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Was the Marshall Plan an unqualified success - Essay Example

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The phenomenal growth of European economy after the Second World War and the factors effectuating this growth have always remained a debatable issue. In the aftermath of the World War II, when all the European countries were struggling to emerge from the economic devastation, the United States offered financial support to the Europe under a plan, called the Marshall plan…
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Was the Marshall Plan an unqualified success
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Was the Marshall Plan an unqualified success

Download file to see previous pages... It also peeps into the state of economic growth in European countries before the commencement of this plan, so as to examine whether or not the Marshall plan was an unqualified success.
The economic, social and political state of European countries of had been greatly exhausted as the repercussion of the World War II. Even the most powerful countries, such as Germany, could not escape the devastations of war. The economic growth all over the Europe had stalled and various political factors were hindering the process of economic growth acceleration. Watt illustrates the condition of European countries as,
"in the economic field matters were still worse. The economies of France and Germany were in ruins Industrial production was recovering but the volume of exports was nothing like adequate to finance the necessary imports to maintain the rate of recovery. In France and Germany the position was worse still. British recover was far ahead of that in Europe" 1.
The desolating economic state did not only hampered the trade and industrial growth of war-striken European countries, but was also threatening for the American capitalism. The United States, rising as the world super power after the World War II, perceived the state of halted trade and investment activities as grievous to its industrial growth. This led the US to devise and implement an aid plan directed towards all the European countries, known as the Marshall plan or the European Recovery Plan. The program was aimed towards driving European cooperation towards enhanced trade, investment and industrial growth, as well as curtailing the political aspects hindering economic stability in the region. Hence, shaping the European economic growth on American foundations. Watt points out that the Marshall plan "was to be a projection of many American ideas and ideals onto a Europe that was in a state of economic and political difficulties"2.

The Western Europe, desperately in need of funds and collaboration, quickly accepted the offer and proceeded towards its implementation. Vickers remarks that the "Marshall's speech was welcomed with open arms by all the Western European states, already moving into varying degrees of co-operation"3.

Unqualified Success Of Marshall Plan- A Myth Or Reality
The Marshall plan is said to have greatly stimulated the economic growth of West European countries after the Second World War. Researchers (such as Mee4 and Wexler5 etc) argue in the favour of Marshall plan to have successfully transformed the course of economic recovery in Europe and led those countries on the track of growth. Wexler goes on to the extent of saying that the Marshall plan was "one of the great economic success stories of modern times"6. Although it is true to the extent that the flow of dollars and US conditions through the Marshall aid accelerated the process of economic and industrial growth in the region, however the plan, exclusively, cannot be termed as an unqualified success in driving this progress. Vickers illuminate this point as, "it is because of the way that the Marshall Plan entered the psyche of post-war politics that there is still a danger of falling prey to the myth of Marshall Aid." 7

The amount of aid provided to the Western Europe during the Marshall plan was not sufficient to the extent that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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