The Marshall Plan was a program of assistance to Europe after the Second World War. Nominated in 1947 by the American Secretary of State George C. Marshall and came into effect in April 1948. In the implementation of the plan involved 17 European countries, including West Germany. The Marshall Plan helped to establish the post-war peace in Western Europe. The aim was to restore the U.S. military destroyed the European economy, the elimination of trade barriers, the modernization of European industry and the development of Europe as a whole.
The Marshall Plan was launched on 4 April 1948, when the U.S. Congress passed a law "On economic cooperation", which included a 4-year program of economic aid to Europe. Total allocations under the Marshall Plan (from 4 April 1948 to December 1951) amounted to about $ 13 billion, with the main share fell to England (2.8 billion), France (2.5 billion), Italy (1.3 billion), West Germany (1.3 billion), the Netherlands (1 billion). At the same time, Americans, as a precondition for the provision of assistance, demanded removal of Communists from the governments of the signatories. By 1948, in any Western European Communist government was not.
Later Marshall Plan has also been applied to Japan and some other countries of East Asia.
The Marshall Plan is one of the most successful economic programs in history, as were achieved almost all his goals:
- Industry, which, as previously thought, hopelessly outdated and lost efficiency, have been restructured in a short time and without changing national economic policies. As a result, the European economy has recovered from the effects of war more quickly than could have been expected.
- European countries were able to pay off foreign debts.
- The Communists and the Soviet Union was weakened.
- Has been restored and strengthened European middle class - the guarantor of political stability and sustainable development.
This plan, developed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, the Allies planned to turn Germany agrarian country. They have sharply reduced the production of fuel, tractors, trucks, steel and other products that were needed for the war. They cut fertilizer production by 82 percent. They greatly underestimated the price of all the products of German exports (which they controlled), depriving the Germans of money to buy food. Six months after the war, Germany's industrial production fell by 75%.
The loss of such a large number of fertile land and a decrease in production of fertilizers caused the fall of agricultural production by 65%. 60 million people began to starve in their huge prison.
Mass expulsions from one part of Germany to another approved in Potsdam Conference in July and August of 1945, carried out "with maximum brutality," wrote British writer Victor Gollanch in his book " Our values are under threat." Canadian writer and television producer Robert Allen, in his article "Letter from Berlin" (February 1946), described the arrival of refugees to the Berlin railway station: "They were all dead tired, hungry, unhappy Half dead child Woman in despair, which I still did not observe Even if you see it all, you cannot believe God is awful."
In the west, plan to deprive Germany of the industrial potential originated in the British General Eisenhower's headquarters in August 1944. At a meeting with Morgenthau, Eisenhower ordered the German treatment that will be "good, but heavy," based on the fact that "the entire German population - unnatural paranoid."
Morgenthau took the transcript of their conversation at the meeting of Roosevelt and Churchill in Quebec (September 1944). British Foreign Secretary Eden, U.S. Secretary of State Hull and Secretary of War Stimson U.S. were strongly against the Morgenthau Plan as "robbed" Germany will not be able to feed itself. Hull and Stimson told Roosevelt that about 20 million Germans will die if the plan is implemented.
Many historians believe that after all of the Morgenthau Plan was abandoned after various grievances and protests, but the Morgenthau said that he was done.
Why the U.S. Chose Marshall Plan? Reasons and Profits
July 12, 1947 in Paris brought together delegates from 16 European countries. Were presented to all States not belonging to the Soviet bloc, with the exception of Franco's Spain and the Allies occupied the western part of Germany (as an independent state, the Federal Republic of Germany, she joined the " Marshall Plan" only in 1949). At the meeting, a committee was formed for European economic cooperation. He had to specify the conditions and the amount of aid each participating country.
September 12 the final amount was named: Europe requested the U.S. 19.1 billion in four years, otherwise you could wait for the complete collapse of the European economy. November 17, President Truman convened an extraordinary session of Congress to provide immediate economic assistance to France, Italy and Austria, and a month later the final congressmen introduced a draft law on health improvement program of the European economy, in which the amount of the aid has been cut to $ 17 billion.
Not only the USSR refused to participate in the plan, and thus rejected the American economic aid, but I did not let the fact that it’s got its satellites. Moreover, they were donors to Stalin, who also needed a means to restore the ruined economy. According to estimates by some researchers, the USSR for 1948-1952 years extorted from Eastern Europe about 14 billion dollars.
• efforts in the field of production;
• expansion of foreign trade;
• achieve and maintain domestic financial stability;
• the development of European economic cooperation. "
The main task of the committee was to make plans for spending productively sums in the new "matching funds." It was characteristic of the entire project, a tool that most distinguished the "Marshall Plan" of any conventional aid program. The fund was an account at each national bank specially created to contain the proceeds from the local sale of goods supplied under the program. It turned out that much of the aid is not free and not liquid, as Europeans imagine.
Instead, products are usually sent from the United States and sold to public or private company to the highest bidder. Their payments would then go back, not in the U.S., and in the new fund. From there come the money to pay for national activities for the rehabilitation and modernization by agreement between the Commission of the Economic Cooperation and the Government of each State participating in the aid program.
Infusion of dollars into the economies of European countries helped to avoid hyperinflation and resume international trade and private investment, because most of the local currency at the time was non-convertible. For example, investors from non-European countries (mostly American businessmen implied) guarantee that at any moment they will be able to convert income into dollars and easily remove these funds.
The program has proved highly successful. Industry, which, as previously thought, hopelessly outdated and lost efficiency, have been restructured in a short time and without changing national economic policies. As a result, the European economy has recovered from the effects of war more quickly than could have been expected.
Agnew, John and Entrikin, J. Nicholas eds. The Marshall Plan Today: Model and Metaphor Routledge. (2004) online version
Arkes, Hadley. Bureaucracy, the Marshall Plan, and the National Interest (1972).
Behrman, Greg, The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe (2007) ISBN 0-7432-8263-9
Bonds, John Bledsoe. Bipartisan Strategy: Selling the Marshall Plan (2002)
Esposito, Chiarella. America's Feeble Weapon: Funding the Marshall Plan in France and Italy, 1948–1950 (1994)