Consequences Of The Marshall Plan

2637 Words 11 Pages
Eitan Schiller
Dr. Sclar
History Paper- Final Draft
May 18, 2015 The Marshall Plan

On June 5, 1947 Secretary of State George Marshall spoke at the Harvard graduation. The speech he gave would come to mark the turning point in American history. Marshall proposed a plan that would offer billions of American dollars to distraught European countries thereby establishing an unprecedented level of US peacetime involvement in European affairs. This plan to “save” Europe was called the Economic Relief Program (ERP) better known as the Marshall Plan. Many at the time thought that this Plan was a true outstretched arm to help all European countries, however looking back it becomes clear that there was an ulterior motive when George C. Marshall delivered
…show more content…
Many historians believe that the Marshall Plan was a true and genuine offer to give economic relief and aid to help rebuild the ruins of Europe . Furthermore they believe that The Marshall Plan was not a Cold War tactic and did not lead to the separation of Europe . Historian and eyewitness Thomas Bailey described the Marshall Plan as “ the greatest act of statesmanship in the nation 's history.” Similarly Journalist Arthur Krock wrote that “ it was one of the great achievements of the century, as nearly everyone saw.” (Behrman 4) Other historians state: “ the idea that the Marshall Plan originated as an American initiative in the Cold War with Russia is much clearer in the minds of historians in search of grand plans than it was in the minds of those who fashioned the Plan. Rather the Marshall Plan was the product of a series of decision that was hammered out piecemeal, and not a plan conceived deliberately as an element of the cold war.”( Gimbel 4) John Gaddis and Vojtech Mastny argue that the cause of the Cold War was not due to American policies but rather the policies of the Soviet …show more content…
Communism was close to becoming the dominant economic theory, in place of capitalism. At a time when there was distraught at every corner in Europe and people were starving they looked for hope and for a system to take care of them. Being that the situation that those in Europe were in took place under the watch of Capitalistic governments, they had lost faith that anothre Capitalistic government would be able to save them. Instead many believed that another economic theory, communism, might be able to restore order since Communism offered equality,material provision, shared dignity, and peace.(Behrman 29). And since they had heard Stalin boast about the great accomplishments of the Communist USSR during the war, communism was viewed in a good light . Postwar Europe essentially became a breeding ground for the spreading of Communism. Commander Lucius Clay state “ There is no choice between becoming a Communist on 1,500 calories and a believer in democracy on 1,000.” Secretary of State Robert Lansing had said; “ Empty stomachs mena Bolsheviks. Full Stomachs mean no Bolsheviks.”( Behrman 29) And the United States was convinced through several statements and actions delivered by Stalin that he was more than willing to exploit this opportunity and take advantage of the sick and the suffering. On February 9, 1946 at the Bolshoi Theatre, Stalin delivered a speech in

Related Documents