Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

William O. Walker III

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Rebecca Friedman

Third Advisor's Name

Kenneth Lipartito

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to investigate how the Truman administration used fear to generate popular support for its Cold War foreign policies. Three issues were examined through the use of published government documents, personal memoirs, and weekly periodicals to assess the responses of the American public: the enactment of universal military training (UMT), the Soviet detonation of an atomic device, and the Truman administration's decision to build the hydrogen bomb. This study shows that the changing attitudes in the Truman administration toward the Soviet Union occurred in a climate of fear. Through press releases and by exerting influence on the media, the administration attempted to control the information the public received. Through the use of propaganda, the Truman administration pursued the implementation of UMT, generated fear of the Soviet Union after its detonation of the atomic bomb, and gained relative public support for the decision to build the hydrogen bomb.



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