Marshall Plan Speech, Harvard, June 5,1947

Two years after World War II ended, Europe was an economic wreck. Poverty and disease were rampant. Dislocation was still a problem. Even in England, food rations were tighter than during wartime. The Soviet Union loomed as an ominous presence eager to export its communist ideology, and doing so with force in Eastern Europe and with chicanery in Western Europe.

marshall plan 

Fearful that continued economic desperation would foster socialist/communist sentiment, Secretary of State George C. Marshall crafted a massive economic aid program to assist European countries. He announced the “Marshall Plan” in a dry, 12-minute speech at the June 5, 1947, Harvard commencement address.

Eighteen European countries responded. Over the next five years, more than 12 billion dollars in economic aid was dispersed to Europe, helping to inject economic activity and thwart the spread of communism. Marshall won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.

Marshall Plan Speech 1947

Click on link to download document. The document contains the speech given by the U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall (Harvard, June 5, 1947) outlining the plan to assist European countries post-WWII, and to contain the spread of communism.

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About historymartinez

Social Studies Department Chair, Room A305 Tutoring Mondays @ 4:15 pm & Wednesdays @ 8:00 a.m.
This entry was posted in Cold War, U.S. History, WWII Era. Bookmark the permalink.

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