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On 3 April 1948, US President Harry S. Truman signed the European Recovery Program, commonly known as the Marshall Plan. The program’s objective was to assist war-torn European countries after the Second World War for economic rehabilitation.
See the fact file below for more information on the Marshall Plan or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Marshall Plan worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
AFTER THE WAR
- After the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, the tension between the US and the Soviet Union increased as the two powerhouses had different ideologies. The former adhered to democracy and capitalism while the latter to communism, which greatly affected their perspective in their decision towards Europe.
- The US feared that the social and economic impacts of the war, such as poverty and unemployment, in war-torn countries might sway them to see the appeal of the offer by the Soviet Union’s brand of Communism.
- As the United Kingdom faced economic problems after the Second World War, they played a minimal role in the rehabilitation process in the Mediterranean, specifically Greece and Turkey. Hence, the US responded with the Truman Doctrine in which the US would give financial aid to countries threatened by Communist expansion under the Soviet Union. This was also in line with the potential civil war in Greece, which could be used by the Soviets to influence the country.
- On 5 June 1947, as he delivered his speech at Harvard University, the US Secretary of State, George C. Marshall offered the idea of a self-help program for European countries financed by the US. As excerpted from the speech:
“The modern system of the division of labor upon which the exchange of products is based is in danger of breaking down. […] Aside from the demoralizing effect on the world at large and the possibilities of disturbances arising as a result of the desperation of the people concerned, the consequences to the economy of the United States should be apparent to all. It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health to the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is not directed against any country, but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Any government that is willing to assist in recovery will find full co-operation on the part of the United States. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.”
- On 3 April 1948, US President Harry S. Truman signed and proclaimed the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948 known as the Marshall Plan, a European Economy Program in which 13 billion USD was made available for the rehabilitation of European countries damaged by the war, specifically countries under the Soviet influence.
- The Soviet Union withdrew from the program leaving 17 participating states: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany (Western), Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
- The Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) was a special agency created under the leadership of Paul G. Hoffman. Its role was to distribute the 13 billion USD aid over the participating countries.
- The program focused on establishing economic stability by restoring agricultural production, rehabilitating industrial production, and expansion of trading systems.
- The majority of the financial grants were directly given while the rest was given through loans.
- France and the UK established the Committee of European Economic Cooperation to manage the participating countries. Eventually, this was replaced by the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC).
- The Soviet Union saw the Marshall Plan as an imperialistic attempt by the US to halt their plans in Europe. Hence, by September 1947, they formed the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) comprising of countries under the Soviet Bloc to promote solidarity under Communism.
- As the program ended in December 1951, the Marshall Plan was profitable as the participating countries saw an increase in their income as measured by their Gross National Products (GNP). Thus, rapidly developing their industries.
- As for the US, through the Marshall Plan, they were seen internationally as a powerful country switching their image from being an isolationist.
Marshall Plan Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Marshall Plan across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Marshall Plan worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the European Recovery Program, commonly known as the Marshall Plan. The program’s objective was to assist war-torn European countries after the Second World War for economic rehabilitation.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Marshall Plan Facts
- Mapping the Marshall Plan
- Find the Word
- Complete the Information
- George Marshall
- The European Recovery Program
- Editorial Cartoon
- Comic Strip
- Marshall Plan in Action
- In a Nutshell
- Recovery Program
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Link will appear as Marshall Plan Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 26, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.