US Foreign Relations
Links to sites providing overviews of US foreign policy and foreign relations. Links to sites exploring a particular aspect/event. Links to key documents/texts in US foreign relations.
Text & audio. After the formality of the request to Congress for a declaration of war, this was FDR's address to the nation by radio. How does FDR frame the challenge facing the United States?
One of the cornerstones of the postwar international economic system, this agreement between the 44 nations allied against the axis powers led to the creation of the The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund. How did the system work and how was it responding to the economic crises of the pre-war era?
Documents from the Truman Library showing part of the decision making process that led to the decision to use atomic weapons in 1945.
Part of the Cold War International History Project - a useful set of source materials divided into key issues and events.
Vassar College site with overviews and a useful list of source materials.
In 1946, the deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Moscow, George F. Kennan, sent a 5,500 word telegram to the U.S. Secretary of State James Byrnes explaining Soviet hostility to new international bodies. Kennan offered both explanation of Soviet actions and a proposed solution. In these extracts, how did Kennan explain the problem and the solution?
A key text in the history of the Cold War. According to adviser Clark Clifford, the aim was to 'scare hell' out of Congress to secure financial backing for aid to Greece & Turkey. How does Truman frame the necessity for that? What does the speech tell us about America's ideas about itself and the rest of the world?
Having written the 'Long Telegram' for the eyes of the State Department and White House, Kennan was asked to make the case for containment to the American public. Under the pseudonym 'X", Kennan set out the case.
Here, renowned journalist Walter Lippman took aim at the 'X' article and it's claims that the Cold War was more of an ideological conflict than one concerned with power and territory.
The text of the document establishing collective security for the western alliance in the aftermath of the Berlin Crisis.
Not all Americans favoured pursuing the internationalist line favoured by Harry Truman in dealing with the Soviet Union. Here Robert Taft, a prominent Republican, explains his misgivings over NATO.
This document produced for the National Security Council shows how those planning the US foreign policy toward the Soviet Union during its first years. The full document is available elsewhere (try the Ferraro site) but this shows us how the conflict was both military and ideological from the outset.
The Korean War began in June 1950. By the end of the month, South Korea had ceded its defence to the United Nations. As the Soviets were boycotting the Security Council, the United States used the UN to make resolutions demanding an international response to aid the South Koreans. This address to the American people came in the following year. How does Truman guarantee intervention in Korea?
The Mary Ferrell oundation has digitised this collection of documents relating to Operation PBSuccess - the CIA-backed coup which deposed President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman
The conference in which Eisenhower offered up the Domino Theory analysis of the relationship between South East Asia and communism
A vast array of speeches, policy briefings and declassified documents gathered from across 11 government departments exploring the origins and implications of the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
Part of Kennedy's address in which he deals with the question of whether the wars in Vietnam are liberation struggles or communist plots.
A document from early in the Kennedy presidency detailing how key figures in the Administration perceived the issue of Vietnam.
Mp3s of the recordings made in the White House as JFK discussed and debated the Cuban Missile Crisis with senior a colleagues. Worth exploring once you know the basics.
Walter Cronkite hosted this 15 minute report as the Cuban Missile Crisis reached its peak. An insight into how Americans had the crisis reported as it happened.