The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan - Essay Example

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As a result of the devastation wrought by the Second World War, Europe was in ruins, with its economic production at a standstill and its people suffering from hunger. Politically, the Eastern countries were increasingly going under the influence of the Soviet Union, while communist parties in France and Italy were growing in strength - spurring the United States into swift, concerted action…
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The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan
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Download file to see previous pages He thus enunciated the doctrine that would go hand in hand with the Marshall Plan that would greatly help Europe get back on its feet.
A scenario a decade later in which if the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan were not implemented would result in a Europe whose economies would be faltering, each independently finding its way out of the devastation. Politically, the Soviet Union's influence would have grown stronger beyond Poland and East Germany. Political and economic stability would still be a long hurdle.
By 1957 without the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, Europe would find itself an economically fragmented continent and the European Union, established in 1957 would not exist. Probably there would not also be a European Coal and Steel Community which was established in 1950. This is because the Marshall Plan allowed for the possibility of European states working together to draft a plan that would make economic cooperation possible. Europe's treasuries would not be as quickly replenished because of the absence of immediate US monetary aid and food and survival would still be the top priority, and not economic growth and stability. Europe would not find a way to freely exchange their currencies and dismantle trade barriers among the different states as the establishment of the European Payments Union in 1950 and in effect until 1958. Furthermore, without the Marshall Plan, a decade after the end of the World War, would result in a Europe with its economic foundations not as strong as they were and industries would not be reborn as they were quickly because of the Marshall Plan. Well known European companies such as "Renault, Pechiney and Dassault in France; Volkswagen and Daimler-Benz in Germany; Fiat in Italy; plus Norse Crown Canning in Norway were started or restarted with American assistance after the war" (Swardson A1). Without the Marshall Plan these companies, indeed a lot of industries would not still be back on their feet or even existing a decade after the war. Germany, Europe's industrial giant would still be probably crippled and its economic strength not utilized.
Politically, had not the policy of containment enunciated in the Truman Doctrine, it would have been a great probability that ten years hence after the end of the war, Turkey and Greece would have fallen under sphere of influence of the Soviet Union. Britain which received the biggest share of US aid would not be as strong as it was in being a democratic leader in the continent - and this was shown when it had to stop helping Greece that forced the US to be fill up the vacuum. Further, the fall of Turkey and Greece would have bolstered the communist movements in France and Italy, which though not as vulnerable would have resulted in unstable political regimes, backed by economic instability because rampant social discontent, hunger economic dislocation. In short, Europe ten years hence, would again be vulnerable to totalitarianism.
The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan paved the way for Europe to work together as one continent so that it could rise from the rubble of World War II. Economically, it drew the European states together to set up mechanisms to foster economic integration, without which there would be the present-day European Union and the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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