Date of Award

Summer 1973

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Thomas T. Hamilton

Committee Member

Norman H. Pollock

Committee Member

Thomas Blossom


[In lieu of an abstract, here are the final two paragraphs of Preface]

America's relationship toward China during the postwar years was aptly described by President Truman's summary of his China policy: “The role of this government in its relations with China has been subjected to considerable misrepresentation, distortion, and misunderstanding. Some of these attitudes arose because this government was reluctant to reveal certain facts…."8 Admiral William Leahy, Chief of Staff to presidents Roosevelt and Truman, acknowledged that America’s “post-war attitude toward the Government of China is completely beyond understanding.”9 This writer shares these beliefs and deems it necessary to reexamine the context of the historical developments within which American policy was formulated from the postwar years of 1945 through 1948 in order to prove that this misrepresentation, distortion and misunderstanding existed. Emphasis is placed on the role of the Department of State, including the reports of foreign service officers, the President, the Congress, American and Chinese correspondents, Chinese Nationalist and Communist representatives, all of whom surveyed the situation in China and helped to form and shape our China policy.

The first chapter of this paper will consist of an examination of America's China policy and the alternatives to that policy. The second chapter will analyze Ambassador Hurley's resignation and the ensuing congressional hearings. The third chapter will focus on the appointment of General George C. Marshall as the President’s Special Representative to China and will examine the directives which Marshall carried with him to China, as well as the possibility of coalition government in China. The fourth chapter will scrutinize the thirteen-month Marshall Mission and the release of Marshall's farewell statement at the time of his departure from China. The fifth chapter will analyze the beginning of the end to bipartisan support for the Administration’s China policy, the termination of the ten-month embargo, Wedemeyer’s trip to China and his report. The sixth chapter will reveal the height of Republican criticism and the resulting China Aid Act.



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