Truman’s Fourth Point

Amanda Kay McVety

in Enlightened Aid

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796915
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933266 | DOI:
Truman’s Fourth Point

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Truman introduced the idea of Point Four during his 1949 inaugural address, because he was convinced that America’s future depended upon the development of the underdeveloped world and he was certain that that development could not happen without U.S. assistance. Poor nations anywhere threatened America’s influence everywhere, he insisted, so they needed to become not-poor. Growth theory economics argued that any nation could become developed if it adopted the right policies and had the right opportunities. The United States was going to help ensure that its allies got both and, in the process, that its allies became strong and stable. When the Korean War erupted, American aid rapidly expanded, with economic, technical, and military aid wrapped up together under the aegis of the new Mutual Security Program, which would last throughout the 1950s. By the time Truman left office, foreign aid had become an accepted tool of foreign policy.

Keywords: The Cold War; Harry S. Truman; underdevelopment; Point Four; technical cooperation administration; mutual security program

Chapter.  16310 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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