Lesson Overview: In this lesson students will analyze two primary source documents on U.S./Soviet relations by 1946, George Kennan’s Long Telegram and Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace’s letter to the president, to determine the best course of action the U.S. should take regarding the Soviet Union. Students will work in groups to analyze the documents and then create a plan of action for President Truman toward the Soviet Union. The class will then become an advisory committee to President Truman and will debate the merits of the plans devised.
Through the analysis of the primary sources on U.S./Soviet relations by 1946 students will be able to explain why cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union broke down shortly after the end of World War II. Students will also gain an understanding of why President Truman took the steps he did when he implemented the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan.