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Short Term Significance Of Marshall Plan Politics Essay

Info: 2344 words (9 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Politics

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The year 1947 holds a great significance for the history of Americans and Europeans alike due to a very controversial pact that was signed as part of 20the European Recovery Program, a.k.a. “The Marshall Plan” was founded 4during the Harry Truman presidency by the U.S Secretary of State, George Marshall. Within this essay we discuss the short-term significance of the Marshall Plan for the American history. The Marshall Plan is unique to the financial aid it 4offered, a massive amount of $12.7 billion was injected into technological and economic support for these feeble European nations. It can be added that the funds it 4offered to the Soviet Union and to its satellite countries based on political reforms were declined. Since 1951, the Marshall Plan has been progressing with massive encouragement of economic expansion in Western Europe.

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[1] The overall [2] objective of this essay is to demonstrate how the Marshall Plan alleviated the rising tensions post-World War 2 and how it benefited the afflicted countries. Let us consider the background of the greatest mind who founded the Marshall Plan. His name is George Catlett Marshall, he became the Army Chief of Staff in 1939 in the U.S. It was under his guidance, he demonstrated a strategic brilliance that led the U.S and it’s allies victory. George was known for his honesty and he managed to win the trust of millions of Americans and earned the respect of world leaders in his 50 years of service. [2] It was in May 1947 when George announced the details of 10the Marshall Plan also known as the European Recovery Program (ERP).

The Marshall Plan offered American financial aid for a program of European economic recovery that concluded in 1951. The overall amount spent on providing aid is estimated 17$12,500,000, 00 which was succeeded by the Mutual Security Administration. [3] The U.S. along with 19its allies took numerous measures to turn back mass disintegration amongst the people in Europe, this is when it wanted to implement the Marshall Plan. The U.S welcomed it’s former enemies to join hands in this plan, in this case the enemries refer to Italy, Germany, this meant that that it would avoid any kind of reprise of the global economic depression of 1929. 2It should be noted that the Marshall Plan is responsible for laying the fundamentals for the 12North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the eventual unification of European countries also known as the European Economic Union

On a pragmatic level, the proposal consisted of 1the productive resolution of the enormous of endless problems of global life. It can be pointed out that it was very easy for the U.S government to get simply proceed on the program, it was faced with a temporary blockage by 1incapbility of the other supporters to attain a treaty on the conditions of the agreement of peace with the major affiliation states; consisting of Japan and Germany.

George proposed that it in order for the wrecked European nations to get back to their original shape economically, they would need to stick to a plan with the U.S playing the role of their backbone financially. So how was the American economy economically gaining from the Marshall Plan? Well it managed to accomplish it’s desired goal, by offering 6markets for American goods, created reliable trading partners and supported the expansion of stable democratic governments in Western Europe.

It was after the Congress showing the green signal to go ahead with the Marshall Plan that allowed things to finally kick off, it was considered as 1an annexe of the multilateralism of World War 2 in the post-war years. On the other hand, the plan was not simple as it originally seemed so, it temporarily created 1an entire bureaucratic structure and extension of American government management in Europe.

The Marshall Plan helped the U.S. economy gain an extensive amount of benefit that stretech to the Marshall Plan money that was issued to be used for purposes of purchasing goods from the U.S. The goods were shipping across the Atlantic via the American merchant vessels, this indicated their need to have a dominant role in supervising and carrying out the activities.

3In order to get the gist of the Truman Doctrine, we need to understand the speech 13delivered by Harry S Truman in 1947. He discusses 5the severity of a sensitive situation that brazens the world dictate his appearance before a combined conference of the Congress.

He referred to Greek’s economic situation quoting that “due to the 3lack of adequate natural resources has bounded the Greek nation to work tremendously hard in order to make their ends meet. People were being exploiting, suffering from misery and through disastrous situations that pointed at economic recovery impossible.

Harry believed that it was necessary to liberate people in taking control of their own destiny and that he was glad to help these people 3through monetary support that is elementary to the economic steadiness and methodical political procedures. He pleaded to the Congress to offer authority that would offer 11the quickest and highly effective use, in terms of necessary products, equipment and supplies of such funds as may be endorsed.

[4] Truman told Congress that 13the U.S was delighted to ba a part of something so revolutionary and that he believed 9it must be a strategy of the country to offer support free peoples who are resisting attempting subjugation by armed minorities or by external pressures.

He believes that if the U.S. falters in it’s leadership it will end up jeopardising the global peace and jeopardizing the welfare of it’s own nation. It felt under great pressure and felt it as a sense of moral duty to help the ones suffering in difficulties post-World War 2. [5] In addition to that,

Truman even appealed 5the Congress to endorse the detail of American civilian and military recruits to Turkey and Greece and to assist them in rebuilding duties 3and for the intention of supervising the use of such monetary and material assistance as may be accomplished. He recommended that authority should be presented for the tutoring of the selected Turkish and Greek recruits.

(6) In order to ensure the Marshall Plan would get the green signal from governments of various countries, it was faced with a situation where it was being offered an array of sub-plans by some of the countries, this would enable them to resolve their local issues that were considered as a priority for them. Foremost to the plan was the Schuman Plan, established in 1952 which can be labelled as the ‘fundamental’ for the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Part of this plan consisted of six member countries: France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, West Germany and Belgium which pooled it’s steel and coal resources. According to the second sub-plan, the European Atomic Energy Community Treaty (Euratom) was designed to ensure the establishment of the fundamental installations necessary for the expansion of nuclear energy in the Community block. Also, to make sure that all members in the Communty would receive a regular and equitable supply of nuclear fuels and other necessary resources. It can be asserted that the Marshall Plan fulfilled dual requirements, i.e for whose who supported American foreign policy to demonstrate a sign of humility and pragmatism, secondly those who demanded practica solutions.It can be stressed the U.S was saviour who helped these suffering nations by providing those homeless with a shelter and feeding the hungry, simultaneously helping spread the concept of communism and striving to help the European economy kick-start itself to normality.

