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The Marshall Plan
Transcript of The Marshall Plan
(European Recovery Program) After World War II, Europe was in all types of ruin and on the brink of collapse, with Communist presences looming over it. President Harry Truman appointed George Marshall as Secretary of State with the knowledge that a strong foreign policy would be necessary in order to ensure the rebuilding of Europe without Communist interference. Through the Marshall Plan, the United States succeeded in supplying the war-torn European countries with a political and economic backbone that was strong enough to aid in their reconstruction. The US Congress was slow to approve the many millions of dollars that would go to the broken European countries, but "a Soviet-sponsored communist coup in Czechoslovakia finally awakened the legislators to reality, and they voted...in April 1948."(Kennedy, The American Pageant) Bibliography 1. Bailey, Thomas A., Lizabeth Cohen, and David M. Kennedy. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin College Div, 2006. Print.
2. "Featured Document: The Marshall Plan." Featured Document: The Marshall Plan. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 02 June 2013. <http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/marshall_plan/>.
3. "Marshall Plan." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 04 June 2013.
4. "Marshall Plan." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 June 2013. <http://www.history.com/topics/marshall-plan>.
5. "The Marshall Plan." The Marshall Plan. George C. Marshall Foundation, 2009. Web. 02 June 2013. <http://www.marshallfoundation.org/TheMarshallPlan.htm>.
6. "52c. Containment and the Marshall Plan." Containment and the Marshall Plan [ushistory.org]. Independence Hall Association, 2008. Web. 02 June 2013. <http://www.ushistory.org/us/52c.asp>. In recent times, our country has become even more involved with and tied to events outside of our borders.
-Social relations, i.e. exchange programs
-All require close, friendly contact with all European countries.
-Origins of this contact should be remembered and closely studied.
-Due to the help the US provided for the re-building of Europe's infrastructure, friendly relations, let alone the continent in general, exist in modern times. Europe's economy was in major ruins in 1945. Due to widespread aerial-bombings in London and the dismantlement of Paris by the Germans, trade infrastructure including factories and all forms of transportation were inept (MarshallFoundation.org). To get Europe back on it's feet economically, the United States implemented the Economic Cooperation Administration, nominally the Marshall Plan. -The Economic Cooperation Administration oversaw all reconstruction operations in Europe and was headed by Paul G. Hoffman.
-The ECA was supplemented by the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, which controlled all financial-aid.
-The need for US made goods in large European cities also kept the threat of another depression distant.
To keep democracy alive in Western Europe and to rebuild integral trade relations, the US put great effort into the ECA. Nominally, the Marshall Plan was created to help Europe recover economically. But, through doing this, the US was eager to block communist thoughts and ideas, let alone political influence, from traveling west. By strengthening the democratic governments of Europe through the economy, it would change what Western Europeans thought about democratic ideals. If the US could rebuild Europe to something that was better than before the war, the citizens wouldn't doubt the benefits of democracy and Communism could be snuffed. Psychological Economic Political America's first priority through the Marshall Plan was to contain Communism in Eastern Europe. Yes, this foreign policy did supply Europe with a beneficial economic foundation, but it also helped to keep democracy alive. Politically speaking, the United States sought to gain support in the West and to alienate the Communist countries in the East. As part of the Truman Doctrine of containment, the Marshall plan was a piece of political genius. It provided countries that were close to the Bloc, like Greece and Turkey with funds and protection (www.USHistory.org). Citizens of Bloc countries heard of the democratic benefits of the West and the politics of Russia and Communism in general were tempered. The United States did not lend support to communist affiliated countries, like... The countries of Europe received $13 billion in aid, which included shipments of food stuffs, fuel and machinery from the US and resulted in investment in major industry. (www.History.com) Spain Russia China By: Lauren Stoll
AP US History Period 2 To US stakeholders, like our government, the Marshall Plan supplied the needed tempering of Communist fears. With the Western European countries prospering economically, democracy gained power. Therefore, our government could successfully retain positive influence on the European continent and keep formal, positive relations with major countries like Great Britain and France alive. Other US stakeholders, like large businesses and industries, prospered because of the need for basic supplies in Europe. As US loans became available to European governments, they used the money to buy supplies from US companies. Costs: -The US government spent multiple years and over $13 billion to rebuild the European economy and temper the threat of Communism.
-The Bloc countries of the USSR were alienated from the benefits of the Marshall Plan which cost them the ability to obtain needed aid. Benefits: -Truman's request of $13 billion over four years to be sent to Great Britain, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium was approved. (www.USHistory.Org).
-The European economy was thrown into a period of immense prosperity.
-The Western European countries involved experienced a rise in their gross national products of 15 to 25 percent during this period. (www.Britannica.com)
-Because of the US initiative to rebuild the European economy, an environment more suited to US investment was created.