Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Harrison, Benjamin T.


Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972; Colonies--History--20th century; United States--Foreign relations--1945-1953


This thesis is a biographical and historiographical examination of Truman's rhetoric and handling of colonialism. Truman's position regarding European colonialism is a worthy topic since it facilitates the study of the United States' treatment of people in underdeveloped countries and allows insight into Truman's beliefs. The research methodology and references used for the paper include primary sources drawn principally from the Truman Presidential Library as well as numerous secondary sources relating to Truman's Presidency. The focus of analysis is on Truman and his administration's oratory and diplomatic decisions regarding colonial issues. The findings show that Truman demonstrated through both his public and private communications that he opposed colonialism. Furthermore, the bulk of the foreign policy decisions made by Truman's administration showed a tendency to oppose colonialism. Nonetheless, Truman aided French efforts to reestablish control over former colonies in Indochina and this deviation undermined his otherwise anti-colonial legacy for future generations.