The American policy of Marshall Aid sparked both huge appraisal and significant opposition, and to this day it is debated whether it was purely a policy of self-interest and an imposition of America’s political and economic views on a weak and vulnerable Europe, or alternatively one of the greatest acts of altruism and generosity in modern history. It was enormously successful, ‘It was the most unambiguously and triumphantly successful of all America’s post-war policies’ , and helped to create a foundation on which Europe could become an economic power. While there were benefits to America which may have been interpreted as attempts to increase American power and inflamed opposition to the Marshall Plan, the administering of economic aid …show more content…
‘For Marshall Planners, it (economic growth) was...the key to social harmony, to the survival of private-enterprise capitalism, and to the preservation of political democracy’ , additionally, by setting up European economies in the image of America’s capitalist, free-market economy, it became far more difficult for Communist beliefs in the state controlled market to prevail in the struggle for power that consumed many European countries. An analysis of America’s foreign policy by Nikolai Novikov, Soviet Ambassador, shows that the Soviet Union also saw the Marshall Plan as an attempt to impose America’s political views on the peoples of Europe ‘obvious indications of the US effort to establish world dominance’ . Novikov suggests that America is trying to become the leading world power ‘The foreign policy of the United States... is characterised in the post-war period by a striving for world supremacy’ , and emphasises the role of the American military to impose the policies of the White House on the world, ‘indications of the US effort to establish world dominance are also to be found in the increase in military potential in peacetime’ . This view is expressed by Soviet deputy foreign minister Andrei Vyshinsky where he states to the UN General Assembly that the Marshall Plan is an American attempt to ‘impose its will on other independent states’ . There was a strong feeling in the Soviet Union
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First and foremost, a great deal of Europe’s success would not have happened without its initial aid from the United States. After helping destroy so much of the continent, the U.S. pumped billions and billions of dollars back into the European economy through The Marshall Plan. It was named after Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who said “The world of suffering people looks to us for leadership. Their thoughts, however, are not concentrated alone on this problem. They have more immediate and terribly pressing concerns where the mouthful of food will come from, where they will find shelter tonight, and where they will find warmth. Along with the great problem of maintaining the peace we must solve the
Tucker strengthens the argument that the USSR was not the only major power driven by ideology. He states “Constantly seeking to extend the orbit of American hegemony, the US had been the most expansionist of all great powers impelled by the inner drives of American capitalism”  . Tuckers view is correct and is supported by the Novikov telegram, the Soviet version of Kennan’s long telegram – both depicted the other side as driven by an instiable urge for world domination… Novikov worried about America’s global reach, and described the USA as trying to reduce Soviet influence in neighbouring countries in order to hamper the progress of communism there and to create conditions for the penetration of American capital into their economies. ADD EXTRA
Even though the United States emerged as a clear victor of World War I, many Americans after the war felt that their involvement in the conflict had been a mistake (Markus Schoof, “The American Experience During World War II,” slide 3). This belief, however, did not deter the country from engaging in many other international affairs in the future, most importantly the WWII and the Cold War. Right from the Manifest Destiny, which led to expand its empire at home and abroad, to the World War I, the country had come a long way from being somewhat a lonely-land to a global superpower of the 20th century. Its influence in the international arena grew unprecedently after its commitment to the World War II, and like they say, the rest is history. If the WWII was a resounding success to the American legacy, what followed, the Cold War, put many implications on the American diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and to the world. Although the rising Fascism in Europe and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor drove the U.S. to enter the WWII, historians over the years have laid equal blames on both nations for starting the Cold War. These two events helped in shaping up many domestic and foreign policies for the U.S.
George Marshall occupied the Secretary of State position during Truman’s presidency. He impacted Truman’s foreign policies regarding Europe. He believed that in order to halt the expansion of a communist regime, European countries needed to become stronger and autonomous. Marshall understood that limiting communism would require time and effort. He recognized that to become independent, European countries would primarily have to rely on the aid of other countries in order to regain a foothold. He did not however, want these countries to depend on Russia for assistance, as it would allow Russia
Citizens of Europe were living in shambles (See Fig 2). Politically, Americans knew spreading capitalistic ways in Europe would gain support from the Europeans, giving the United States trade partners. During the Cold War, Germany became the center of all the tensions between Capitalism and Communism. Germany was the ideal gateway between East and West Europe. Its location made it a suitable place for these political struggles to occur. This angered the Soviets because they too wanted to influence their ways on Europe. The Marshall Plan, following the Truman Doctrine-- which supplied $400 million to countries under totalitarian regimes (Turkey and Greece), appeared to be another anti-communist move made by the United States. However, the United States still successfully achieved the goal of making Europe economically stable.
During the early 1900s, America’s reputation as a world power prospered by possessing the third largest navy in the world and a significant domain over smaller countries. It was able to acquire superiority internationally due to its intervention in the intense colonialism of the time, including fast extension, colonization, and rivalry. However, America’s colonial power did not suddenly develop. Though the United States expansionism of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century was an explicit continuation of cultural and social factors that had powered the country’s past expansionism, it was more of a departure from the strategies for the past in which financial and political motives were sought.
