman. [...]
[...] He thereby alludes to the differences in Roosevelt's and Truman's approaches to the USSR (and thereby to Germany), as Roosevelt was fixed on resolving a conflict of states (i.e. WWII) and Truman on resolving a “confrontation of systems and civilizations rather than of states”. Adenauer's autobiography approaches differently Roosevelt's and Truman's policies on Germany (those indirectly influencing the reversal of policies on the USSR), thereby underlining the Germans' wish to rebuild Germany as a democracy: “There was one way for us to ascertain our political freedoms: a strong union to the nations who had the same ideals”. [...]
[...] The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) set aside millions for direct relief payments to the poor. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) funded forestry jobs for thousands of men. The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) set codes for fair business practices. The business community, who helped pay the bill for many Roosevelt programs through taxes and regulatory fees, vilified Roosevelt. The people he saved from the soup lines beatified him.” (Educational Foundation, The Presidents) principal victors were initially agreed that Germany should be disarmed and denazified, divided administratively into zones of occupation but treated economically as a single unit” (Calvocoressi, World Politics) “American policy veered away from the attempt to maximize American influence in favour of giving the USSR to understand that further territorial advances in Europe were forbidden. [...]
[...] SECTION Political developments in the diplomatic relationship between the US and the USSR played a major role in determining changes in the US's foreign policies. Roosevelt based his Soviet-friendly policies on the relationship built to Stalin during WWII (i.e. the Alliance) and was thus indirectly bound to continue them after the war. His fears of the US relapsing into isolationism in the post-war era, combined with his idealist hopes of creating a new international world order, based on economical and resulting political interdependence, prevented him from condemning Stalin's provocative moves (such as his invasion of Poland and his failures to implement the Yalta agreements)(. [...]
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