What was the Marshall Plan?
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The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States sent monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War 2 in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism . The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild a war-devastated region, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and make Europe prosperous again. The initiative was named after Secretary of State George Marshall. The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House. The Plan was largely the creation of State Department officials, especially Willian L. Clayton and George F. Kennan. Marshall spoke of urgent need to help the European recovery in his address at Harvard University in June 1947.
The Marshall Plan is also called the European Recovery Plan. It was enacted by the US in 1947 as a way to help rebuild Europe after World War II. The genius behind the plan was George Marshall, who was at the time the US Secretary of State. William Clayton and George Kennan are also credited with writing the majority of the Marshall Plan.
Though part of the Marshall Plan was meant to help the badly damaged Europe recover from WWII, the other part of the Marshall Plan was meant to prevent communism from gaining a stronghold in war torn countries. Certain countries either refused aid or received very little aid. Japan, for example, did not receive aid. Aid was offered to the USSR but was refused.
West Germany received some aid under the Marshall Plan. The UK and France received the most aid, over 200 million each. Other countries receiving funds for reconstruction were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. For the most part these countries represented the allied relationships formed during WWII. However, some countries, like Italy, were part of the Axis forces during the war.
After World War II most of Europe was suffering as most of the industrial centers were in ruins. England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Belgium were on verge of famine and transportation infrastructure was devastated. The European Recovery Program, known as the Marshall Plan, provided over $12.5 billion in economic relief to Europe. The effort provided food, raw materials, and machinery in effort to rebuild the damaged countries.
Named for General George Marshall the program came on the heels of a meeting of Marshall and Stalin regarding the redevelopment of Europe. Marshall saw the need to stabilize Western Europe to prevent the advance of communism in the region. The Marshall Plan helped European economies from 1948 through 1952 and helped growth of industry and brought prosperity to the region.
The Marshall Plan was really given the official name of "European Recovery Program" (ERP). It was started at the end of World War II, and it was designed by the United States to help European countries who were struggling financially. The US wanted to stop the spread of communism, which appealed to countries whose economies had crashed. The plan was considered successful, and it was put into place for about four years. Their main goals were to help make Europe successful and prosperous by removing trade limitations, modernizing their industry, and rebuild cities and other areas that had been destroyed by the war.
The Marshall Plan formulated under the Truman Doctrine aimed to provide economic assistance to European nations that were in the midst of post-war reconstruction. The Americans also sought to use the plan as an attempt to contain the spread of Soviet influence on the European continent, especially in Eastern Europe. This was achieved through the establishment of economic ties with the US, which in effect would break any bonds these states had with the USSR. Policy-makers also sought to use the economic recovery of European nations as an outlet for the excess industrial output the American economy was generating.
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