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Global DevelopmentA Cold War History$
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Sara Lorenzini

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180151

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180151.001.0001

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Truman’s Dream

Truman’s Dream

When the Cold War and Development Met

(p.22) 2 Truman’s Dream
Global Development

Sara Lorenzini

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins by looking at Harry Truman's speech during his oath taking for his second term as the thirty-third president of the United States of America on January 20, 1949. As the fourth point in his program, he launched a policy of making US scientific advances and industrial progress available to underdeveloped areas in order to fight misery, malnutrition, and illness. Truman's Point Four, as it soon became known, was presented as an absolute novelty. Enthusiastically acclaimed by his contemporaries, it is sometimes considered the start of a new era of world history. With Point Four, President Truman interpreted the spirit of the times and condensed ideas from many places, bringing together humanitarianism, the concept of development, and the Cold War. Moreover, Point Four has been described as the first case of implanting the Marshall Plan outside its original European framework. They shared the same goals: peace, plenty, freedom, and the hope of keeping communism at bay by offering growth as the cure for social hardship. The differences between the Marshall Plan and Point Four were, however, huge. Unlike emergency measures like the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and the Marshall Plan, and despite its limited funding, Point Four was meant to carry on for longer.

Keywords:   Harry Truman, scientific advances, industrial progress, Point Four, humanitarianism, development, Cold War, Marshall Plan, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration

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