What was the Marshall Plan?

What was the Marshall Plan?

The Marshall Plan was a U.S. sponsored program implemented following World War II to provide assistance to Western European countries that had been devastated as a result of the war.

It was an ambitious program designed to stimulate economic growth in a nearly bankrupt post World War II Europe. The plan was authorized by Congress as the European Recovery Program (ERP).

In addition to economic redevelopment, one of the main goals of the Marshall Plan was to stop the spread communism on the European continent, beyond the “iron curtain”.

After World War two, American leaders were concerned about the spread of Soviet communism. They believed that the Soviets were determined to impose their ideology on the rest of the world.

In order to avoid antagonizing the Soviet Union, Marshall stated that the aim of providing aid to Western Europe was completely humanitarian, and even offered aid to the communist states in the Eastern Europe.

The Marshall Plan turned out to be very successful. The western European countries involved in the program experienced a rise in their national products and contributed to the rapid renewal of the western European steel, engineering, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The Marshall Plan was a win win for both the US and Western Europe – benefiting the American economy as well. The Western European countries would use the money they received to buy goods from the United States, and they had to be shipped on American ships. As the European economy recovered the sale of U.S. goods to European countries would increase.