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Great Seal

  1946-1968: Diplomacy and the Cold War

(This page currently under development)


Categories:
Bullet Foreign Service Act of 1946
Bullet National Security Act of 1947
Bullet Kennan and Containment
Bullet Marshall Plan
Bullet Regional Collective Security Pacts
Bullet Political Attacks on the Department of State
Bullet Castro, Cuba, and Missiles
Bullet Anti-Communist Crusades in the Third World
Bullet Peace Corps and the Alliance for Progress


Marshall Plan

In the immediate postwar period, Europe remained ravaged and thus susceptible to exploitation by an internal and external communist threat. In a June 5, 1947 speech to the graduating class at Harvard University, Secretary of State George C. Marshall issued a call for a comprehensive program to rebuild Europe. Fanned by the fear of communist expansion, in March 1948 Congress passed the Economic Cooperation Act and approved funding that would eventually rise to over $12 billion for the rebuilding of Western Europe. The Marshall Plan generated a resurgence of European industrialization and brought extensive investment into the region. It was also a stimulant to the U.S. economy by establishing markets for American goods. Although Soviet and East European participation initially was invited, due to Soviet concern over potential U.S. economic domination of its satellites and opposition by American politicians to funding recovery in communist nations, the Marshall Plan was applied solely to Western Europe. Thus, it exacerbated East-West tensions by effectively excluding the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc from any measure of cooperation with Western Europe and by reviving an economically-strong Germany. The Marshall Plan has been recognized as a great humanitarian effort, and Marshall became the only general ever to receive a Nobel prize for peace.

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