We can also add in here that Truman (Thorp:21) looked on the longer run to overlook the future of the Marshall Plan, which is wh he created three cabinet committees that would tackle with it. With the first committee responsible of understanding the requirements of the European nations. The second was in-charge of dealing with the accessibility of raw materials and ensuring it was shipped abroad, in other words, overlooking the logistics. The third dealt with the examined effect of the Marshall Plan on the U.S economy, projecting both short and long term effects.

[7] The Marshall Plan is undoubtedly significant to the 2economic recovery in Europe in the post-war era. It was the perfect timing for Western Europe to get external financial support right when it was coming terms with the recent aftermath 6of the Second World War, the Marshall Plan can be labelled as a saviour.

We can emphasize here that after the Marshall Plan arbitrated by financially supporting the afflicated Western Europe, it saw a quick recovery, a progression took place where the economies were booming, slipping out of their wreckage of the past and looking into future by maintaining a positive attitude, thanks to the American nation. According to some people, this was principally 2as a result of the macroeconomic strategies implemented by those respective states.

From 2 1949 to 1951, a substantial amount of financial help was injected into the weak European economy; the Plan was 2 drafted and approved by the U.S. Congress during 1948 under the Economic Cooperation Act. It took the U.S. approximately three months to implement this program after the approval period.

There on, the 2 Economic Recovery Program took about three years to be actually executed in the European continent. The U.S’s aid to the wrecked European countries meant it would alleviate their 14 situation and help start the European world on it’s way to recovery. It meant that for the first time ever European countries 8would have to behave with solidarity under one block. Also, the Marshall Plan offered help to the Soviet Union and it’s allies in Eastern Europe, however it was Stalin who rejected any form of help from the Americans and labelled it 21as a ‘trick’. 18The Russian rejection probably made a channel of the measure via the Congress possible. [8]

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The Economic Recovery Program, the U.S. offered in the shape of financial grants was done so to avoid transference obstacles. What made the Marshall Plan unique was the help it provided, as some may emphasise the only reason the Plan was a success was because it was 2dealing with Europe’s economic problems was the backing of certain political interests that were closely linked to these issues. It cannot be denied that the Plan 2was one of the most successful cases of the U.S intervention in global economies.

It was a method through 2 which Europe got a boost for sustaining their plans for economic recovery. According to the majority of economists and analysts, if the Marshall Plan did not intervene, it would have taken a very long time before the European continent combating with economic disputes. Therefore it is evident 2that the Marshall Plan has played an instrumental in restoring of food supplies. The 2 plan was not only financially helping these suffering nations but by also reinstating and highlighting what was intrinsically wrong with the European economy.

It is estimated that within the Marshall Plan, the U.S. had three key ulterior motives, these are as follows:

1. Execution of free trade in Europe

2. Standstill on compensation of Germany was divided.

3. Economic rebuilding of Germany.

[9] In conclusion, it 22can be seen through the case study of the Marshall Plan how it was considered an essential method where the U.S 2would access better strategies. On the other hand, it also created a situation in the European continent would facilitate a better economy via fair trade. It was certainly part of a political agenda where the U.S. would benefit internally with it wanting to foster greater economic cooperation in this continent. The Plan certainly changed the economic conditions in Europe; it created a scenario that could be conducted independently that boosted the economy. Despite 2the Marshall Plan not initiating the economic recovery, it was imperative in propelling it and sustaining it through those long-term macroeconomic changes. The Marshall Plan has not only benefited and rescued the ailing European economies post-war but has also benefited the American economy by spreading across American products and services.


Footnotes [1] http://www.ehow.com/how_2168192_understand-marshall-plan.html

[2] 1http://www.marshallfoundation.org/ about/index .html

[3] The Marshall Plan [4] 16The Truman Doctrine speech [5] http://www.johndclare.net/cold_war8_TrumanDoctrine.htm

[6] The Truman Doctrine speech with audio note,

15[7] http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/ h1852 .html

[8 ]http:// arch .k12. ar .us/ apush/files/Chapters/Chapter 36/THE MARSHALL P LAN.pdf [9] 2http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/importance-of-the-marshall-plan-to- economic-recovery-in-europe-in-the-post-war-era-1924449.html References About George. C. Marshall, http://www.marshallfoundation.org/about/index.html Harry S. Truman: The Truman Doctrine, http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/harrystrumantrumandoctrine.html Importance Of The Marshall Plan To Economic Recovery In Europe In The Post War Era (2010), http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/importance-of-the-marshall-plan- to-economic-recovery-in-europe-in-the-post-war-era-1924449.html Marshall Plan, http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1852.html How to Understand The Marshall Plan, http://www.ehow.com/how_2168192_understand-marshall-plan.html The Marshall Plan, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmarshallP.htm The Truman Doctrine, http://www.johndclare.net/cold_war8_TrumanDoctrine.htm The Truman Doctrine speech by Harry S Truman, http://www.inspiring-quotes-and- stories.com/truman-doctrine.html


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