That “Marshall Plan”

As usual the old professor is about to drop some history on you….was that an eye roll?

Whenever some economic plan comes about it is compared to the Marshall Plan of the 1940s….but since the nation is so damn young now how many actually knows what the Plan was about?

Well I can help with that lack of knowledge……

The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent. The brainchild of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, for whom it was named, it was crafted as a four-year plan to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war and to remove trade barriers between European neighbors – as well as foster commerce between those countries and the United States.

In addition to economic redevelopment, one of the stated goals of the Marshall Plan was to halt the spread communism on the European continent.

Implementation of the Marshall Plan has been cited as the beginning of the Cold War between the United States and its European allies and the Soviet Union, which had effectively taken control of much of central and eastern Europe and established its satellite republics as communist nations.

The Marshall Plan is also considered a key catalyst for the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance between North American and European countries established in 1949.

But with this gesture of goodwill was not without a bunch of myths…..was not all rainbows and unicorns……

Perhaps the most persistent and enduring myth in modern British history is that the country did badly, in comparison with its European neighbours, out of the Marshall Plan, the scheme of American largesse that funded the reconstruction of war-ravaged western Europe. But it is simply not true.

West Germany received $1.7 billion of postwar aid from the United States, which it invested primarily in capital and infrastructure, paving the way for the Wirtschaftswunder, the postwar economic miracle that turned the country into a manufacturing powerhouse, which, even after the considerable cost of reunification in 1990, it remains.

Britain, as victor, had an understandable sense of entitlement – and let us not forget the nature of the regime that it and its Empire had helped defeat – but, as an indication of the sacrifice it had made, it ended the conflict with an economy more like that of a defeated or occupied nation.

You now know more than you did before reading…..

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

7 thoughts on “That “Marshall Plan”

  1. Yes, resentment of the Marshall plan was still evident in my teens. There was an idea that Germany (and later Japan) did not deserve to profit from starting the war, and should have been left to their own devices to rebuild their economy. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the arguments, it is undeniable that a defeated Germany was propped up as a bastion against the Eastern Bloc communist countries, and did very well as a result.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Germany was left to its own devises after WWI and the result was WWII.
      The causes of both wars was not as simple as people in the US and the UK are taught in school.

  2. I can’t remember the source but I’ve read that the Marshall Plan was actually the brainchild of Truman and he so named it to bring a reluctant Marshall on board with the idea appealing to Marshall’s vanity and not caring to whom the credit went. Former president Hoover also played an important role in post WW 2 European relief as he had done post WW 1 too. Truman’s great accomplishments: Marshall Plan, NATO and integrating the Army which was a dramatic initiation of equal rights for African Americans. .

  3. Do you know that on January 27 1953 the Netherlands ended the Marshall Aid. The could manage without it.

    The Marshall plan contributed to rebuilding, infrastructure and economical recovery.
    The country emerged out of WWII.

    However in the night of 31 January/1 February 1953, just four days later, a heavy storm, hurricane like winds and spring tide broke many seadikes in the south-west of the country flooding the land.

    These dikes were weakened after the inudations by the Germans in WWII.
    After the war the dikes were provisionally repaired.

    However in 1953 they broke. Again flooding the land for the second time in 9 years.
    Killing almost 2000 peoples, many, many people were forced to leave their homes, the infrastructure destroyed, livestock killed.
    It wood take a long time till people could return, the land again could be farmed again.

    I alway found this such a strange coincidence of sorts.

    The region were the most damage was done, Province Zeeland, has a motto: Luctor et Emergo in English: I struggle and I emerge.

    The region most certainly did but in a way the whole country did

  4. Will you put this “paving the way for the Wirtschaftswunder,” again into the brains of our German politicans. Seems the had forgotten this, and really think the Wirtschaftswunder only had be done by German work. Michael

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