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…..