3 November 2016
The Marshall Plan
The paper deals with the key concepts of the document which is called The Marshall Plan. The official name of The Marshall Plan is European Recovery Program (ERP), which discussed US support of the postwar European countries. The focus of the paper is to reveal the consequences of the Second World War in Europe as well as show the position American citizens had to take in the situation. The plan suggests measures that had to be taken to relieve Europes sufferings.
The author of the document is the US Secretary of State George Marshall. On June 5, 1947, speaking at Harvard University, where he was invited to receive an honorary degree, the US Secretary of State outlined a plan to restore the European economies, which were victims of the Second World War. The proposed plan came to be known as The Marshall Plan.
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It has to be mentioned that in 1947 Harvard did not admit women. On January 24, the Dean of Harvard college Erwin Griswold wrote a letter showing that he was against admitting women that year. He believed that due to the war lots of men lost much time regarding education; thus, it was a high time to catch up with it.
The author believed that it was difficult for Americans to understand the serious world situation at that time. The first reason behind this is that the mass media made it difficult for an average person to comprehend the state of affairs in Europe. The second reason is that geographically Americans are distant from those areas which suffered after the war (The Marshall Plan (1947) n.p.).
During a long period of time, European countries focused only on the preparation to and maintenance of the war; consequently, some fields of economy, like machinery, started to degrade. This has caused the dislocation of the entire fabric of the European economy.
According to the plan, in the past, farmers in Europe could cultivate crops and exchange them for goods or products they needed. After the war, it became impossible as factories produced very few things and farmers literally could exchange their crops for nothing. The same is with money they simply did not need it as its value was low. That is why they started to use fields for grazing (The Marshall Plan (1947) n.d.).
European cities are short of fuel and food (The Marshall Plan (1947) n.d.). In order to get goods that were in short supply, Europe had to ask for these necessities abroad, principally from America. That exhausted its funds, made people take loans and stay in debt for a long time. That greatly hurt rebuilding capacity after the war because instead of working on it, the European countries had to focus on peoples survival.
The author claimed that the United States should assist in rebuilding the war-torn nations in order to reestablish political stability and permanent peace in the world (The Marshall Plan (1947) n.d.). George Marshall thought that without cooperation from the side of the European countries, the help from the USA was not sufficient. According to Marshall, the countries must make a deal regarding the role they will play in rebuilding. All the countries that needed assistance should be involved rebuilding the whole Europes economy. The success can be granted only under this condition.
When the author says governments, political parties, or groups which seek to perpetuate human misery in order to profit therefrom politically or otherwise will encounter the opposition of the United States, he is probably alluding to Soviet-inspired communists (Pierce 186).
America, currently being a superpower, can proceed with anti-crisis help. I believe that it is the role of the United States today to assist other nations who are facing economic crisis. The country is already doing this; for instance, it has allocated $601 million dollars for those affected by the war in Syria (New U.S. Assistance to Respond to Syria Crisis n.p.). All countries in the world are linked, and peace in one country is a guarantee of peace everywhere.
Finally, The Marshall Plan was a very successful tool which helped Europe to overcome the crisis. This outstanding figure in the USA politics merely suggested some ideas which, in his opinion, could help Europe at that time. Those ideas became a successful plan that created a new history of European economics. The United States played a key role in it. That is why the deep analysis of ERP can lay the foundation of any modern crisis-tackling strategy.