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On this day – April 3rd

3rd April 2019 @ 6:06am – by Webteam
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The Marshall Plan

The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative passed in 1948 to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave over $12 billion (nearly $100 billion in 2016 US dollars) in economic assistance to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II. It operated for four years beginning on April 3, 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild war-torn regions, remove trade barriers, modernize industry, improve European prosperity, and prevent the spread of Communism. The Marshall Plan required a lessening of interstate barriers, a dropping of many regulations, and encouraged an increase in productivity, as well as the adoption of modern business procedures.

(Does this sound familiar?)

The Marshall Plan aid was divided amongst the participant states roughly on a per capita basis. A larger amount was given to the major industrial powers, as the prevailing opinion was that their resuscitation was essential for general European revival. Somewhat more aid per capita was also directed towards the Allied nations, with less for those that had been part of the Axis or remained neutral. The largest recipient of Marshall Plan money was the United Kingdom (receiving about 26% of the total), followed by France (18%) and West Germany (11%). Some eighteen European countries received Plan benefits. Although offered participation, the Soviet Union refused Plan benefits, and also blocked benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as Hungary and Poland.

Its role in the rapid recovery has been debated. Most reject the idea that it alone miraculously revived Europe, since the evidence shows that a general recovery was already under way. The Marshall Plan's accounting reflects that aid accounted for less than 3% of the combined national income of the recipient countries between 1948 and 1951.


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