The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was the American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to prevent 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 war-devastated regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, and make Europe prosperous again. The phrase "equivalent of the Marshall Plan" is often used to describe a proposed large-scale rescue program.
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 William L. Clayton and George F. Kennan, with help from Brookings Institution, as requested by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Marshall spoke of an urgent need to help the European recovery in his address at Harvard University in June 1947.
Development and deploymentEdit
The reconstruction plan, developed at a meeting of the participating European states, was established on June 5, 1947. It offered the same aid to the Soviet Union and its allies, but they did not accept it, as to do so would be to allow a degree of US control over the Communist economies. During the four years that the plan was operational, US $15 billion in economic and technical assistance was given to help the recovery of the European countries that had joined in the Organization for European Economic Co-operation. In 2013, the equivalent sum reflecting currency inflation since 1948 totalled roughly $148 billion. The $15 billion was in the context of a US GDP of $258 billion in 1948, and was on top of $15 billion in American aid to Europe...
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