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Paper Topic:

Why was the marshall plan so important in the development of the cold war

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November 21 , 2005

Why Was the Marshall Plan so Important in the Development of the Cold War

In the European theater of operations for WWII , the Allied victory and the Axis loss resulted in unprecedented destruction of the economy of the region . The Americans felt that the United States had a purpose to work for the revival of the European economy along the lines of political and social factors that could allow free countries to emerge (qtd .in May par . 2 . The

sweep of such a purpose on into a solid commitment was not perceived or hoped for at the outset

In the United States the Executive branch (including the State Department ) and the US Congress were often at odds about what to do about the European economic situation . But there was agreement that the aftermath of WWII must not come to have a result in any fashion like the economic conditions that prevailed after WWI (Marshall Plan Par .7 . It was initially felt that the United States ' involvement in European recovery would not be costly or time consuming . It was thought that Europe and especially the United Kingdom and France with their colonies could pull themselves back up in short (Marshall Plan par . 4 . The cold winters after the war did not help the situation . The worst winter in a century was experienced in Europe in 1946-47 (Kunz par . 5 . There was high unemployment , food shortages , and strikes

In particular , the food shortages sparked humanitarian and relief efforts among various organizations . The new United Nations sponsored much of this effort and it was almost all funded by the United States (Marshall Plan par . 11 . Not enough of this was organized well enough or in great enough amounts to do more than to briefly alleviate the problem . American troops in Europe also lent a hand in repair and refugee work . For the long term , the food shortages could be seen to keep on occurring since the traditional source for supplies for Western European had come from Eastern Europe (Judd East-West Trade ' par .2 After these winters of food shortage , it was becoming apparent that a divided Europe was becoming the norm

The awareness of such a division was not generally acknowledged prior to these harsh winters . President Truman entered the United States into some bilateral agreements intending to militarily aid Greece and Turkey These countries could be seen as being in East Europe . They were facing subversive efforts by communists to take over those countries . For Western Europe , some thought the Morgenthau Plan could be used (Marshall Plan par . 13 . This plan supposed massive war reparations could be extracted from Germany to restore the countries other than Germany There was also the Monnet Plan (Marshall Plan par . 13 ) which proposed more punishment of Germany since France would control the Ruhr and Saar coal regions for French purposes

On a purely monetary front the Bretton Woods agreements of 1944 established the International...

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