The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. The reconstruction plan, developed at a meeting of the participating European states, was drafted on June 5, 1947.
It offered the same aid to the Soviet Union and its allies, but they refused to accept it. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent.
The Marshall Plan was crafted as a four-year plan to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war. In addition to economic redevelopment, one of the stated goals of the Marshall Plan was to halt the spread communism on the European continent.
Implementation of the Marshall Plan has been cited as the beginning of the Cold War between the United States and its European allies and the Soviet Union, which had effectively taken control of much of central and eastern Europe and established its satellite republics as communist nations.
The reconstruction plan is also considered a key catalyst for the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance between North American and European countries established in 1949.
Featured Image: Marshall Plan 1948-1952: First page / Document Image: marshallfoundation.org – The labelling of the Marshall Plan / Image: U.S. Government
Marshall Plan Volume PDF: www.marshallfoundation.org/library/digital-archive/section-1/