After the Second World War, Europe's economic condition was deplorable.
US Secretary of State George Marshall in 1947, proposed a plan for the recovery of the European economy, which is officially called the "European Recovery Program", and informally - "Marshall Plan."
Europe after the war
The Second World War was not only thelarge-scale and bloody, but also the most destructive. As a result of heavy bombing from both warring parties are many buildings in Europe were destroyed, and significant loss of life caused the tangible economic downturn. In addition, Western Europe was divided, as many of the state during the war were on different sides of the conflict.
In contrast to the European countries and the United StatesAmerica has not suffered such significant economic and human losses, so had the opportunity to assist Europe. In addition, the US knew that they needed to act against the new potential enemy - the Soviet Union - and sought to strengthen the position of his opponents, that is, the capitalist European countries, uniting them in the face of the communist threat.
The plan, which wrote George Marshall, suggestedrestoration and modernization of the economy of the affected countries, financial assistance, the development of industry and foreign trade. As one of the main instruments of the program planned use of loans and grants.
The implementation of the Marshall Plan
The action program began in 1948, andit was folded in 1968. The objects of the Marshall Plan became 16 states in Western Europe. America has put forward a number of conditions, compliance with which was necessary for participation in the program. One of the most significant from a political point of view of the requirements was an exception from the governments of the participating representatives of the communist parties. This allowed the US to significantly weaken the position of the Communists in Europe.
In addition to European countries, the assistance under the "Marshall Plan" has received Japan and several countries in South-East Asia.
There were other important limitations asAmerica was guided, in particular, and self-interest. For example, it was the US chose exactly which goods are imported to the affected State. It was not just the food but also the means of production, machinery, raw materials and equipment. In some cases, such a choice is not the most optimal from the point of view of the Europeans, but the overall benefits of participation in the program were significantly higher.
Eastern European countries are not under the influenceThe Marshall Plan, because the Soviet leadership, fearing for their own interests, insisted on the fact that the Eastern European states have not filed an application to participate in the recovery program. As for the Soviet Union, it did not fit the criteria of the Marshall Plan from a purely formal point of view, since it is not said about the existing deficit.
During the first three years of implementation of the US plan was transferred to Europe for more than 13 billion dollars, with about 20% of this amount received UK.
Marshall Plan results were sufficientlyeffective: the European economy has received a powerful impetus, allowing you to quickly go from the war, the Soviet Union's influence was reduced, and the middle class was not only restored to pre-war positions, but also strengthened considerably, which ultimately provided the political and economic stability.