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The Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift

Two events following WWII
by

Josh Christoff

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of The Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift

The Marshall Plan Background After World War II, a post-war Europe was in ruins.
Although the war was over, the devastation remained.
Millions of people were left without homes and living
in refugee camps. The economy suffered due to the destruction of cities, homes, buildings, and factories, which left many more people unemployed and devastated. To top everything off, the winter of 1946-47 was one
of the most bitter in centuries, severely damaging crops and cutting off water transporation. Solution Secretary of State, George Marshall, had a proposal.
On June 5th 1947, he introduced the European Recovery Plan, which came to be known as the Marshall Plan, in a speech given to the graduating class at Harvard University. The plan had one prominent and one underlying goal:

The main objective was to help post-WWII Europe rebuild
after it's devastation. It successfully gave Europe the aid
they needed through food, supplies, and financial support. However, the United States also wanted to prevent the
expansion of Communism in these vulnerable countries.
This idea of containment is part of the reason that the
Soviet Union denied their offer of assistance. The Berlin Airlift By Josh Christoff Background Although the war was over, peace had not completely
settled in. The Soviet Union, under Joseph Stalin, had Communistic goals that did not go well with the capitalistic ideals of the the US, BRITAIN, and France. SOVIET UNION UNITED STATES FRANCE BRITAIN Four Occupation Zones of Post-WWII Germany Capitalistic Communist Capitalistic Capitalistic Berlin UNITED STATES SOVIET UNION FRANCE BRITAIN Communist Capitalistic Capitalistic Capitalistic The aid from the Marshall Plan was part of what caused Soviet forces to become hostile, searching people entering and leaving Berlin. Also, the other zones priorities focused on rebuilding a better Germany, while the Soviet Union wanted to keep it weak and under it's control. Berlin itself was also divided into four zones A Much Better Diagram than the One I Created The British and American sectors, which shared the same goal of getting the Germany industry going, eventually combined their zones within Berlin to a 'Bizonia'. France later annexed it's sector to Bizonia, leaving the Soviet Union alone to it's communistic sector. In June of 1948, the Soviet Union blocked off entrance into Berlin, leaving the residents cut off other sources of food and supplies. Rather than fight their way in, the US decided to instead take the risk of using the airstrips that had not been cut off to fly food and supplies into West Berlin. This came to be known as the Berlin Airlift. Solution The Soviet Union avoided acting against the aircrafts to avoid a possible war. The Western forces joined together and were successfully able to airlift over two million tons of food and supplies during more than two-hundred fifty thousand flights. The Berlin Airlift, although risky, had been a success. The blockade was lifted in May 1949. However, the hostility remained, which inevitably fueled tensions further towards the Cold War. So basically... + = :) THE END
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