Marshall Plan

Topics: Europe, Western Europe, Marshall Plan Pages: 10 (2590 words) Published: May 7, 2010
| | |How did the Marshall plan influence the development of Great Britain and other Western European countries after the Second World War? | |History internal assessment | | |

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The aim of this internal assessment is to determine the influence of European Recovery Program to the development of the Western Europe after the Second World War. In order to evaluate the influence of Marshall Plan, the investigation figures the wastages Western Europe suffered after the war, the dilapidation of different regions of Europe and general situation after the Second World War. Oral history – speeches are mostly used to evaluate the origins of the Marshall Plan. Then the Marshall aid itself is presented, looked from the perspective of different countries. Two of the sources used in the internal assessment, The Marshall Plan, compiled by Allen Welsh Dulles and Modern Britain written by Sean Glynn and Alan Booth, are then evaluated for their origins, purposes, values and limitations. (127)


In order to determine the importance as well as origins of the Marshall Plan, it is vital to understand the vastness of havocs caused by the Second World War on the grounds of European countries.

All states were destroyed by the war, i.e. Great Britain: “Britain had paid a heavy economic price for the war. By 1944, her exports only amounted to one third of those in 1938.”[1] Likewise plight could be observed in other countries: In Germany “Fundamental succession of the war for defeated Germany were heavy territorial and population losses and casualties.”[2] According to the report of CEEC[3], presented on Paris Conference: ‘Annual coal production in Western Europe was 113 million tons less than in 1938.(...)Crude steel production, again comparing 1938 with 1947, is of one-third, or some 15 million tons.(...) France, which before the war produced 8.9 million tons of bread grains annually, has fallen to an estimated 3.8 million tons for 1947 harvests.”[4]

Countries were suffering from hunger and unemployment. When the winter of 1946/1947 was freezing, and the following summer did not bring expected harvest, it became obvious that something has to be done in order to restore Europe. That was when president Truman presented his Doctrine in which he stated: “It must be the policy of United States to help free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressure.”[5]

As a solution to Europe’s problems United States ‘produced a generous economic scheme to complement its policy of increased political involvement in Europe”[6] George Catlett Marshall, Truman’s State Secretary performed speech in which he outlined his Plan – European Recover Programme. He said: “It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.”[7]

It is important to realise that Marshall aid was not a disinterested help. Official reason – restoration of destroyed Europe was only a factor to encourage countries to participate. Of course the European...
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