Sample Essay on Marshall Plan

Marshall Plan

Officially known as European Recovery Program (ERP), the Marshall Plan was crafted by the US for purposes of rebuilding allied Europe country after World War 2. Among the driving reasons this was carried out was for the purposes of stopping communism. Though the Plan was named after George Marshall, the Secretary of state, other people within the department worked on it.

The plan begun in 1948 April and ran for 4 years and during this time, US$ 13 billion were issued by the US in technical and economic help to aid European countries recover. The countries that benefited from the plan had become of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation. By the end of the plan, the economy of all member states had grown past the pre-war levels.

Some historians argue the purpose of the plan was to strengthen the US and ensure Western Europe countries became dependent on the US. These historians also say the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration assisted refugees amounting to the millions from the period 1944 through to 1947 thus boosting post war recovery in Europe.

Why the Marshall Plan was important

World War 2 which had gone on for years had serious devastating effects on Europe. Residential and industrial centers in places such as Belgium, England, Italy, France, Poland and Germany etc were left in complete ruins. In essence, most regions in Europe were on the verge of famine since agricultural activities were halted by war. Transportation was in shambles and the only super power that wasn’t damaged significantly by the war was the US.


The plan for reconstruction was developed during a meeting of European states and was drafted on 5th June 1947. Similar aid was offered to the Soviet Union as well as its allies however, they turned down the offer because they believed to accept it meant allowing the United States control over communist economies. Secretary Marshall was convinced Stalin did not have any interest in assisting with restoration of economic stability in Western Europe. On 3rd April 1948 President Harry Truman signed the plan granting sixteen European countries aid.

As the aid came to an end in 1952, the economy of all participating states had already surpassed the levels of pre-war. For two decades afterwards, the level of prosperity and growth in Western Europe was unprecedented. The Plan was the very first element of integration in Europe due to the fact that it got rid of trade barriers and led to the setting up of institutions that coordinated the economy on continental level. This means Western Europe was completely stimulated for political reconstruction.

While the Marshall Plan was a major success and has been described as the most selfless act, this isn’t absolutely true. This is because the US benefited greatly since by giving aid to these countries, they had no option but to open their economies to the United States.

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