The tensions that were between the Soviet Union and the US were growing. Nuclear threats from both sides caused hatred. In document three the excerpt from Secretary Marshall's speech he explains how he suggests a plan/policy for the reconstruction of Europe. Because the world was in such a dismal the United States tried to help
The USSR was worried about its security and loss of influence. By the ‘iron curtain’ it wanted to control the political structure of Eastern Europe and to prevent the re-establishment of a free and united Germany. USA and its western allies were concerned about this matter. They tried to pressurize USSR to undo the new hegemony; however, it couldn’t regain the control of central Europe except through a war against Soviet Union. The elimination of Soviet political and economic dominance from East and Central Europe was necessary for USA as it was keen to use the potential market. For some revisionists it was the country’s capitalist economy and it’s addiction to overproduction that compelled it to adopt expansionist policies. (Graebner, 1976) Alternative world hegemony might have regarded as a challenge for USA. America has dreamt of
The Soviet ambassador to the United States was Novikov at the time. Novikov suggested that the United States wanted to form a Western European alliance directly against the Soviet Union. He felt that the Truman Doctrine was the first step towards this goal, but it had been too harsh to attract any European support. Then he said that the Marshall Plan represented a more appealing tactic to involve the Western Europeans in the creation of an anti-Soviet alliance. However apparently the United States was not just pressuring Western Europe, but Eastern Europe as well. This partially, made the Soviet Union very angry. Maybe if the Marshall Plan had been limited to just Western Europe, maybe it would have been less threatening to the Soviet
“The originally propagated view that the Marshall Plan was an altruistic endeavour … has long been dismissed.” Instead, “The overwhelming body of literature looks at the Marshall Plan either from a political and diplomatic or from an economic viewpoint.” Overall, the Plan was primarily motivated by the former, rather, than the later, albeit both were heavily intertwined. This is because containment and a fear of Soviet expansion categorised US foreign policy for much of the postwar period, with economic considerations being the method used, to enact this policy of containment.
It was for the best that the Marshall arrangement was put enthusiastically, Europe is gradually becoming more idependant.It is urgent for Europe to open trade, bussiness and other organizations - for Europe herself as well as for us, America [and others] too. With the guide cash, Europe is modifying as well as fortifying peace between her countries.And , God forbide, if America needs to go to war, we will have Western Europe as support and allies.- America will have their loyalties.
Soon after the World War II was finished, the confrontation between the Soviet Union on in the United States of America unleashed (Holitz, 2010, 162). Despite being in the convenient marriage during the war (Holitz, 2010, 165), these great powers started their own campaigns for global supremacy and international economic and social influence. The United States of America was recognized as a leader of the free world and the main protagonist of the capitalistic model of country development. The USSR, in its turn, emphasized the role of socialism, controlled market and development of the communistic state as the most benevolent mode of state construction.
With over 13 billion dollars in aid being delivered to Europe under the Marshall Plan, from 1948 to 1952 many European economies grew at an unprecedented rate. The mutual assistance of the aid led to softening of national competition between many countries in Europe, and served the dual purposes of modernization and cooperation for European countries. At the same time as the Marshal plan was being implemented, the Soviet Union enacted what was know as the, “Cominform” that sought to counter the American influence in post war Europe. This program organized by the Kremlin would work with communist parties in European countries through propaganda efforts to
The traditional, orthodox interpretation places the responsibility of the Cold War on Stalin’s personality and on communist ideology. It claims that as long as Stalin and the authoritarian government were in power, a cold war was unavoidable. It argues that Stalin violated agreements that he had made at Yalta, imposed Soviet policy on Eastern European countries aiming at political domination and conspired to advocate communism throughout the world. As a result, United States officials were forced to respond to Soviet aggression with foreign policies such as the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. Yet revisionists argue that there was “no proof of Stalin promoting communism outside Russia” and that Stalin’s decisions were first and foremost, pro-Soviet and not of communist intentions. Up until 1947, it is evident through Marshall Plan as well as statements and interviews made by Stalin that he was still thinking of cooperation with the United States, Britain and France. Despite post-war conflicts and instability of Soviet-American relations, the USSR’s initial embrace of the Marshall Plan at its announcement expressed
In June 1947, the United States announced the Marshall Plan, intended to help economic recovery in Europe and thus prevent the spread of Communism in a Europe that was increasingly becoming “a breeding ground of hate”, thus providing a comforting environment for the rise of the Marxist ideology. At first, the Marshall Plan seemed to be a success, with economic aid worth $17 billion being made available to Europe and ensuring the protection of democratic governments in Turkey and Greece. Marshall Aid did help economic recovery in Europe, erasing unemployment and improving living standards greatly. Most Western European nations were happy to accept American aid in order to redevelop their economies. However, Stalin forbade any Eastern European countries from accepting the Plan and setup organizations like the Cominform and Comecon instead, to further tighten Stalin’s grip over Eastern Europe.