Wednesday, January 29, 2020

European Recovery Program Essay Example for Free

European Recovery Program Essay His proposal would become known as the European Recovery Program, better known as the Marshall Plan. In his speech Marshall extended an offer to the Soviets. Certainly all of Europe was included in the proposal. Stalin was interested in the plan. Lenin had spoken of trade with the communist enemy when that enemy was in collapse. Stalin thought that if these were the correct circumstances then the Soviets could use the Marshall Plan as they wished. Such was not the case. American opposition to the Plan included such conservatives as Taft on the Right and Wallace on the Left. This opposition was much weakened by the seizing of the democratic government of Czechoslovakia in February 1948 (Kunz par. 20). Before that, in September, 1947, Andrei Zhdanov of the Politburo spoke before the Cominform for Eastern Europe to assert that the imperialists were trying to support fascist regimes (Zhdanov par. 2). He wanted the imperialist intrigues to be contained. George Kennan also wanted containment- of the communists and, if need be, of the Soviets. Kennan and William Clayton, both of the US State Department, had contributed greatly to the origination of the Marshall Plan. Kennan thought the world was becoming polarized into giant camps of freedom vs. everyone else. The Soviet Union as the centerpiece of concern would come later. Bernard Baruch, an American advisor, had introduced the term Cold War in April, 1947 (Cold War par. 1). Meanwhile, the communists of France and Italy were of immediate threat in Western Europe. These two nations were part of the fifteen nations that the Marshall Plan would aid. The others were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, West Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey (Marshall Plan par. 21). President Truman signed the Marshall Plan on April 3, 1948. The major items for the Europeans in 1948 were to be coal, steel, grains, and machinery (Judd par. 9). In the first year, food constituted half of all of the Marshall aid. Over the long haul, sixty percent was spend on food, fertilizer, and industrial goods. One sixth of the total was for fuel. Another one sixth was spent on machinery and vehicles. In sum, thirteen billion dollars of aid passed from the USA to Western Europe from 1948 to 1951 (DeLong and Eichengreen par. 3). The food, feed, and fertilizer consumed a little over three billion dollars of the total. Shortly after the Marshall Plan went into effect, Italys anti-communist and pro-Marshall Plan party won a majority. And then in France, after the communists won a plurality in 1945, they were on their way out in 1951 due to French economic prosperity. This prosperity in France and elsewhere was not of a minor magnitude. After 1948 Western Europe got its greatest economic growth ever recorded. The German part of the recovery became known as the wirtschaftwunder, or economic miracle (Kunz par. 3). Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, the Soviets were determined to see central planning become a reality. To that end, a forced industrialization was started which was to remove Eastern Europe from any influence by the Marshall Plan. Eastern European nations became satellites of the Soviets, as members of the Warsaw Pact, and got little civilian development in exchange for military support and control. The end products of manufacture and the harvests were directed to the Soviets. No financial or economic stability was developed by these countries. The Marshall Plan made the division of Europe definitive. The Plan seriously damaged the Western European communists’ efforts. Furthermore, the Marshall Plan has been termed inconceivable without the Cold War (Cronin 281). Soon enough, not only was the Marshall Plan in place to aid in the restoration of Western Europe, but it became a vital component in the Cold War. In the Cold War in Western Europe, Germany was a key country. It was to be split in two with the former Allies of WWII in Western Germany and the Soviets in Eastern Germany. But an odd development came about with Berlin, also spilt into east and west components, existing deep within Soviet controlled East Germany. This did not sit well with the Soviets and so they began a blockade of highways and roads into West Berlin in June, 1948.

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