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The Marshall Plan had two interrelated goals. The Plan was intended to improve the economic situations of the countries of Western Europe and, at the same time, to discourage them from embracing communism.
After WWII, the countries of Europe were badly damaged. The US was worried that their damaged economies, and the poverty caused by that damage, would cause those countries' citizens to be interested in becoming communist. The US was afraid that this would lead to the Soviet Union dominating all of continental Europe.
Because of this fear (and because of a sincere desire to help), the US gave huge amounts of aid to the European countries. This aid was meant to help reduce poverty and, thereby, the incentive that the Europeans would have to turn to communism.
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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