I will focus on the reasons the USA had to launch the plan and why some European countries refused it. I will also explain how did the then political representatives of Czechoslovakia view the Marshall plan and what implications it had on other European countries which took part in it.
In 1945, Germany surrendered and the worst world conflict, known as World War II, was over. Hitler was defeated and the danger from this side was drown away. The damages the war had caused were of great extent. Europe's agricultural and coal production had nearly stopped, and much of the population was threatened with starvation. The Europeans also lacked money, which would enable them to purchase new materials and machine tools to help restore their shattered economies. As Secretary of State George Marshall said, the war had resulted in economic chaos in Europe and the situation needed to be remedied to end “poverty, desperation and chaos”. This was one of the reasons that led the USA to help the devastated European countries.
Reasons the USA had to launch the Marshall plan
European Recovery Program (ERP), commonly known as the Marshall Plan, was United States programme of financial assistance that helped to rebuild European countries devastated by World War II. The USA had four main reasons to launch the plan:
1) Europe had been a large market for American goods, and without a prosperous Europe, the United States might have suffered a severe economic depression. 2) Without American aid, Western Europe might succumb to communism. 3) Western Europe appeared open to influence by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which the United States was beginning to see as its main rival. 4) West Germany (now part of the united Federal Republic of Germany) had to be rebuilt as a buffer against Soviet expansion; European fears of their World War II enemy would lessen only if the Germans were integrated into a larger Europe.
Each of these main reasons had its importance but probably the most important
reason was the policy of “containment” – an idea how to stop the Soviet Union’s communism from spreading to other countries. During this period, Truman (1945 – 1953) was the president of the USA. The fact is that the European Recovery Programme was an expensive one. The Congress of the United States appropriated about 17 billion dollars (according to another resource it was 13-14 billion dollars) in aid.
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The Marshall Plan
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