Pros And Cons Of The Marshall Plan

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Following the World War II, the nations of Europe, whether they won or lost, were devastated and exhausted socially and economically. In addition, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the world’s top superpowers in contention with each other to prove whose ideology was superior. The fight between capitalism and communism escalated immediately following the war and each nation did all that they could do to gain the upper hand. On June 5, 1947, George Marshall gave a speech at the Harvard University commencement ceremonies explaining how the U.S. should help Europe regain economic stability. The controversy lies in the possible ulterior motives of his Marshall Plan which is widely debated among historians. Since Europe was in such …show more content…
Although George Marshall may have created the Marshall Plan with the intention of rebuilding the European economy, the United States adopted and implemented it with the main goal to contain communism to Eastern Europe.
Heightened tensions following the Second World War led to the United States and the Soviet Union partaking in strategic measures to advance their ideology and denounce the others. As a result, in March of 1947 President Truman introduced Congress to his new foreign policy called the Truman Doctrine which was to prevent communism from rising specifically Greece and Turkey. To scare Congress into accepting the Truman Doctrine, Truman “argued that Greece and Turkey could fall victim to subversion without support from friendly nations, Truman asked Congress to authorize $400-million in emergency assistance. To justify this course, he said: ‘I believe we must assist free peoples to work out their destinies in their own way.’”(The Truman Doctrine). The Truman Doctrine was relatively successful and prevented communism from prevailing in the Greece Civil War and from spreading into Turkey and the Middle East. The Truman Doctrine was applied with the intent of
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According to the name, financial assistance was to be lent to European nations in order to rebuild their nations and stabilize their economy following World War II. However, historians debate over whether the U.S. preventing the spread of communism was an intentional main goal or just a successful effect. Regardless, over the course of four years, over thirteen billion dollars was given in financial and material help to seventeen countries in Western and Southern Europe. Although it was initially offered to all of Europe, the Soviet satellite states withdrew in accordance with the Soviet implemented Cominform (Ludwig). The Soviet Union considered the Marshall Plan an attack against them and thereby instituted Cominform in September, 1947 which gathered the Eastern European communist nations as Soviet satellites to be rebuilt as Russian-style communism (Cominiform and Comicon). The implementation of Cominform supports the claim that the Soviet reaction was largely defensive and reactive to the Marshall Plan. Because communism and capitalism are in opposition, by the United States offering aid to Eastern European communist nations (with the catch that those nations who accept must allow their economy to become capitalist), it is easy to see where the USSR considered it an attack. If the Marshall Plan was not created with the intention to prevent the

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