Marshall Plan and Its Results in Greece Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2005 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: American History

¶ … Marshall plan and its results in Greece. The writer explores the work of the Marshall Plan author George Marshall. The writer then explains the plan and its impact on Greece.

Within the history of the world few Americans will be as widely remembered for working toward world peace than George Marshall. Marshall who was named chief of staff of the United States Army during World War II was charged with recruiting and training several million men and women to serve in the armed forces (George Marshall (http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/marshall/marsh2.htm).

Marshall also had the task of planning military tasks and operations that would impact the world on a global level.

While Marshall handled these duties with intelligence and professionalism the most important contribution he made to the world was when he authored the Marshall Plan.

The idea of extending billions of American dollars for European economic recovery was not his alone. He was only one of many Western leaders who realized the tragic consequences of doing nothing for those war-shattered countries in which basic living conditions were deplorable and still deteriorating two years after the end of the fighting. But Marshall, more than anyone else, led the way (George Marshall (http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/marshall/marsh2.htm)."

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His insight and compassion for the nations that had been ravaged by the war provided a path for America to reach out and embrace those nations, thereby demonstrating the true meaning of a democratic system and what it allows that system to do for others.

It was June 5, 1947 when the world first heard about the Marshall Plan. Marshall arrived at Harvard University to explain its blueprint to the audience there (THE MARSHALL PLAN (1947) (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm).The war had devastated much of Europe including Greece and the entire region immediately endured one of the harshest winters in recorded history on top of that.

Term Paper on Marshall Plan and Its Results in Greece Assignment

The nations of Europe had nothing to sell for hard currency, and the democratic socialist governments in most countries were unwilling to adopt the draconian proposals for recovery advocated by old-line classical economists (THE MARSHALL PLAN (1947) (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm).Something had to be done, both for humanitarian reasons and also to stop the potential spread of communism westward (THE MARSHALL PLAN (1947) (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm)."

The Marshall Plan, in short was a plan that would provide many billions of dollars to war torn nations as long as those nations could produce a single viable rebuilding plan when they applied for a share of those funds. What this meant was that European nations would have to work as one unit to get together and detail the way the funds would be used, thereby unifying the nations involved.

The Marshall Plan, it should be noted, benefited the American economy as well. The money would be used to buy goods from the United States, and they had to be shipped across the Atlantic on American merchant vessels (THE MARSHALL PLAN (1947) (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm).But it worked. By 1953 the United States had pumped in $13 billion, and Europe was standing on its feet again. Moreover, the Plan included West Germany, which was thus reintegrated into the European community (THE MARSHALL PLAN (1947) (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm)."

In his delivery at Harvard Marshall outlined the basics of why he put the plan together the way he did and what he hoped that the plan would accomplish.

He opened his plan with a general overview of the way the war had destroyed Europe of being able to rebuild within a substantial amount of help.

The remedy lies in breaking the vicious circle and restoring the confidence of the European people in the economic future of their own countries and of Europe as a whole. The manufacturer and the farmer throughout wide areas must be able and willing to exchange their products for currencies the continuing value of which is not open to question (THE MARSHALL PLAN (1947) (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm)."

In addition to the consequences being felt in Europe it was stressed through the plan that there would be grave economic American consequences if Europe failed to recover as well (THE MARSHALL PLAN (1947) (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm).

The role of this country should consist of friendly aid in the drafting of a European program so far as it may be practical for us to do so. The program should be a joint one, agreed to by a number, if not all European nations (THE MARSHALL PLAN (1947) (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm)."

The money being offered to Europe to fix its problems would equal approximately $130 billion today (Marshall Plan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Plan).

The pan was also offered to the Soviet Union however Stalin accused the United States of using the plan as a trick and a ploy and refused to participate.

THE PLAN IN GREECE

Before the war and the Marshall Plan for recovery the economic situation in Greece was a positive one.

Following the war, the nation began a slow recovery process in which "In 1949, the Greek Ministry of Welfare listed 1,617,132 persons as indigent; destitute, despondent, and directionless, they looked to Athens for assistance. Another 80,000 to 100,000 had fled their homeland voluntarily or been resettled forcibly in various parts of the communist world; the largest such settlement was at Tashkent in Soviet Central Asia (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85).The German occupation and the Civil War had left the countryside devastated, the economic infrastructure largely rubble, and the government broke (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85).The most pressing need, then, was the material reconstruction of the country, which required continuation of the large-scale United States aid commitment. In the early days of the Cold War, the West gave priority to reinvigorating Greece because of its strategic location. In a bipolar world, Greece's international orientation was preordained (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85)."

The Marshall Plan provided an American Mission of Aid to Greece commonly referred to as AMAG. This was created for the purpose of overseeing the nation's economic recovery.

The United States began to send millions of American dollars to Greece for the purpose of helping the nation's post war recovery efforts.

As part of the agreement between Greece and the United States, members of the AMAG were given wide-ranging supervisory powers that quickly led to the formation of parallel administrations -- one Greek and one American. Greece had become, for all intents and purposes, a client to the United States (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85)."

In the beginning efforts most of the funds that were provided by America went to the Greek military expenses (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85).This included creating a military design in which the sole function was trying to stop the expansion of Communism in the area.

Once Greece believed that its military was again strong the America dollars being funneled into Greece was used to strengthen and rebuild the national currency (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85).

The national currency, the drachma required stabilization because bouts of hyperinflation during the war years had rendered it valueless. Faith had be restored in the monetary system. Exports had to be revived. And, of course, the core of Greek agriculture and industry required rebuilding. Greece (especially Athens) came to resemble a giant work site with building construction everywhere; new roads were built and old ones refurbished; and hydroelectric stations were built to power new industry (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85).In 1953 the drachma was devalued in order to make Greek products more competitive. Other measures were taken as well to attract foreign capital to Greece (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85).These policies ushered in a new phase of growth in the early 1950s (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85).However, massive dependence on foreign aid came at the price of foreign dependence in international relations (Marshall Plan in Greece, The (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=85)."

The initial efforts of the postwar reconstruction called the Marshall Plan actually provided very little benefit to the nation of Greece. Part of that may be attributed to the fact that Greece had a major Civil War between 1946 and 1949 therefore the world's attention for post war reconstruction following World War II turned to other nations.

A new round of destruction of wealth, inflation, and economic instability lasted until the early 1950s. Significant amounts of United States aid went to Greece during this period under the Truman Doctrine and later under the Marshall Plan, establishing a long pattern of dependency on Western benefactors. Total United States aid to Greece from 1947 to 1977 amounted to U.S.$5 billion. In the early postwar years, most of the aid was in the form of grants for outright military assistance or given in connection with military requirements and war-related economic needs (Postwar Recovery (http://greece.russiansabroad.com/country_page.aspx?page=146)."

From the late 50's to the late 60's however the economic growth in Greece surpassed any other European nation which provided evidence for the American people that using the Marshall Plan to help Greece had in fact been a positive step.

In during the 1960's the economic growth of Greece exploded with the launching help that the Marshal Plan provided.

Neither the centrist government of Georgios Papandreou (1964-65) nor… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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