Marshall Plan and Its Effectiveness

Topics: Europe, Iron Curtain, Greece Pages: 2 (668 words) Published: February 11, 2012
WAS THE MARSHALL PLAN THE REASON FOR WESTERN EUROPE TO STAND ON ITS OWN FEET? The Marshall Plan was introduced by George Catlett Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army and Secretary of State of the United States of America to Harvard University students on June 5, 1947. Its theme was to state that the European economy was destroyed as all its sources had been redirected to the efforts of the war and now people didn’t have money even to buy food from farmers (Sanchez, 2011). The aim of the plan was to revamp the economic infrastructure of Europe with the help of American aid (Truman et al., 1948). The assistance provided to the European nations was to the tune of $13 billion (De Long & Eichengreen, 1991). The aim of the essay is to analyze the extent to which the Marshall Plan was effective. A very grim picture had been drawn on the eve of the Marshall plan. The strength of the electorate was with the Communists and they were not inclined to loan out to Europe on any condition. Incomes were minimal as a consequence of which savings were low. Budget deficits couldn’t be financed through taxes (Fred, 1977). Many authors believe that if the U.S. aid wasn’t aplenty, there would have been an economic order collapse in Europe. The funds provided were used for investments as well as government expenditures. There was ease with which the European countries could import from the U.S. Any hold-ups in the economic growth forum were obliterated and an age of success was to follow soon. People were speculating that the Truman government would withdraw their aid soon as his government had a weak image. Moreover, looking at Stalin’s government’s success, people had written off Western Europe relative to its Eastern counterparts. However, the U.S. stuck to their task year-on-year from 1948 to 1951 contributing $8 billion to food, fertilizers and the like. The remaining $5 billion was spent on fuel, vehicles, machinery and other commodities (De Long & Eichengreen, 1991). In...

Bibliography: De Long, J. B., & Eichengreen, B. (1991). The Marshall Plan: History 's Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program. National Bureau of Economic Research.
Fred, B. (1977). The Origins of International Economic Disorder. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mee, C. (1984). The Marshall Plan: The Launching of the Pax Americana. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Milwards, A. S. (1984). The Reconstruction of Western Europe 1945-51 '. London: Meuthen.
Sanchez, D. (2011). The Marshall Plan. Introduction to Foreign Policy .
Truman et al., H. (1948, January 6). Economic Cooperation Act of 1948. Constitution , pp. 1-2.
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